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Showing posts from 2014

Two

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It's been some time since I last blogged. The thing that I've discovered about life getting better is that it starts to get bigger. I am forced to prioritise and sometimes the things that I love, such as blogging, are pushed to the wayside. So the Year of Celebration has suffered. As I type these words I realise that shouldn't be the case. The things that I love should be the priority, because otherwise what am I living for?

Two years ago today I woke up and I was in deep emotional, physical and mental pain. I didn't know it then, but those feelings were great gifts, because they made me realise I didn't want to keep living the way I was. I knew I didn't want to die (after two failed suicide attempts apparently the universe didn't want me to either), but I had no idea how to keep on fighting the demons in my head. I wasn't clinically depressed, but I was deeply unhappy and I felt that sanity was out of reach for me. That day, December 11th 2012, I woke…

The Restless Native

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Today my first of my new opinion column was published by The Royal Gazette. I named it The Restless Native in respect of my nomadic nature that often competes with the love I have for my island home. The article "No Loose Change, Only Loose Heartstrings" can be found on the website here. I had considered calling it The Reckless Native in homage to my wayward ways, but thought those stories are best saved for the book!

Whirlwind Weeks

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"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Since my birthday post much has happened: I've been to New York, then back again to Bermuda and now I have been back in London for three weeks. Moved into a new flat. Suffered from the flu. Done a bit of work. Submitted some writing to literary agents (fingers crossed). Definitely not been blogging (note to self: must work on consistency).

I suppose the most intense experience of the last couple of weeks has been appearing on the BBC Breakfast red sofa again to discuss my experiences with Bipolar II disorder. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) released new guidelines to assist health practitioners in diagnosing and managing Bipolar disorder earlier, especially in young people. The current average length between first complaints of symptoms to diagnosis stands at 1…

Letter to the Last Decade

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August 14th 2014
To My Roaring Twenties,
It is with no regret that I write to inform you that today I am leaving you. I would be remiss if I didn’t try to express my feelings for this journey we have been on together. I have loved you deeply and hated you profoundly, often within a space of mere moments. Despite having ambitious dreams for my life, I largely never thought I would reach the age of 30. During our time entwined I have seen the darkness of death. In my first year with you I made my greatest effort to travel down that one-way tunnel and, yet, life pulled me back. In our fourth year together that spectre returned and stole my greatest influence, the first man I ever loved, my heroic father. Grief blotted out most of who I was and other substances took care of the rest. Despite all of those experiences, or maybe because of them, I find myself grateful this morning to enter a new decade of life. The last few days of my twenties have been emotionally fraught and twenty-four hours …

Politricks

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At the end of 2010, after a year in the Premier's Office, I decided that I was out of politics. Not necessarily for good, but I was broken. On my first day in my position as Assistant to the Premier The Royal Gazette covered my appointment on page three. No one in that role before or since has had any article written about them. This is not a complaint, but an observation. It's the result of a family legacy of public service of which I am very proud. My father Julian was an MP, my aunt Judith recently retired as the head of the Civil Service, my grandfather Lynn committed his life to the police and my uncle Lynn Jr. spent his entire career in the prison service. But this legacy has not come without a price. 
Other than those members who attended the PLP delegates' conference in 2009, no one really knows that two months after my father's death and shortly after my 25th birthday I was nominated as Chairperson of the PLP. I didn't allow it to go to vote for me as, st…

Thunderstorms and Sunshine

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Oh Britain, how you confuse me with your rapid weather changes. An hour ago there was lightning, thunder and torrential rain. Now as I type the sunshine is warming my sitting room. Clearly this makes my outfit planning for the day very difficult, but despite this I cannot be annoyed with you. After all, I can't blame myself for my day-to-day moods, nor can I blame the gods for the emotional mirror the weather provides. Today is a good day. Nothing has happened. Either eventfully or emotionally. Sometimes silence and solitude is all I need for serenity. 
“Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”                                               ― Vladimir Nabokov


A Standard of Grace not Perfection

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I have gratitude today. I try to have it everyday, but let's be honest, it can be damn hard when you're in the throes of a major depression so sometimes I just forget. I find writing a gratitude list can help (to be fair I often count my blessings in my mind rather than a piece of paper, which might not be as effective, but it certainly still does something). Today I am thankful to and for Sarah Frick. Despite the fact that we have only met twice (through her lovely husband John who often comes down to Bermuda for deep sea fishing) and the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean separates us, I consider her a soul sister. The reason I do is because I have been deeply inspired by Sarah's faith, hope and 'grace' over the last couple of years. Sarah writes a blog called Love Letters to Grace, which began following the loss of her days-old daughter Clara Grace. Sarah has chronicled her life since that time in the most beautiful, devoted way, by sharing those feelings with t…

Out of the Darkness...

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I've interrupted my attempts at sleep as my whirring thoughts developed into a blog post. My mind couldn't quiet as I was reading a book and I didn't think that watching a show would help so I decided to try to sleep. The problem is that neither my mind or body are conforming to that wish. So lying there staring at the walls in the dark I am brought back to my childhood nights. When I was much younger my bedtime was 8pm and I was invariably asleep even before then. My mother was grateful for a child who took herself off to bed before even being told. But as I grew older and approached adolescence I would be sent to bed before I was ready and, just as tonight, I would lie and stare around the darkened room and I would daydream about my future:  I was going to win an Academy Award before I was 30. I would travel to every country in the world. I would have a lot of money and never drink or do drugs and I would live securely in a large house where no one would ever have cause…

The Bathroom Floor

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My history of self-harm is etched on my skin like timeless art that will last forever. Yes, it fades at the years go by just as a painting in a gallery would if it were not protected by custom glass. It is frightening to admit and yet I do, because I know there are others like me who speak that truth only to the walls of their mental prison. To Write Love On Her Arms is an organisation whose name grasped me the moment I heard it. I'm not sure when that was, but the idea that love could replace cuts and gashes was novel to me and one I hold on to like a life preserver in the vastness of a dark ocean. 
A week ago I found myself sitting on the wet mat on the bathroom floor leaning against the tub. It was not somewhere I ever thought I would be again (unless of course I'd slipped coming out of the shower, as would not be unexpected given my clumsiness). My last major depressive episode was just before my diagnosis and the medication has warded off the deadliest demons over that t…

March Forth on his 64th

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"Please at all times be good to yourself. Life really is the better choice; meant to be enjoyed, not endured...." 
"I just woke up at 4 am and felt the need to write this to you. I love you lots, and always will, whatever you do and whenever you do it. I want only the best for you and your sisters." 
Those are quotes from emails my father wrote me. This week I have not been listening. I have not heeded his advice. I have not been good to myself. I have been isolating and for one 36 hour stretch I left the house only once.
Today is March 4th 2014, which would have been my father's 64th birthday. As I've written before, my father's birthday was also his motto: March Forth. I have adopted it as my own. And yet, I haven't been marching anywhere this week. I have been stuck in the mud and I haven't even struggled to remove myself. I've allowed it to wash over me and pin me down. I've barely picked up the phone when people have called me, let a…

Return of the Mac

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Ahhhhh....sweet relief. After over a month of being bereft of technology, my precious laptop is back in my loving arms. I've been spending time organising files, reinstalling programs, belatedly responding to messages and generally arranging my life. I also received the video from BBC News 24 of my second appearance in January, so if you're interested take a look at the vid posted. It goes into more depth of the issues I've faced over the years. 


As a result of sorting out my life, I've been very busy this week even though I'm unemployed. Unemployed and poor. I'm looking for part-time work to support me as I act and write, but unsurprisingly struggling, although I was offered an interview for a high-paying full-time gig this week. I toyed with the idea for a moment as the money was very tempting, but in the end I realised I don't want a mediocre, sell-out life. I want to do something I love (or at least like an awful lot) and I haven't been on a voyage …

The Dark Ages

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This time I swear it's not my fault. The failure to blog. My laptop hard-drive has gone kaput and it's being replaced. Much has happened since I last blogged. Firstly, I'm back in London and settled into a new flat. It feels good to have a home again after being a couch-surfing nomad for a few months. Ah, the life of a struggling artiste! In news that's more exciting than my living situation, a couple of weeks ago I appeared on BBC Breakfast and BBC News 24 worldwide. It has always been my hope that by sharing my story I can help remove some of the stigma around mental illness and encourage others to seek help and speak out when they need help. As a result, I was asked by BBC to appear on their show after a study from The Royal College of  GPs revealed that GPs are struggling to diagnose and treat young people who are showing signs of depression. As someone who has been dealing with the NHS in regards to this since the age of 14 I had my own perspective to share. 
I re…