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Fragments from a Half Life

sarah-moon-sara-moon-butterflies-water-drowning“Some of us are fated to live in a box from which there is only temporary release. We of the damned-up spirits, of the thwarted feelings, of the blocked hearts, and the pent-up thoughts, we who long to blast out, flood forth in a torrent of rage or joy or even madness, but there is nowhere for us to go, nowhere in the world because no one will have us as we are. (Siri Hustvedt, The Summer Without Men)”

Grief is unpredictable.

Only now, have I started to experience the feeling of utter emptiness one moment, anger at being abandoned by my best friend who was my rock, and crucially, the desire to be with him and Elaine. The latter is what has landed me back in hospital. I was released too soon according to the Consultant, hence for a week now I have been back. When I found out…

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Pool reflections

Sitting in Greggs on the High St Dundee after my usual swim in Olympia.

At the pool when showering I was reflecting on how therapeutic, healing it has been to swim in Dundee, both at the end of 2015 into 2016 and more recently from August last year when I got back to the Olympia. This was after experiencing muscle pain, due to titanium plate right fibula (max dose venlafaxine, bone loss). I’d been visiting Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, up hills.

It’s not just about the swimming, there’s also the human interaction, engaging with others, in a non-mental health specific setting. Since 2008 it’s been tough speaking out as a person with “lived experience”, recovered from “mental illness” and a survivor of psychiatric abuse. More recently caring for my youngest son who was abused in Stratheden Hospital’s locked seclusion room February 2012. We whistleblowed and NHS Fife got £4.4m to build a new IPCU Hollyview Ward, benefitting others. It’s painful to remember but cannot be forgotten.

After returning to swimming last year I had another cathartic experience akin to a “psychosis” revisiting past hurts, externalising my distress, better out than in. A necessary cleansing, coming to terms with unfair treatment which I think had its roots in discrimination due to my “mental illness” in 2002-4, and other factors impacting.

The good thing about last year’s “psychosis” is the imaginary scenarios and prophetic visions which I experienced at various times, in different settings. Fodder for future fictional writings. Of worlds yet to come, real or otherwise.

Still sitting in Greggs watching the world go by, waiting for the rain to lesson, have paid for parking nearby cos it was pelting down. Will move car to supermarket and go for a walk. Did 5mls yesterday, it was dry and eventually sunny.

Some photos from yesterday’s wander