Hi guys, gals, gents, ladies, dudes, dames, anyone and everyone!
I’m certain a good bunch of you will have never heard of me before, so first off- hello, my name is W, and thanks for checking this page out 🙂 I’m a student, a blogger and a cultural magpie (i.e. gets easily excited by anything bright and shiny).
I’m not too shabby with a pen and some paper, either, and below is the sort of thing I can do:
So far, so broody. I can draw other things, like this…
…and I’m always looking at ways to improve what I can do. The only thing I need is a Byro and some paper; everything else is made up as I go along, and I can draw like this pretty much anywhere.
Here’s the important bit: I draw like this for fun, because for the longest time drawing was my only way of fighting the anxiety I get from being around other people. I’ve spent a lot of time around mental illness, as a support worker and as a patient, and recently I’ve seen a lot more people start talking about it online. I’ve linked this post to several of them in the hope that they will help me reach more people 🙂
I believe 100% that the more we talk about mental illness, the more people are going to start listening, and the more we listen the less isolated we as individuals are going to feel. I know just how easy it is to feel worthless and forgotten, and the only reason I’m here writing this is because I was lucky enough to be reminded by other people that none of us should have to face our feelings alone. I’m well aware that other people aren’t so lucky, who deserve our respect and support as much as the next person, and I want to do something about that too.
So here’s what I’m going to do. Right now I have a piece of blank A3 paper, and I want you to help me fill it with thoughts and feelings about what it means to live with a mental illness.
Once I’ve got enough words I’ll post again with the concept I’ve come up with (if you want to know my current ideas please comment, and I’ll do my best to respond), and as soon as I’ve finished the piece I’ll take a picture (using the best means available) and upload it onto this site. I’ll also email a copy to anyone who gets in touch over email 🙂
Anything you want me to include can be as personal as you want. For now, I’m not going to include names, but if enough of you respond then I’ll include a list of everyone who contributed in the drawing itself (with everyone’s express permission). I will put down exactly what you say, but obviously nothing offensive- I’ll reply to confirm that I got the email, and if I’m unsure about anything (like, for the sake of argument, a possible spelling mistake) I’ll get back to you first before using it.
That’s it, more or less.
This is an idea, and it’s only as big as you want it to be. If no one responds, I’ll draw something entirely to do with my experience of mental illness; if five or six respond, it’ll be to do with those people (and I’ll probably spend more time planning with them to make sure it turns out alright).
If lots of you respond, who knows- I’ll do as I’ve just said, and after that it’s entirely up to you what you do with the finished drawing. I’d be grateful if you let me know before using it for anything, so I can follow things and spread the news if anything interesting comes of it. In the past I’ve made T-shirts for people, and I’d love to get charities involved to help support those suffering from mental illness, but right now I have no idea what to expect from this post. By all means share it!
Serious bit: I’m always going to be trying new things so if any of this does get intentionally misused or misappropriated, it’s not really going to impact on my end (although I’d be leery about trying this again in the future, as you’d expect). Please don’t, is all I can say. I’ll do my best to be open, considerate and clear with my ideas and views on this, so it’s not unreasonable to expect the same from everyone else 🙂
This is my message to anyone else who has suffered from mental illness, a friendly reminder that you are not alone and that the world is listening.
Who wants to shout with me?
Email to contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Apologies if anything about this has upset or offended you- it was totally unintentional, and I’m not all inclined to criticize anyone for having a different opinion. Stay honest, stay safe and stay awesome.
Now. Yes. Hmm.
Gotham City. Quite the party capital, we’ll agree. You no doubt know of the various nutters currently swarming the streets and unleashing the chaos. But even I have to admit that releasing an asylum exodus is a bit, well, pre-drinks really, compared to finding a crashed giant ice robot in downtown. Crashed giant ice robot. I mean crashed robot alone would’ve been enough for me, but I’m happy being outdone. Whatever Womble was taking at the time – and yes, I suspect him entirely, there are flipper tracks everywhere – I want some.
But this crashed giant ice robot did give up an additional smidge of technology, that has been rather helpful, shall we say? Finally, I get to put the Q.U.A.R.K to good, if entirely not good and actually rather evil, use.
……Gotham Cathedral bell tower……..Penny One in distress……..Gotham Cathedral bell tower……..Penny One in distress……
I’ll admit it’s not the most imaginative call to arms I’ve ever come up with, but when you’ve nicked a superhero group’s own tech wizard/butler, they’re not going to be worrying over semantics. I’m rather proud of my impression. Halfway between Michael Caine and Michael Gough, and it’s only on their four frequencies.
But that’s not the really clever bit. No no no. I’m not usually a master at traps, but oh my friends I have redeemed this lacking personal quality. For seeping through the very heart of this belfry is a potent cocktail of Scarecrow’s toxic poisons and my universal residue. And by shaking, stirring and altogether mixing it up, I have made this three dimensional nightmare. This Bird’s Nest. Four Robins. Four phobias in one. And a seriously psychotic Timelord. Distress beacon’s in place. Let’s just see who arrives first.
…ahhhh, here we go….what shall we seeeeeeeee…
……a near infinite drop, hands vertically grasping at one another only just out of reach and never together. Three trapezes swing slowly in the air, each clang, like the bells that bring a funeral to an end. The orphan boy walks alone, past tombstones turned to stands at a circus fair, the ground opens like a grave and he falls, to try again and again to catch them. It repeats but it never changes……
Dick Grayson. Nightwing. I’ve should’ve known you’d get here first. You played the first idiotic catchphrase-toting imbecile in bright tights and came first ever since. Sure you moved into dark blues and assassin’s tactics but you just won’t shake the delusion that you’re his favourite.
Keep yelling, kid. Sure, scratching at your forehead’s good for you, go for it. The writhing certainly looks the part. You’re just breathing in more of your own demise.
“Who the hell are you?”
……..ooooooh, heh heh heh, I like this one already………
…..all four walls of the same smile laughing and shouting, its lips as red as the blood, as the floor, as the crowbar that swings upwards and downwards in a graceless arc and held by the brightest white hand. Each strike blurs the world around us. Thud. Thud. Thud. Theep. Beep. Beep. Beep. The explosion that comes is so large it leaves nothing behind it except the rictus grin. Nothing can kill the smile……
Jason Todd. Red Hood. Not even death could hold you back, could it? Though I suppose I’m not one to talk. Care for a larger dose? I want you to really feel the world turning its back on you.
Two down. We really are progressing in order, aren’t we? A whole new level of psychoses and coincidence pays my OCD a favour. Yum yum yum.
“Looks like you’ve *cough-cough* grown…a bit…Tetch *cough*”
A pun at a villain’s expense. Why it can only be Tim Drake. Red Robin. If the sequel failed, the threequel’s just got to work, right?
Wrong……there are no faces in this one, they’ve all turned away, putting their backs to everything that was dreamt. Only two stand above, facing in, and right now their true owners are gasping for air on the floor of this belfry. Their forms grow and distort and these ‘people’ are the city, so large and towering as it drags and drowns the world in black, that ripples into the shape of a bat, in flight, alone.
“How does it feel, little Drake? Living in the shadow of those two screeching morons over there? Do you feel like you’ve reached your potential? Like Mr Bats is proud of you?” Heh. “The fourth one’s coming, soon. You were so easily forgotten.”
And that makes our hat trick. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but the jackpot’s in the belfry. The last of this toxin’s got your name on it, Damien. Hehhhehheheheheeheheheheheheeehhhhheheheh
“The Joker’s laugh’s still better.”
Heh. “I’m sure Mr Todd will vouch for that. Do you think it’s the only thing he hears at night?”
“The last thing you’ll be hearing tonight is your *cough* is your bones snapping.”
“Idle threats mean nothing to me, little one. I’ve had a near miss with Bane tonight already. You possess as much threat as a matchstick.”
“Then that’s *cough-cough* how easily you’ll…*cough*…you’ll break….”
Here we go. One last time…
…bullets lay scattered, lightly dancing in the raindrops that fall like tears. The alleyway is tall, narrow and echoing with the sobs of the child. He kneels and weeps beside a body many years his elder though bearing the same name. Violence begets violence as Wayne begets Wayne. They even know between them. The one living will never match the one no longer……
Ned, thirteen bodies of my own and I think I’ve got problems with succession. You four little sidekicks will never, ever, EVER live up to the great legacy that is-
Batman. “At long last.” I turn, and there he is. In my opinion, the greater hero of them all. A tribute to antiheroic justice clad in bulging-muscle-tight-spandex. Now that’s role models, apparently. “An honour to meet you, my good Bats. Nice touch on the mask filter, by the way. Avoid the toxin, nice. Didn’t see that coming.” Plus the fact you somehow got the distress beacon. Ned f**king damn it.
“I tend to come prepared.”
“That, I don’t doubt.” Enough upper body strength to move my jaw a few feet to the left and then go in to combine my lungs with my tonsils. This isn’t the fight I can win.
And what’s the other option?
“Y’know, Mr Batman, I respect you. I really do. In fact it’s out of that respect comes the reason I’m doing this for you. But with all your training, your preparation, your gadgets and your……endless money, there’s one thing I know you haven’t accounted for.”
“Quite simply…….a time machine.”
Simple as that, back on the TARDIS, Robins and all. Yes, you may say coward, but cowards win. Cowards can get what they want, without losing their kidneys. Oh, and at last! An excuse to use the TARDIS inner prisons. Off we go, you lot. Don’t ask me why there’s a prison, I’m still lost somewhere around the mini golf courses. That’s plural, no less.
SO. Part 1 done, tick. Murder victims caught. Now all we really need is the murder.
Oh and Womble, of course. Don’t ask me why, but I think he’ll appreciate seeing this.
“What do you fear, little one?”**
Fear? Fear is the moment between stimulus and response, a short sharp power capable of temporarily dominating the mind.
“A wise one, to know there is nothing to fear but-“
Memory. The moment between stimulus and response, a short sharp power capable of temporarily dominating the mind.
Rather like our decorated friend Mr Dent, you are swayed by one side of the same coin. Both have the power to suppress the self and the power to destroy.
“Then your fear-“
Is memory, and my memory is fear.
“Tell me what my toxin has done. Tell me what you can see.”
My life. Thousands of moments at once in a collage to self history. Years of war survived by one man who was eventually shoved into insanity. I know the power in the hands of the broken minded Timelord. I remember him and I fear him.
“Let that fear in, little one. Let it cloud and seep. Feel you mind splinter and shatter like glass. It will hurt as much as you let it.”
He’s the one hurting though, the wounded veteran I’ve been carrying from the war ever since. So long as I keep him and his part in my mind under control, so shall I be. Remember him, fear him and never let him return.
“Oh, what a research case you shall make, little one.”
I’ll certainly try to make it…memorable for you.
“What are you-AAAAAAaaaAaaAaaAaaaaaAaAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
Never let yourself inside my mind. You will not like what you find. Once seen, never forgotten, always feared.
You were not my first choice, Dr Crane. Of all the villains to corner me outside Arkham, there were preferred contenders for what is yet to come. I’m taking your fear toxin all the same. I doubt having a right hand of five syringes will be entirely practical, but I’ll make do. They worked on me, and for any infections from your needles, Dr Crane, I will hold you painfully responsible.
Now, I must find the four of them. Dick, Jason, Tim and Damien.
Let the Scarecrow meet the Robins.
*Don’t read too much into the title, I made up something combining the fear of memories with the fear of one self. You wouldn’t believe how many of the phobias on the internet aren’t real, just poorly structured Greek. Goes to show how much free time some people have, but perhaps I shouldn’t make that point too loudly.
**The sort of direct quote that could lead to “TheEvilWithin-ophobia. When a game deals with shifting planes of reality, you don’t need somebody questioning your existence in real life.