Friday, 3 December 2010

The ones that keep me going..

Just wanting to share one of my favourite comments to date and to raise awareness to his own blog. said..

Hi Kerry
I just wanted to say thank you for your blog.
I've been suffering from depression all my life but in the last decade it has reached the extreme and I now feel quite disabled by it.
I have started my own blog which you might link to on yours if you like.
By comparison with yours my blog is stuffy, dull, abstract and lifeless. Well, maybe that's a description of me! What I love about yours is the fun, humour LIFE in it. You are an amazing writer, very funny, very honest, very insightful. My way of having a support community has been to attend support groups here in Northern Ireland but I think that now have another source of comfort and support: blogs like yours. And just as the best thing about support groups is the amount of laughter we have there - and we do laugh at our situation A LOT! - your insights and wisdom are couched in humour.
Many many thsnks from a sufferer. I will be spreading the word and adding a link to you on my blog. Please keep it up.
David Hughes

Sanity verses Comedy

There are lots of doubts about, and pro's and con's and shall I shan't I's about taking mood stabilizers, especially from those who rely on their highs to get stuff done!! and those who equally rely on their lows to create art, of it's many forms - music, visual, literature... pole dancing, nasa program installation, bible translation... I have met many in Bipolar support groups. Without meds, (or low dose meds) many of us feel that we are at our most creative; the juices don't stop flowing, we get tired but find an energy preserve and just keep going, and producing work we couldn't had we been medicated.

Once upon a time. when I was still funny I was a working on BBC comedy radio show, a six parter, and the show's producer called end of play and asked if I could come up with pretty much an episode's worth of material by the following day (these organised systems are what you pay your TV license for) to which I replied (lied) I'll see what I can do, but just a few hours later I'd have enough material for the whole series, and I woke up the following morning to his email saying something like Hi Kerry, they 're brilliant material, but way too much bad language/bad grammar/bad taste  to which I had no recollection of the content, so checked my sent items and saw the best but too cutting edge work I'd written to date. 

And people who don't understand this condition, like these producers, simply cannot afford to give you a second chance. I lost many commissions going from naught to sixty in a matter of hours.

And it can be boring for others, last night I was at the launch of Rudolf Lindo's exhibition and I interrupted two people who were engrossed in conversation to tell them in speeded up talk my latest (amazing) ideas complete with a slide show on my digital camera and then moved on before they could comment. And left.

But, with the meds, and my usual dose is pretty high, I found myself muted and art wasn't happening, which made me fill empty, unfulfilled, and failing, even at something I could not even start.

I found it hard in my comedy career to keep up  when I took high dose meds, and sadly had to chose between the Sanity and Comedy after I couldn't attend a meeting at Tiger Aspect about a potential sitcom commission because I'd been admitted to a Psychiatric Ward. It was sanity verses comedy and against my will, sanity won.

Pic - The real Lala

Ghost-trains, tippex and Compulsive Quiz Disorder

When I get anxious, which I can very easily, REALLY easy - like being refused entry into Primark at 6.56pm even though I have FOUR FLIPPIN' MINUTES until if officially closes - I bombard people with questions. Random questions. I've woken people up at 5 am to ask if they're scared of ghost trains, how do space camera's stay still in Space, why don't we have tails, can they test me on all the tube map etc..

I remember having similar compulsive quiz anxieties as a child and getting very frustrated at cartoons - Tom just blew Jerry up so how come a second later Jerry just cut Tom in half? Penfolds eyebrows sit above his head, what happens if somebody steals them?

Last night I woke one of the girls at around 5 am to ask if they were awake.  She wasn't too happy, especially since she was snuggled up in plastic box in hay.

Listing is another sign of anxiety, I can write so many lists I then have to write a list of lists. I remember running a part televised comedy workshop for Spanish TV, a bit like X-factor but for comedy actors rather than (comedy) singers. I was so nervous I spent half the workshop taking them through pre-constructed detailed lists of how the workshop was to be facilitated. 

Same as timetables, I've spent up to eights hours designing the perfect timetable, not for anything in particular, other than living. My chronic timetable making has got the better of me in the past though, during my A levels I spent more time designing my revision timetable than actually revising.

For the above reasons I'm afraid I am a bit of a stationary addict and during my teens whilst my friends were shoplifting tights from C&A and fags from handbags, I was stealing rulers and tippex from my local library.

I guess I'm anxious at the moment, a lot has been happening and my medication remains pretty low (for me). I will go into this in the next post, I need to timetable my list of questions...

Pic - record spines. I have four and a half thousand of these to photograph, all alphabetically and chronologically ordered, and then I am going to make wallpaper.

Why I really write this blog

Either friends of mine who are reading my blog - of friends of friends of mine who have been shown my blog - who themselves suffer from Bipolar have sent me some very encouraging emails, thanking me for my honesty, for "adding a little colour", and, as Cheryl said "thank you thank you - now i feel as though I belong to a group of people that live under our duvets rather than just me" with one of those smiley faces which is on the list of things I really have to come to terms with alongside buntin and sponge-cake.

It was actually the encouragement of last years CAT therapist who gave me the idea to write this blog (that's Cognitive Analytical Therapy, not feline) as she knows my outlet is cutting edge humour, at the same time my consultant (who I refer to as Mr Upstairs) was reading my draft novel and encouraging me to write more of the same - it's very similar to this, so I have both the NHS and Bipolar sufferers themselves motivating me and my blog.

But even so, I often wake up in the middle of the night and think "I can't say that!" and delete posts, which I get told off for doing, as the one's I delete are the hard hitting ones that I'm told should stay up there. For example a close friend had a suicide attempt recently which had a huge mental impact on me and for that reason he encouraged me to write about it, as will he in his own (video) blog, so I did, but removed it shortly after. And got told off for doing so.

So I shall continue with extracts of my mind, and other bipolaree's have said I can use extracts of their minds (within reason) but as my own mind is very up and down I'm afraid so will my posts be.

I get my cutting edge humour from my Dad by the way - if anyone is shocked by my jesting they must never meet him!

Keep those emails coming - they give me strength.

Pic - my hand made (action men) toilet roll dolls.