Tag Archive: mental illness

The Importance of Leaving your Bed

so, I do this thing.
And the thing I do is that I will wake up quite early but refuse to admit that i’m awake and try and sleep more. Because life is so much less anquish when you are asleep. Everybody knows this. Everybody does this. But with me it has gotten compulsive and damaging.
I’m trying to be better. To do better. I used to think if I talked more about this stuff it would help. Maybe it does. Maybe I’m starting to annoy myself though.  Maybe i’m annoying other people. Maybe in some peoples eyes I’ve become a pantomime of a very real and serious thing. Maybe i’ve tarnished myself too much with the ‘mentally ill’ brush.  I’m honestly a lot more interesting than that. Maybe i’m doing myself a disservice talking about these things in public. I wanted dialogue and support but maybe all I’m getting is pity.
I don’t need your fucking pity. It is of no use to me.

Maybe i’m not being pitied. Maybe that’s all in my head. Everything is all in my head. I’m not a hardcore solipist but the fact that remains that our conception of reality and the physical world is filtered through our bodies and our minds. We may not make reality every time we open our eyes but we certainly percieve it in a way that is unique to human beings.  And due to various enviromental, biological, historical and psychological factors I don’t percieve in the way most human beings do. That can be real lonely. That’s why I try and talk about this stuff. So i can be less alone. Maybe.

But i don’t know if I do a very good job of talking about it.

An over-riding feature of this cross I bear is the fact that I think a lot. Too much. Which can be very useful. I’m pretty smart. This is probably because I think too much and have read a bunch of books and i’m quite good at synthesising and connecting up concepts and thoughts (probably because i think too much). Unfortunately, it gets to the point where the thoughts begin to pull myself to pieces and start breaking things and doing damage. Running out of other material, or perhaps simply because i have a self-destructive streak, the mind turns its attention to its damaged psyche and begins poking holes.

I have spent my life at the mercy of a million thoughts and undertaking very little action to bring those thoughts into some kind of concrete reality outside of my head. Because what worth can any idea you have possibly have Adam? Little to none.

But that’s faulty thinking. I know it is because I’ve spent the past couple of years thinking and then doing. I’ve seen the outcome.  I have honestly inspired so many people and deep down it freaks me out. I have given opportunities to people to get up in front of a mic and do their thing and watched them catch as if kindling and become luminescent and go on and do more things and inspire other people. It is fucking beautiful and it is hard for me to think that I have had any kind of hand in that. Me. Worthless Little Me.

But i can’t be worthless, can I? If i’ve done these things. If i’ve inspired those people. But still the mind insists. It cajoles. it takes bites out of itself.

I want to do more. I AM doing more. Many a cool thing on the horizon. But they’re only happening because i’m ignoring my fucking head and just doing. Unfortunately that doesn’t stop the head from doing what my head does. It’s fucking painful. I cry it hurts so much, randomly, for brief moments.  tears run down my face. And then it’s gone and I dry my eyes, the feeling subsides a little but remains.

I wonder how different things could of been if someone or something had interveined in my past. Had set me right a bit in my faulty compulsive thinking. The provision for mental health on the NHS is fucking laughable, especially in Glasgow. If you aren’t a physical risk to yourself or others you aren’t going to be taken seriously. I have experienced this a lot. The amount of times I’ve gone down to the mental health unit on Florence street aching for help and pretty much had demonstrated to me that i’m wasting their time… well, it has been numerous times.

I’ve been referred to outlier organisations, non-NHS non-profits, for councelling only for the councelor to turn around and say “your problems are much bigger than what we are outfitted with to deal with”. And then i become disheartened. And then i give up. I carry on until it becomes too much again and I reach out for help, hoping against hope that things will go differently this time. That I will get the help I need.  But previous experience indicates otherwise.

I’m dimly aware that it is mental health awareness week. A large part of me is like Fuck Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s fucking lip service. It will change nothing. Things like this, x y awareness <arbitrary measurement of time> are like little morally superior holidays people can choose to take. Just perfect for our bite-sized, social-media-driven lives. A badge they can add to their symbolic scout uniform – “I has virtue signalling”.
Still, I have woken up on a tuesday morning and written this thing about my mental illness. Perhaps I should jump on this bandwagon. Maybe loosen the wheel nuts a little whilst nobody is looking.

I’ve written this to get it out of my head. I’ve written this because I hope it will help me in some way to express these things. This level of honesty concerning your vunerability is hard to sustain. To strip yourself naked in public is not something most people will ever feel the need to do.  Maybe it will help you to understand, maybe it will inspire others who suffer to be able to stand up and say “Me Too!”. Maybe it’ll disappear below the surface of the internet and be read by nobody.

Regardless, I’m gonna eat this frozen pizza for breakfast, greedily, hungrily, because I didn’t feed myself lunch or dinner yesterday and Today I’m Going To Do Better. I Am Going To Be Better. I am going to rise above those nagging voices that don’t want me to ever leave my bed and Do Things.
Until it all becomes too much and I let them take control again. It doesn’t usually take very long.
But before that happens I just want to say Thank You. I want to thank everyone i’ve befriended since I got to glasgow, all the poets and writers and musicians and rappers and artists and activists and just good cunts that I have met. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t doing nearly as well as I am and despite my complaining and venting and nay-saying I am doing pretty well. It just doesn’t feel like that a lot of the time.

Maybe it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Maybe that’s just a trite metaphor thought up by a greeting card company.
Maybe both are true.


The Sharing of Breath [ poem ]

It’s been a long time, I know. I’m not really sorry but you can pretend I am if it makes you feel better.

I wrote this for a Philanthrobeats event celebrating mental illness. Or moaning about how hard it makes things. It was definitely something like that. Anyway, I wasn’t going to be in the country at the time so they shot a performance of it at the first High Flight fundraiser.  Anyway, turns out I was in the country so I was gonna do some live stuff too. Then there was a snafu with encoding the vid3eo, so the poem I’d written just for the event didn’t get air at the event. So, yeah. Gonna memorise this beastly motherfucker and shoot a performance of it some time soon.

Have a picture of my face.


Does the running of your lips help?
Does it stop the spreading of the panic? The drawing of bad blood.
It was good to cut yourself yesterday.
Felt right as rain
– But adolescence abandons us all. Leaves nothing but bruises and breadcrumbs.
Not that you can ever go back
– not without pulling some serious trauma
and those debts ain’t so easy to pay off but hey
if that’s what it takes. Just don’t go too deep.

Others though.
Got that arrested development shtick – playing it like a fiddle.
Easy money.
Fuck it.
It ain’t their fault
and you ain’t making any friends
Bleeding on the carpet.
Time to play make-believe
At being a grown up.
Razorblades are for children.
Real Men swallow their pain
With a handful of blues
And a mouthful of whisky.
Just beat your wife
Or significant other
Whatever. All your sins will be absolved.
So it is written.
Why would I want to save the whales when I don’t even want to save myself?
But, Oh!
The sanctity of human life!
Like human life is so fucking precious.
Face it, people, we’re just another species amongst many
And when we’re not fucking and killing those other species
We’re fucking and killing each other.
Entire nations have been founded on these principles!
Civilisations are born from such foundations!

Oh! Isn’t mental illness
Such an apt metaphor for the vagaries, jouannce
And ennui of the late 20th/early 21st century?
Isn’t it
Oh yeah, baby. Intellectualise the pain away.
Sometimes you have to pull the wool over your own eyes
Just to function.
When you are wallowing in your own filth
It seems ridiculous to get uptight about the little things.
As long as you dress up pretty for the normal folk,
Make it to work on time and at least pretend
To care everything will be okay.

If it gets too hairy,
A little too much,
And you veer into the attention of the medical community
Try not to get your hopes up.
Chemical Castration
Can only do so much.
You’ll need distractions – the more intricate the better.
I hear a career can be helpful
A focus and release
For all those bad thoughts – take some gentle exercise
A brisk walk around the stairwell if you’re lucky
Some fresh air can do you good
Maybe take up a sport
Or perhaps something that involves sitting
– a hobby
or unhealthy obsession.
Neurosis are all the rage with the cardigan set.
Nice sit down and a cuppa tea pet.
Makes everything better. World of difference.
Just tell me all about it and be sure not to leave out any of the
juicy details. I just want a taste and sympathy is such a good
lay. Makes you breakfast but
doesn’t help with the washing up.
Kick that cunt to the curb with a busted lip.

Some people do not like to be alone.
Need the repulsive throb of other
Human beings – so close they can touch you.
It is okay to need
Just don’t take more than others can be
Bothered to give you.

We are all complacent
In this torture garden :-
The giving and receiving of pain
Both emotional and physical
Is as natural as shaking hands
or sharing breath.
You certainly aren’t being disproportionate
In your charitable donations.
The good lord never gives us more than we can handle.
Stiff upper lip
You cry baby fuck.
If you honestly feel that beyond have you tried
Just not being such a miserable cunt?
There are starving AIDs babies in Africa
what have you got to be unhappy about?

Quit attention seeking and bumming me out with your eyes.
I have problems too but you don’t see me desperate and aching wondering if this feeling will ever go away
with its gnawing insistence that nothing will ever be okay
again despite what your rational brain might be insisting is the truth of the matter
better just to listen to the hateful whispers as they mutter over and over
about your worthlessness
and the pointlessness
of trying to achieve anything ever waiting
for the words to eventually tire
so you might put yourself back together.
Pick yourself up
Dust yourself off
And carry on with this marvellous motherfucking mess called living.

::::a moment of paralysis:::: [ prose ]

The paralysis was sudden and accompanied by a feeling of dull sickness. A great desolate expanse in head and heart, lapping on the distant, a forgetful numbing of affect and care.

Took on all the appearance of a joy division song.

The problem may be nutritional or chemical. Certainly an imbalance. A failure to address certain essential needs.
He knew he’d never be well again. No flu was this, a viral intrusion that would be denatured by antibodies. The invader was part of him. Like his skin was.

When he thought about removing his skin, of peeling it from his flesh, it only partially felt like a cure.

Of all the mental illnesses on the planet, few remain as heavily and tragically misunderstood as schizophrenia. The mythology surrounding the condition lay thicker in the public consciousness than the actual realities, and the implications of this remain seriously grim. Perpetuation of these misconceptions means the further isolation of those suffering from the disorder from their friends, family, and peers, discouraging them from pursuing the therapy they sorely need to recover. Educating society on the true concepts, nuances, and machinations behind schizophrenia is the best way to ensure that its victims learn how to chip away at the symptoms and go on to lead full, enjoyable, and productive lives with the proper care and guidance from a mental health professional.

10 Myths About Schizophrenia – X-Ray Technician Schools.

All your madness are belong to US

do you want fries with that?


For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness around the world. We have done this in the name of science, believing that our approaches reveal the biological basis of psychic suffering and dispel prescientific myths and harmful stigma. There is now good evidence to suggest that in the process of teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we’ve been exporting our Western “symptom repertoire” as well. That is, we’ve been changing not only the treatments but also the expression of mental illness in other cultures. Indeed, a handful of mental-health disorders — depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia among them — now appear to be spreading across cultures with the speed of contagious diseases. These symptom clusters are becoming the lingua franca of human suffering, replacing indigenous forms of mental illness.

The Americanization of Mental Illness – NYTimes.com.

< via >

Cat Hepburn

scriptwriter | spoken word & voice over artist | arts facilitator


Featured writing from Aloud Magazine, news updates, and performance videos.

Loki The Scottish Rapper

Cultural terrorism with a splash of self regard

Street of Dreams

A literary blog of poet, playwright and essayist Rachael Stanford


Curiosities, exploration, strange things and history

On Space

Boredom, Architecture and Modernity

Leave In An Orderly Fashion

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

Never Quite Broken

What you did not build up, you cannot tear down.

Society X

the Great Universe

sonja benskin mesher

writing site, a daily blog


~Weaving Words in her Web~

Helen Shanahan

Visual Artist


Artists and Free Thinkers Ignite!

%d bloggers like this: