Wellness, Anxiety, Psychosis
(and a little bit of travel)
"remember spring swaps snow for leaves"
I’d never been to Scotland before and though my uncle, auntie and two cousins live there and have shown enthusiasm in conversations for the place they love, I didn't know anything about Scotland apart from kilts, bagpipes and a wee bit of dram. But stepping onto Princes Street (the main road) in the centre of Edinburgh from the train station, the first view was spectacular. An instant panorama of huge stone buildings on the hill skyline including Edinburgh Castle. It wasn’t like other cities that are often flat with buildings obstructing any ground level panoramas. The view from the station on the left stretched at least a mile of grand structures on the hill that runs east to west. In between the station and the hill was Princes Street Gardens. On the right was no hilltop skyline but massive department stores and hotels, that looked a bit like Harrod’s. I was surprised and impressed.
It was the best holiday I’ve had since childhood holidays.
I love airplanes and airports, though I get vertigo quite badly. But I wasn’t nervous about the flying until we actually took off so I was able to enjoy the shopping and sights at Heathrow, with my mum, uncle and auntie. The flying itself was slightly better than I expected and the sense of joy, partly because of all the anxiety just falling away, was fantastic as we landed in Milan. We stayed at an airport hotel that night and the next day we drove in a hired minibus (there would be more joining us) south to San Gimignano, near Florence, a five hour trip.
I wanted to do a blog post about the things I like best about my life as it is today. I’m sure it will change in the coming weeks as I have a few exciting things lined up including a trip to Edinburgh on a sleeper train, my first journey of such a kind. I love trains. I love planes – ironic as I’m shit scared of heights, but I am astounded at their beauty and engineering marvel. Every time I take my mum to Heathrow airport as I did last week, they fly directly above while we’re driving and it’s –
“Wow! Look at that. That is a Boeing 777.” (You can tell from the massive engines, one on each wing, and the absence of winglets for aerodynamic efficiency. The 777 is the only large plane that doesn’t have
Holiday in Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy. It was not stressful.
Lunch on a boat trip north across the border into Locarno, Switzerland. A mountain view train ride through The Alps south again. As part of a holiday travelling around Italy with 11 other family members we were in Stresa, a town on the western coast of Lake Maggiore for two days. We also spent two weeks based at the most beautiful villa I’ve ever seen on the top of a hill right next to San Gimignano, Tuscany, in the middle of Chianti country. I think someone got in some wine a couple of times each day.
A quick word about what being "sectioned" is and the first time i escaped from parklands mental hospital
I was first hospitalised at Parklands Mental Hospital in December 2001. My diagnosis of "cannabis induced psychosis with delusions of a grandiose nature" made for many interesting experiences, especially at the very beginning of my illness. Lots of real ups and downs. I've written at length about in my book but for today's post it's a brief view of being sectioned, how I felt about it and the first time I escaped, or "absconded" to use the official term that my supportive team would end up using a few times. Click on read more to read more.
Hello everybody, hope you like this post, and I hope that you'll stay on my website for a bit after reading.
Working in the NHS on a mental health ward, and paying attention to the news, I am aware of the odd shortcoming. The NHS takes a lot of flack for it's operational lapses and even some misdeeds and I suspect that some of them are real cases where real change needs to happen.
Being quite a creative thinker, I have my ways of dealing with and looking after my mental health. I do all the usual stuff: occasional meditation, relaxing when I can, talking about things with friends and family etc. Today though, it was playing some golf
I haven't posted for a long time! It's easy to say "I haven't had time". But I did add another part time job to my already busy life five months ago. As well as being a cleaner/maintenance assistant at the nearby sports centre and making small carpentry projects in a workshop that are sold in a shop, I now work as a peer support worker on the local PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) ward, the very same ward where I was a patient many times 2001 - 2006.
I feel that a mental health blog should be addressing some of the difficulties of having a mental illness.
As my current health is very good, I thought I'd recount one of my many difficult days. I'm not going to write about a particularly dark one, I don't think that would be helpful for me. Having written a book about my entire journey I can accurately pick out a day from memory. Here goes.
In case you were wondering, I called this page "Le Blog" for no other reason than I like France and the French.
I wish I lived in rural France and if I ever get the chance I would seriously consider a move there, and I wish I'd paid some attention in French lessons at school.
Today has been sunny and warm again, both weatherwise and spiritually. I sometimes feel like I should be blogging about mental health struggles, so sorry about that. But the fact is that after years of struggles and hard work, my mental health is very good these days.
I have occasional problems with anxiety, but I don't really panic anymore, and my psychosis is very controlled.
Yesterday I was at the dentist again for more root canal stuff. The dentist, Mr. Shenyan, went about his work, which included getting out the blowtorch to kill off the germs on his metal dental pick tool, as root canal stuff needs to have germ precautions taken. I had the deep hole filled and then the tooth shaped by the dreaded drill (which aren't really that scary) in preparation for a crown fitting at the next appointment. I forgot to ask about how much a gold crown would cost, I'd quite like to have one, but I think it's too late now.
Maybe if I neglect my teeth for a year I'll get another chance.
I also met with a website guru yesterday and we did some work on my website. I expressed my desire to not do anything unscrupulous just to entice people which he was more than happy to work with me on.
The changes aren't finished yet, and most of the work is required only on the home page. I'm very happy with the guru so far. He had some good ideas.
I went to the farm shop today, next to a field and stream and saw baby cows, baby ducks, and two smaller birds chasing a predatory bird away from their nest/tree. Not much else to report. Today I also read and signed the author publication agreement for a paper I have submitted and had accepted for the Taylor and Francis Psychosis Journal.
Can't wait to see that one in print.