mental health and travel
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
upturned wingtips, for reasons that google is thus far unable to explain to me clearly.)
I am known to encourage the planes and their grandeur as they roar ahead –
“Go on son! Fucking get in.”
I’m a big fan. 777’s are my favourite. Their engines are the same size as the cabin (fuselage) on a 737.
So my mum is in Denver visiting my brother and other family, she’s from Iowa, a place I know well from childhood holidays before I had a panic attack on a plane at the age of 23 and then didn’t fly for 11 years. I have braved six short plane journeys since 2016. I kind of had to bite the bullet to get to Dublin for my niece and goddaughters christening, five months later was my Dutch cousins wedding, then in September 2017 we flew to Italy for an amazing three week holiday. I can do short flights, but long ones are on hold for the moment.
No compilation of my fave things would be complete without mentioning my nieces. Nearly three and five they are worth more than a fleet of airplanes. They lived closeby for three years and them being born gave me a nudge towards being a more responsible, happy, mature adult that feels increasingly more in step with the world. We have lots of video calls.
The five year old learned to talk in England for three years. Her Mum is Irish with a fairly strong Dublin–esque accent. As my niece’s parents like France and the French (they got married there) she goes to a French speaking school nearby to their house. She has lived in America for nearly two years. You should hear the accent she talks with now, and it’s changeable too, though recently she is sounding quite American.
The three year old is quite crazy sometimes, just like her uncle Pete.
I like writing - working on my blog, my book, guest articles for serious mental health publications including the Taylor and Francis Psychosis Journal (who were kind and savvy enough to publish my own 3500 word essay in last year’s journal) and guest articles for more relaxed mental health websites.
My writing career and blog gets views, but has yet to take off. I would like to do my writing as my main job and make it pay the bills. I’m hard at work on my book, nearly there. I’m 75000 words into completing my mental health memoirs. I was lucky to have such an interesting mental illness. Some people have depression for example, which I imagine would be less fun to write about.
I recently bought a Tempur Cloud Elite memory foam mattress for a couple thousand quid. A lot of money but it is a fantastic and comfortable thing to sleep on. It is better than a regular, cheaper memory foam mattress, if you have got some spending money. I had to save up. But I am currently sleeping well.
The weather this weekend is looking very spring like and the days are beginning to last longer, summer is on its way. It’s Sunday, 1.40 PM and I have nothing I need to do until tomorrow afternoon. I will probably work on my book a bit, but that’s all.
My mental health has been recovering steadily since 2006, and it’s at the point now where it’s been good for at least five years. But still it continues to improve, now it is going from good to great, and from great to fantastic, from fantastic to my life being really rather nice. It’s nice after I spent so long as a psychotic and anxious person - to think about my mental health actually working for me instead of against me.
I have been smiling constantly for about a month now. Long may it continue.