Sunday, 26 July 2020

for the common good

When I got involved in mental health recovery work January 2008 I did it for the common good, to help bring about a paradigm shift in the treatment of people with psychosis, in mental health crisis, joining what I thought was a civil rights movement.

I'd been following the work of Scottish Recovery Network/SRN, attending their events since December 2005 Peer Support Conference in Glasgow and believed in the message of mental health recovery because I'd made a full recovery after psychosis and coercive psychiatric treatment on 3 different occasions, in 1978, 1984 and 2002, latterly coming off a neurotoxin cocktail of Risperidone, Venlafaxine and Lithium, under my own steam.

And so I met up with the SRN Director at the end of 2007, having phoned him to ask for financial support to run Celebrating Recovery conference in Elmwood College, Cupar, Fife, April 2008:

I did all the work voluntarily for this event, attended by about 120 people, booking the venue, printing out programmes, promoting, hosting on the day.  And I just noticed recently how my name wasn't on the poster!  I promoted everyone else but not myself.  By this time I was running voluntary organisation Peer Support Fife and had started up my own business Chrys Muirhead Associates.  The former did ok until funding ran out in 2011 but the latter never took off as I wasn't supported by SRN or others.

After this I delivered a series of WRAP workshops in different areas of Scotland, didn't make any money out of them in the longer term, having bought Pathways to Recovery self help workbooks from Kansas University and handed out free copies to various individuals and organisations eg Richmond Fellowship in Fife.  KU were supportive and I used their WRAP booklets to develop for workshop use. But I wasn't supported by SRN or Penumbra and soon was excluded from their events.

I didn't enjoy delivering WRAP, it wasn't suited to anyone experiencing psychosis, was more of a self management mood tool, however it was useful in conjunction with self awareness exercises from the Pathways to Recovery workbook and I used these in later trainings.

Photo below 4 July 2007, student mentoring presentation, me in front row, Adam Smith/Fife College FT job.
I'm doing a thumbs up!
I developed student mentoring project, delivered training, mentored students who supported other students.

4 July 2007 Adam Smith College
I persevered over many years after 2008, trying to be meaningfully involved in Scotland's mental health world as a Mother with Lived Experience, having survived psychiatric abuse, avoiding ECT in 1978, resisting lifelong mental illness diagnosis after coercive drug treatment when experiencing a menopausal psychosis in March 2002.  Surviving an overdose on Venlafaxine, suicidal impulse side effect, and another side effect of this antidepressant, bone loss on max dose, causing 3 fractures on my right fibula when only walking downstairs after job interview Cupar Library March 2005.  Six inch titanium plate right fibula, no osteoporosis, I count myself fortunate.  

I've written many blog posts over these years, detailing and externalising my mental distress, complaining, speaking out at the unfairness and injustice, hopefully they will survive and I may put them/some of them in a book form for posterity and my offspring.  Get printed copies.  

But I'm glad to have moved on, to have other strings to my bow.  Craftwork has always been a part of my life, making clothes, creating, stitching. Useful for reflecting, thinking things through, making sense of life.

handmade face covering, Albert St, Dundee
on Peter Street, Dundee
handknit socks, gift
October 1999 with 3 sons, Maid of Honour at sister's wedding

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

knitting and sewing

Continuing to handknit socks, finding patterns easier, quicker these days with practice.  And I recently bought a new sewing machine after the old Singer broke down.

machine delivered 29 June 2020

made cushion cover from ballet dancer cotton, backed with green herringbone material
completed 3 July 2020

making face coverings
handknit sock selection

a gift

more gifts

another gift sock sent Stateside

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Notes from a Scottish Summer by Ed Muirhead