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.
It’s alright to be a nerd…it’s not great,
I must confess I love the excess of a world that isn’t fake,
I’ll admit it’s rather dull without the kicks that minds create,
But I don’t quite feel like moving out,
It’s alright to be a nerd- drawing robots every day,
Until you meet someone that’s not and every sentence runs away,
Screaming fuck you fucking nerd they wouldn’t love you anyway,
When they saw your favorite things no matter what they heard you say,
It’s alright to be a nerd- because you’re always good enough,
You can kick some ass and save the world whenever it gets tough,
It might alienate your life from everybody but a few,
But if you make a friend it’s likely that they’ll think the same of you,
It’s alright to be a nerd- but I think I want to be a bit more,
Than every lonely fucker who ever hid behind a door,
Every antisocial smartarse- every self-inflating bore,
You assume your fucking intellect will satisfy the conversation more,
It’s alright to be a nerd- but I’m a little bit ashamed of it,
I want to talk with everyone I like- without the awkwardness,
Watching rugby on the sly- just to be reminded,
That being nerdy’s really quite fine,
If you don’t hide it,
I’m not the biggest nerd I’ve ever met- I’ll admit,
So if you think that I’m talking bullshit- my apologies,
I simply fancied writing up a chirpy nerdy fucking song,
’cause it’s alright to be a nerd,
Now to end…err, something- “song”…
Anyone here picked a New Years resolution yet? Thought not. I mean, if you have, I’m not saying you’re wrong…just a bit old fashioned. It might be age talking here. Mine currently says “We’re not going to keep it anyway, so why bother? Let’s have Dry January instead!*”, and I can’t say I always enjoy the “We” bit.
The “We”** isn’t always right. Granted, it knows a lot, but sometimes you want to press “pause” because the “We” temporarily stopped making sense. Likewise, the “We” does not always agree with you.
Take my ever-growing collection of Portal merchandise, for example. It is for all intents and purposes a collection of toys***. And the “We” does not approve of toys. It approves of Joey Essex, and of thick-rimmed glasses that can transform any man into the surreal upper-class avatar of Milhouse Van Houten, but toys? Grow up.
This is not a complaint, however. This sort of judgement is how the individual discerns itself from the “We”. Just as the “We” snorts at my occasional delight in running around with a lit-up piece of plastic, it offers sympathy when the bus doesn’t run on time. It laughs at cat videos. It cheers at a football match. It sings in a drunken nightclub.
In a way, I rather like the “We”. This year more than ever. And it’s getting to the point where a lot of things will change, for HH and me both, which is perhaps why I’ve managed to write an entire post that doesn’t move on with the actual story. Fact is I’m uncertain about where I’ll be writing from, in a year or so.
The “We”, I think, agrees. It’s time for a brave new world this year- Time Lords/Time Anomalies included. The “We”, for now, seems rather comforting.
Whatever the hell that means,
*Dry January is when you stop drinking alcohol for the entirety of January. Unless it’s a special occasion/a weekend/some-other-excuse-that-you-previously-reserved-for-breaking-the New-Year’s-resolution. As with Movember, it is a fairly pointless subject most of us, because it depends purely on whether you fancy it or not at any given time during those four weeks.
**Not to be mistaken for the Wii, because that gets enough stick from self-entitled “mature gamers” as it is…
***Anyone who collects this kind of thing and tells you otherwise is kidding themselves. No matter much intellectual capacity has been harnessed in order to create such things, you own them mostly because they look cool.