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.
…why are people so freakin’ noisy? Ugh. It should be obvious that if you’re capable of thought, you are capable of keeping them thoughts inside your own damn head! Who cares if you like them thoughts? I like lying down in a dark room pretending I’m a gribbly thing with lots of teeth. Doesn’t make it advisable to share them with every freakin’ set of eardrums in the immediate vicinity. Who cares if you think it’s a nice day? That’s subjective! SHUT UP! I’m don’t care!
…I knew this was a bad idea. Damn HH. I blame him. Actually, no. I blame me. Stupid me. Why’d you have to get all nostalgic and whimsy? We had a nice, calm, pleasant little time in that vacuum. Nothing but gribbly things with lots of teeth. Very simple. Very functional. But screw that, eh? Why waste an eternity in the blissful caress of mindless oblivion when there’s a world out here full of Gordon freakin’ Ramseys and meta-journalists? Ugh. Screw you. Screw whatever stupid messed up piece of you made us giddy about the sound of a perfect chord…
…they agree, you know. I’m certain. See the way they all look at you? Even the ones you don’t see are looking. I can feel them, looking and seeing and judging and condemning every damn pixel identified by their Ned-damn 500 megawatt face-transmogrifying built-in camera. Ha! I hate them and their stupid thoughts. It must be nice, lolling through each day like a concussed puppy, looking from one thing to the next without ever stopping to wonder if no one else cares about the thoughts spewing uncontrollably from their stupid puppy mouth…
…admittedly, the coffee is good. That’s one thing I could get used to, I suppose, providing no one takes it off me. I wonder why they call this place “:re”. Couldn’t they think of something…more wordy, even? Like, I’m pretty sure “:re” isn’t a word. It looks more like a reference. Ugh. Good thing they do good coffee…
…y’know, I’ve noticed that bud at the counter has been watching me ever since I arrived; he’s alright, I guess, as human things go, but I’m surprised this coffee ain’t been drugged by now. He’s looking at me the way a raven looks at a dog. Maybe he’d peck my damn eyes out if I dropped dead. I’m concerning him, just a little, and he won’t look away. But he isn’t scared. I don’t mind. I’m not scared either…
…maybe it’s between monsters. I don’t know. How do you even define a monster as a monster anyway? Is it even a bad thing? People aren’t often any better. Quite often they’re worse, even, because monsters only exist in books. People do bad things all the time, whether you know about them or not. Ugh. I’m overthinking this. Screw people. And screw you, flower-man…
…somewhere out there is a guitar player. Playing that song. The song. I can’t stop it. I don’t want it to. But I’m gonna. I’m gonna finish that damn song and then I’m going home. I can’t stand this place, with it’s sights and sounds and smells and feelings and excitement and wonder and sheer bloody optimism…
…when does it end?