Recovering from a crisis
If you’ve not read it, this booklet from Mind is worth reading – How to rebuild your life after breakdown. Anyone who has spent time with me recently will tell you that my confidence is currently at rock bottom – and not just because of the mental health crisis I went through over Easter. (For those not aware, please read that and the three blog posts that follow it). Interesting to note the Telegraph covering anxiety shortly before I posted this. I’m also keeping tabs on BlackDogTribe.Com via Facebook.
Last night was a particularly bad night – not entirely sure why. I got to sleep just after…6am and woke up at 1pm. Body clock all over the place…waking up still feeling tired…thoughts still racing through my head…and George Osborne turning up in a dream saying he refused to take part in any media interviews while having a cup of tea in my kitchen!
Applying for commissions, jobs and things
I wasn’t shortlisted for one of a group of posts I really wanted, (or rather am assuming the nil-response is a sign of that), hence one of the reasons for going with a soft launch last week of my professional website. It’s still work in progress but with a couple of videos with myself – and one of Puffles flying around the internet, now seemed like a reasonable time to take some control of things.
I’m still doing talks, visits and workshops for people – for me it’s part of both the healing process, building my community (I refuse to use the verb ‘to network’ because for me it has connotations of using people rather than helping people) and learning new things. You’ll be surprised the number of people who ask me to bring Puffles along to whichever event or gathering I’ve been invited to attend. I do however need to do some more paid work. (Got to make a living somehow). So if you know of anyone asking for social media awareness training, feel free to point them in my direction.
I’m also trying to tell myself I’ve got the freedom to take things a little easier emotionally too. I think what’s partly frightened me was that I was doing a whole host of things to improve my mental health (e.g. exercise and diet) yet for some reason ended going in completely the opposite direction. Following from Mind’s recommendation, I’ve taken a plunge with music – a continuation of my personal journey. I placed an advert up in a local music shop asking for someone to play music with. Not in a formal lesson setting, but someone who can spend an hour or so a week helping me play (and playing with me) some of the pieces of music that have been in my mind for quite some time. Also, it’s an opportunity to get out of the house & this part of Cambridge – something of a mental block when it comes to playing music.
I’ve also wanted to get back into art – something I had a horrific experience with at secondary school (ditto English) which is why I spent much of the post-school decade thinking art and English teachers were precisely the people who should not be teaching people those subjects. I’m a bit more mellow now though!
Actually, what I want to do arts-wise is something similar to the RSA-Animate series. But again I have this mental block that seems to be stopping me from sitting down and getting on with it – or at least going through the ‘how to draw’ book that I got hold of last summer.
Support from you
I’ve been very lucky to have had the support from a number of you – more than I could have hoped for. It means the world to me and it really does make a huge difference. One of my ways of saying ***Thank you*** is through organising what I hope will be the biggest gathering of Puffles’ followers to date for a big picnic in the park on 07 July. Please see the end of Building Social Media Communities if you think this is a good idea to hold and if you are interested in attending. The tweets back thus far have been more than encouraging. Assuming more come through I’ll set up something on EventBrite for your calendars. Thank you once again.