Friday, 12 March 2010

Something that EVERYONE should know.
Have you ever found yourself thinking, "Oh, for Heaven's sakes just pick yourself up you layabout?" when you read of someone being on benefits or on long term sick pay for a mental disorder?

I think we all have and you know what? You should stop RIGHT NOW and think again.

I can't speak for what other people are going through but I would like to share a little analogy with you that might just make you think twice before judging others in the future.

Imagine if you will, some nasty person injects you with a poison that gives you the following symptoms:

• Uncontrollable shaking
• Nausea and vomiting
• So much tension in your arms and legs that you cannot walk properly or indeed even hold a cup of tea.
• Terrifyingly dark, racing thoughts.
• The constant urge to run and hide.
• Heightened hearing so every noise makes you jump.
• Heightened vision so that the world looks very “trippy”.
• Loss of appetite.
• Inability to concentrate on even the most basic of tasks.
• Insomnia.
• Pins and needles.
• Headaches.
• Crippling stomach pain.
• RACING heartbeat.
• Sweating like a stuck pig.

Not a very nice poison is it?

Now imagine you are told that this poison may well stay in your system for up to three weeks.
What if you were told that the symptoms would occur again and again for the rest of your life?
What if you were told that the only antidote was somatisation or mind over matter?

Next, imagine if you are then told that despite all of these rather frightening symptoms happening all at once and all day long, you would have to:

• Get yourself out of bed (with legs that can’t move) and walk to the bathroom for a wash (with hands that can’t stop shaking) whilst vomiting at the same time.
• Get dressed.
• Force food into you having just been sick.
• Brush hair/shave (razors?! With hands like this?!)
• Get on your bike and cycle to work with your vision flashing and your eyes exploding from all of the noise whilst trying to make those legs work.
• Get to work and manage to talk to collegues, do your work and try your best to “appear normal” knowing that they can see your shaking hands, your beads of sweat and the way that you walk like a robot.
• Deal with having to buy food after work that you DO NOT want to eat or cook because you feel sick.
• Spend time with your partner in the evening trying your best to pretend to be normal for them because you know that you are stressing them with your illness.
• Or even worse- go to a pub or a party full of loud, drunken, hectic people once again having to PRETEND to be normal.
• Finally fall into bed knowing that you won’t sleep as the dark thoughts are turned up to 11 in the silence.
• Wash, rinse, repeat the next day and the next and the next.....

Could you do that easily?
Would you want to?

I think most mere mortals would rather curl up and die than have to live like that?

Well folks, that is what it is like to be me day in and day out.
And that is what it is like for millions like me.

Do you still think we are layabouts who should pick ourselves up and just get on?
Because actually, me and my brethren pick ourselves up and get on with it EVERY SINGLE DAY and you know what?
That actually makes us far more courageous and worthy of praise than the rest of you healthy folk out there.

Finally, thank what ever God it is that you pray to (or not) that you never have to think in the way that I do.
But if you find yourself in that situation...come and find me and talk to me.
You shall have all the empathy and compassion in the world.

One good thing that comes from being ill- you become a kinder, more caring and open minded individual and that has to be good for the world, right?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A few bits of hurriedly thought out poetry innit?

When my parents decided to exchange primordials for flesh, I wonder if they mused upon the flesh they would create?
Would it wish to swim like a fish Grandfather style?
Drink like a fish Uncle style?
Hide from dreams Mother style?
Make dreams Father style?

I was conceived as a result of a vodka ruse.
My father was making dreams Uncle Style.
Something from him swam Grandfather Style.
My Mother hid from dreams in her style several months later.

Genetics is my religion because I grew up to do all four.
There is a lot to be said for a good swimmer.

“Write me a poem about tea,” he said.
“Why?” I replied.
“Because I like tea and you said you might write me a poem.”
“But I don’t like tea,” I said.
“Meet me half way and I shall write you one about vodka.”

“Pass me a biro,” said my work collegue.
It was a flippant gesture as common as sleeping.
I passed her Galileo’s ill thought out invention and one hundred years of hard-core chemists’ blood, sweat and tears.
“Thanks,” she said.

Friday, 5 March 2010

The House

Someone is in my kitchen.
They are concocting curry but not with the raisins my mother always added.
Someone is gazing out of my bedroom window, hating the view.
They don't see the land beyond and a wild expanse of adventures. There is magic in that view but they only use their eyes.
They do not have Bauhaus up to 11 but instead, have chosen to sully the place I slept with a radio.
My bathroom, where I discovered my face for the first time is now littered with different towels and lotions that belong on adverts.
My lounge- where my rabbit once chewed the wires has the same carpet but different slippers.
My garden, the one I tended with such passion is now a mere after-thought. No one is gazing at the stars there.
The stairs I always slid down are now merely walked upon- the familiar creak lives on unloved.
The garage wall I chalked upon lies exposed. No modern car could fit in a garage that size these days. But they do not erase the past and keep it as a folly.
The bedroom where I flew on my father's hand past the flowers on the curtains is now a shrine to Xbox comfort.
I have been erased.