BBC – Stephen Fry

The BBC have been highlighting the issue of mental health with week of programmes about the problems that people have faced with getting a diagnoses and treatment. The first programme retraces Stephen Fry’s life and how he has had to adjust things to cope. Ten years on from his award-winning programme about a secret life of a manic depressive.

I cannot believe that it is ten years since he made the programme and four years since he visited a country of Uganda with it’s hideous and rampant homophobic views of their politicians who have passed laws deliberately target those in the gay community. Seeing it as a ‘sin’ which must be crushed and eradicated. The established church have a lot of serious soul searching in fuelling that homophobic view of gay people seeing them as some sort of curse or deviant negative force in the world.

It was good to hear on the programme the different experiences that others had in having to cope with serious mental illness. It isn’t just a matter of snapping out of mood of feeling sorry for yourself or long-term sadness.

I know that looking at recent experiences and having to evaluate my own health and life that I need to make sure that I am doing everything in my own power to protect myself from being swamped by the over-whelming feeling of worthlessness and look introspectively.

Having cared for my mother for such a long time and that being my entire focus I may I have taken my eye off the ball and not realised that I too must take care of my own health. Allowing myself to grieve and taking time to get my love back for life and the things I appreciate and care about.

Frost

It’s been a cold week. I haven’t been going out much as I have been recovering from a winter bug which saw me laid up in bed for the best part of two days doesn’t really help when you aren’t feeling the best in the first place. It was bad because I was waking up thinking I was back living at my parents and they, when you realise where you are at it, makes you feel like crap.

I don’t know what it is when I’ve got older I have become less tolerant of the cold. I was talking to a friend about this and they said it doesn’t bother them. Just put more layers on. I think it’s more to do with hardwiring in my head that has a lot to do with it. Trying to protect me and feeling safe. If I feeling I am a little out of my depth or insecure going to somewhere and it makes me uncomfortable for whatever reason it will cause distress. It is a self-preservation mechanism that kicks in.

The spring and the summer are great. Nothing better than flinging the windows and doors open allowing the warm air to go through the house. Sitting in the garden and admiring the view (when it looks nice and not like a council landfill site as it does at the moment).

Ched Evans

No relation but I am confused by the whole situation. It seems a moral dilemma. Should you allow someone who has a conviction for raping someone back into football? There certainly has been some strong opposition from all quarters. Voices seem firm that he shouldn’t be allowed to return. But what then do you do? Where ever he chooses to go the media will scrutinise his every move and they will make comment if he seems to be moving in a direction they don’t like.

What then do we do with person who has done their time and released? The key seems to some people that he hasn’t recognised his guilt and apologised to those he has wronged. This is the purpose of prison and rehabilitation.

Personally I think he should be allowed to return and use his position to educate men that women aren’t simply a sexual object. We still have a long way to go to leave the days of the past where women are still referred to as “birds” or a “decent piece of stuff”.

Education and respect are the principle elements in this case. For the sake of those victims who have gone on before and if we are to move forward to a decent society.

the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!