Archive for March 2013

Happiness isn’t talkative

March 10, 2013
happiness at last

happiness at last


Which is why I haven’t been writing much of late.

Apparently I like being busy because whilst I’ve been happy lately I’ve also been busy – maybe I need to be busy to be truly happy. Not too busy – I need time to soak in luxurious baths, to watch my  good share of pointless tv, to sit about day dreaming and to ring round friends and family. But enough to enable me to feel that I’ve purposes to my existence and that I’m pursuing aims and goals.

For example, I’ve determined upon creating an exhibition during the course of this year that will come to the public eye within the next couple of years, three at most. It will effectively be both a mid-way retrospective and a completely new work: that is – the works in the show will constitute one large work in itself.

The theme of the show is going to be ‘Self & Identity’ after the self and identity research project being spearheaded by Jerry Tew (from the University of Birmingham)  and Kris Benington (from MHRN). Amongst others of my acquaintance I have been on the steering group for this research and have recently been getting more involved in the realisation of its active parts.

The exhibition is going to involve the representation or expression of my perception of the ‘self’ and ‘identity’ as emerging from within shifting flows of connection and interconnection with overlapping contexts and individual others. I’m hoping to find some way of expressing this through the shape and organisation of the exhibition as a whole.

I’m quite excited about it as it is my most ambitious attempt to date to show these things, to relate the unique detail to the larger whole and the manner in which the two are absolutely interdependent, yet also absolutely unique with relative autonomy.

It is of course a remarkably serendipitous exhibition I have in my mind: somehow stuff has come together in my life through the years that lends itself to something of a majestic effect if I’m able to give it justice. We’ll have to see..


So much to do!

March 6, 2013
Look Up for Glory

Look Up for Glory

That I’m getting very little time left over to reflect and to update this blog.

Recently there have been developments both in my professional life and in  my private life.

In my professional life I have been active via the University of Birmingham‘s IASS department in working to raise mental health awareness and mindfulness with both fellow service users and with training professionals.

In addition I have been developing the template for an ambitious art exhibition, whose name I’ve yet to determine. It is related to the ‘Self and Identityresearch project I’m involved in at the university. It will provide an opportunity to showcase a range of outstanding artists who have kept their gifts unnoticed by the world at large, and it will provide anonymity for anyone who wants to keep it that way.

Meanwhile there has been a slight pause in the house clearing at home although I’m now ready to push on and am sitting here in hopes that I might hear from my friend who is helping me. We were both otherwise engaged in work on Monday and Tuesday and we’d pretty much given ourselves the weekend off before that, so – time is pressing on and I’m feeling eager to see the next phase of the space emergence project develop.

All of these involvements and activities are resonant of the recovery I am enjoying in my mental health. Four years ago, almost to the week, I announced that only three components were necessary for the enjoyment of a happy life: an adequate income, a circle of friends and a purpose for living.

It isn’t as simple as it sounds (nor is it my idea – I’ve stolen it from Epicurus from some couple of thousand years ago), but it is as attainable as it sounds.

Two years of ‘talking therapy’ with Nicola Bate rendered me still and clear within and two years of developing the group ‘MissionMiraculus’ provided me with an opportunity to develop and explore the concepts of friends and purpose with a grant from Open Up (part of the Time to Change group). Four years later my life has transformed from messy, reactive and pitted with relapses, to clearing up, proactive and apparently clear on the horizon.

It appears almost miraculous, though a closer look at the trajectory would reveal explicable cause-and-effect processes to have been the secret of success.

Either way – I’m more grateful than I can say and more hopeful than is wise about my future.

For anyone out there suffering from mental distress and all of its accompanying poverties – notice this story, for it’s a story from someone who had been ‘written off’ as irretrievably ill some years ago and who is now looking up and out at a vista of joy and achievement. When you reach the bottom of a hole, the only way out is …. UP!! 🙂


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