When I was a teenager, I wrote terribly self-indulgent nonsense, an excellent ghost story that my teacher said was genuinely scary*, and reams of letters to pen-pals. None of this, thankfully, will see the light of day here.
I’m still writing about me, but me as a human being and other people as human beings, and how they and society impact on living, especially when that’s with depression and all that life brings when you realise your mental health is out to get you. I want to share what that’s like, maybe help some people in knowing it’s not just them, and give an insight into just being ok. There may be a strong thread of sarcasm (when I say may, take it as given) and the nonsense may occasionally still rear its head. When I build up the courage, you might also start to see pictures of craft stuff but let’s stick with the ‘what has bad mental health ever done for us?’ theme first.
Please comment, engage, check out the links, talk to a friend if you’re feeling bad. In the UK Mind are really good if you want to talk to someone who knows their mental health and for a crisis, as are the Samaritans, and if you’re not in a country with either of those, I hope there’s a service near you can access, online, by phone, or in person. Befrienders.org provides international information on sources of help in several countries (my thanks to the Guardian for bringing my attention to them). I must also thank that paper for an article in 2014 that cited the Big White Wall, an NHS-supported service that you may have access to in your area in the UK, and which, no hyperbole intended, may have saved my life.
Some ground rules: I’m not writing anonymously – my name is Ruth, I live and work in London, my heart belongs to Dartmoor, my family and friends – because I want to be open but I’m not giving out my address either. I will be writing about family, friends and other assorted characters because I’m writing about my life and they feature in it, but they didn’t ask me to and will be anonymous unless permission is given otherwise. I might have to blur some details to keep that anonymity, but I won’t change my experience of my life to do so.
You can find me @msbeingcurious on Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org by email. Don’t be mean, and be kind to each other.
*Sadly now lost in the unrecorded annals of history. Recently unearthed is a truly menacing story about a ‘lovely house’ written at about age 7, that may one day, if you stick around, be shared here…