Monday, 25 December 2017

knowing your worth

Christmas morning 2017 writing at PC
As a mental health writer, activist and campaigner I have found that it's vital to know your worth so as to withstand the attacks by others upon your character, behaviour and motives.  The attempts to make you feel worth less/worthless.  It's a matter of survival.

31 July 2015 I had a near death experience which was physical, mental and spiritual, resulting in a bladder prolapse, which I thought at the time was a tumour (diagnosed March 2016), and a reactive psychosis.  I'd run out of steam after the years of campaigning and no justice.  It felt like I was having a stroke at one point, brain clenching, that my throat was closing up, choking.  Had to force myself to eat, couldn't drive for a week or so, eyesight wasn't good, couldn't focus.  My son cared for me.

This time around I managed to avoid psychiatric treatment, was given some Lorazepam by an out-of-hours doctor at Glenrothes A&E, took one pill on 2 different nights to regulate sleep pattern, that was enough.  I don't like neuroleptics, the benzo made me feel hungover.  Very glad to have avoided any coercive drugging with antipsychotics.  I managed the altered mind states and environmental sensitivities, they enhanced my life and I feel the better for coming through another psychosis.  It strengthened me, increased confidence and resilience.  

During the psychosis, from September 2015, I continued to engage with clinical friends by Email, sharing experiences, and providing therapy, helping others.  After my 2002 menopausal psychosis I'd returned to voluntary work, helping others, so as to help myself recover from psychosis/psychiatry.  It's something that has always worked for me, helping others.  It's automatic.

Sometimes it's only looking back that you can make sense of something, when at the time you just do it.  History Beyond Trauma by authors Davoine and Gaudilliere made a big impression on me when I read the book in 2011 (borrowed from St Andrews Uni library), visiting Goldsmiths London to view Mere Folle launch and hear, meet the authors in person.

In my life experience psychosis is, or should be, a journey, a necessary transition, from one place to another, an escape of sorts, going through the maze, preferably with a companion.  Coercive psychiatric drug treatment (1978, 1984, 2002) led me deeper into the maze, flattened my emotions, took away my sense of humour, it was like being in a tunnel with no light at the end.  It wasn't enjoyable and required great determination to resist the darkness and work towards the light, tapering the drugs.

I want to be involved in developing Safe Houses for Psychosis in Scotland, alternative respite care to psychiatric inpatient treatment with a range and choice of therapies and activities on offer. 

14Sep16 ScotGov MH Strategy meeting COSLA Edinburgh
13Sep16 ScotGov MH Strategy meeting Trades Hall Glasgow

So that's what I'll be working towards in 2018, gathering information about, researching and visiting Safe haven crisis Houses in other parts of the UK, to help set up Safe Houses for Psychosis in Scotland with therapies on offer, for example music, visual arts, craftwork (knitting, sewing, tapestry etc), cooking and baking, gardening, working with animals, cycling, games, photography.  Just like I've been providing for myself when coming through psychosis in 2015.  And supporting my son after abusive psychiatric treatment Feb12.

17 March 2017: on providing a safe house for my son

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