On a usual weekend, Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, so much happened in one day to enrich my personal development with my disability. Firstly me and my darling Adam went to visit a friend from UCS Fine Art course, Ania who I studied alongside and who is creating an accomplished career with her profession as an artist.
Reality hit me hard later on that afternoon as we came across a nurse on the ward I was on in Rushmere Ward, St Clements. Andy Palmer. All the nurses are heroes in mental health and it is criminal how much ‘savings’ and ‘cutbacks’ have been detrimental to people like me who have suffered such tragic and hard suffering with mental ill health.
It means a great deal to have made such progress. I would not be here at this point in my life had I not come out of the severe psychosis that Andy brought me out of, using a technique using anger/frustration as a last resort.
On leaving hospital the services including Bridge House and Brooks House and the Social Enterprise on hospital grounds, all led to my development to study a Return To Study Course at Suffolk College and then to the studies in Fine Art. I was unsure of myself, scared, adjusting to life outside hospital, trying to understand social situations and communication with all sorts of different people and situations never mind ideas for art projects, that came much later.
I am happy and proud of my degree, and it has never ever been out of my thoughts of the assistance for living while ill on benefits due to my severe diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.
As you can imagine, tears flowed as Adam held me in the aisle of Waitress in the marmalade section feeling overwhelmed with memories and horrific ones at that. A state of confusion and horror filled me along with joy and relief with some sort of disbelief and pride at the moment as I realised that moment in time had become an historical monumental moment in my life in such an ordinary environment. At one time, that may well have never happened had it not been for the amazing nursing skills of all the nurses on the ward, especially, Andy.
My response as an artist was to make a vlog. It is imperative I am seen to say these observations as many have bullied me, labeled me, insulted me, conspired against me, made false criminal accusations against me. Also it was important for people who have stood by me, who feel proud of me and feel happy to know me and support me, every day is harder than most due to the level of de-realisation I have to battle against every moment.
here is my vlog Part One:
International Nurses Day is 12th May 2015 yes, that includes Mental Health Nursing.