Tag Archives: truth

Under the cloud

9 Nov

It’s been one of those weeks.

I saw the dark cloud approaching, hovering on the horizon, probably about ten days ago. I spotted it and I ignored it.

For some reason, I thought that denial might work – this time.

And as the cloud approached, I remained naively optimistic. It will be different this time. I can do this. I can win this battle.

I started feeling slightly disconnected – from those around me, from conversations, from life. And I still carried on thinking I would be ok.

Then. Then – the crash. Unable to get out of bed. Unable to answer my phone. Unable to connect – with anyone, anything.

The cloud had enveloped me. I could no longer deny its presence. I could not fight, I had no resources or strength. Nothing.

I felt so sad. Overwhelmed by disappointment. A sense of loss. A sadness at the world we live in, at the suffering of those I love. A sadness and a questioning – of the path I am on, the world I occupy.

I could no longer see, enveloped by blackness. Bleakness.

I have been under the cloud before. And it is horrible. Awful. It is lonely, isolating, enveloping, all-consuming.

No-one should ever have to live under the cloud.

And today? Today, the cloud is still there but there are some rays of light too.

So please don’t worry. I write these words not to alarm anyone, but in the pursuit of honesty and truth. Of vulnerability.

For I spend many years pretending I was strong. And I am not.

I cannot do this on my own.

And I cannot pretend anymore.┬áIt’s been one of those weeks.


The savagery of schizophrenia

22 Oct

I recently wrote a blog post on Elyn Saks’ TED talk about living with schizophrenia.

Here are some truly beautiful, sad-making and true words about the same condition. This is a must-read article by Caitlin Moran (and – if you are in a rush, read anyway for it won’t take you long).

I love how words can be a force of life: a rampage against darkness or an acceptance of this darkness, an articulation of truth or its denial.

Words can heal. And hurt. Encourage. Or destroy.

Words can create. And they can shut down.

I love reading the words of true wordsmiths. These ones made me want to cry. And that is good – for they reveal truth, love and life in all its messiness and ambiguity.

Thank you Caitlin.

Failure to open your mind

5 Dec

So, I’ve been ill. Proper ill with proper flu. As sometimes happens when you are proper ill, I had one or two profound thoughts during my week of bed-sofa-bed-sofa-bed. But I have forgotten them since. However, last night I watched Ricky Gervais being interviewed by Alan Carr and he (Ricky) said something really profound. He was being asked about recently being maligned and mauled in the press for something he had said and replied by saying he had been misunderstood. But then he said, “But being offended doesn’t make you right”. Which stopped me in my tracks.

Ricky is right. And we like to be right – but sometimes we are simply offended. Yet still maintain we are right. His observation cuts to the heart of our beliefs, and it causes me to question myself again. A bit of self-reflection can only be a good thing. ‘Looking in the mirror’ is critical if we are to grow and adapt, if we are to have our rough edges made smooth. What do you see when you look in the mirror? When you really look – not just glancing at your reflection but looking at your true self. I know that I sometimes see my false self. I sometimes surprise myself (and not in a good way) at how entrenched/bigotted/inflexible I have become. I sometimes find it hard to look, knowing that I have been busying myself with ‘things I must do’ and neglecting deeper meaning. And sometimes I quite like what I see. I am mostly comfortable in my own skin, yet anxious never to become too comfortable.

This year, I have been learning the hard way that I am not always right. And that sometimes, even when I am, it’s better to capitulate for the sake of peace. I look back at my younger more militant self with a wry smile, proud of the passion and fervour but glad I have grown since then. Glad that others have offended me. They have helped me to see more of my true self when I look in the mirror these days.

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