Posts Tagged ‘Suresearch’

In mind of my father, I would like to say: [Poem follows]

December 8, 2013

This is a piece of work I  have written in memory of my father, who died just over a year ago.  I have been grieving over the loss of him since his death, but for the first few months I was so busy organising the funeral and dealing with family conflicts viz his will, and liaising with my sister over the house & contents sale that followed his death that I didn’t begin the popularly understood phases of it until the spring this year.

When the fire burns will you cool me down; Will you love me enough to be there, still love me when I'm cool when I'm cool too?

When the fire burns will you cool me down; Will you love me enough to be there, still love me when I’m cool (!) too?

Then later on, nearer to the first anniversary of his death and burial, but before the estate had been divided, ‘case closed’, I entered a different ‘hypo-manic’ phase of grief.  I recognised the signs and resolved to remain mindful for fear of a full ‘relapse’  due to (unresolved) trauma and grief, and I relied on friends to help me to learn to take control of this little beast, – the adrenalin driven ‘depression with severe anxiety’ which appears to psychiatrists as colourful symptoms of ‘early stage onset’  of ‘hypo-mania’ which might be treated by daily visits and drug popping but no case for involuntary hospitalisation if at all unless hyper-mania is suspected to be imminent.

Janie beng very zany - and not in a good way : it just gets toooo much!

Janie beng very zany – and not in a good way : it just gets toooo much!

Family names are different. To some family members it is ‘here are early warning signs – what can I do to help’ . To others it is ‘she’s effing mad as apeshit, and as crazy as a box of frogs’ and then exasperation and impatience, even intolerance ensue. Other friend’s are patient and accepting and nurturing – that’s the best medicine of all.

That my dad and I were and are ‘classic and colourful cases of bipolar disorder (class 1)’ we both know. He’s gone now, but I hear him (no not literally, calm down) laughing. I’m still here.  I miss him dreadfully but I’m far from done with my little spot in ‘heaven on earth’. I’m creating a chilling space out of what is yet a house I’m hiding in; it’s going to be the palace of my life and loves.

Even alone sitting in my own house, houses either side of me, one of them audible and connected: I can get to feel claustrophobic. Especially when one of them’s connected all down one side. So -I’m gonna keep some of my wild patch amongst the apple and plum trees just as it is. Then beside it I’ll have a ‘the shed’:  a place for chilling while I work, rest and play,  ‘away from the madding crowds’.

It’s where I will go when I want to get:-

At Rest, Mindfully.

At Rest, Mindfully.

In mind of my father,

I would like to say:                                                                      [Poem Follows:]

Dad Formal & Serious

Dad Formal & Serious

My father’s not going,

my father’s not gone:

He  was never much in –

though  nature gave

him that clefted chin,

those ice blue eyes;

that laziness in his swing

That swung in everything  –

Including the drumming

And the piano blasts

All singing All smoking

All singing, All smoking

And the music that jazzed

Wherever he was.

He is a swinger, a jazz man,

An artist of soul

Who mere mortals judged

And pilloried

When the shit hit the fan

inner pain, outer glimpse

inner pain, outer glimpse

And that’s music too,

A story of love,

And Tragedy-

Comedy,

His Labours of Love:

Jainey in a very zany pose - her dad was never photographed when off his nut lol

Jainey in a very zany pose – her dad was never photographed when off his nut lol

He loved too much, too deeply,

For the tall proud swan,

Though not enough,

as a cash-flow king,

For the one who took her place:

Cute little kestral

Cute little kestrel

Who was a cute little kestrel ,

Beady-eyed, who doubted

this Cash-Meister big-time.

So she curled up,

in disappointed fear,

Something to grip onto for dear life and death

Something to grip onto for dear life and death

Around the cash that was left –

And wouldn’t part with it.

Leaving him lonely.

And that was the nub of it.

the ultimate cause of the heartbreak.

His Acute yet prolonged Despair

His Acute yet prolonged Despair

The true love of his life was music:

Cameras, cash & women came

a close-run second to that.

But  his fatal addiction

was women..

Though his appetite for

Savile Row rags,

Handmade Italian shoes

and his Frank Sinatra hat,

showed a passion for finery

Be yourself:- a beautifully ridiculous genius.

Be yourself:- a beautifully ridiculous genius.

That needed cash

that wasn’t made quite right.

You could see it

In the way he smoked  his fags

–           It was his critical weakness point:

That cute, possessive little kestrel with her eyes on the look out for his wanting any cash.

That cute, possessive little kestrel with her eyes on the look out for his wanting any cash.

When that went, too

He lost the taste for living,

and found the air too stale to breathe.

So, while no-one

continued to listen,

Got trapped & killed at Depression Stage; NHS & Charity partly responsible according to Janie Greville.

Got trapped & killed at Depression Stage; NHS & Charity partly responsible according to Janie Greville.

He fucked off

to the bar

(in the sky).

You’ll find him there still:-

Dad's safest where he is just now...

The gate-way to heaven above, bouncers below keeping the masses out. Dad at the bar near the piano & drums, probably chatting with Doll.

In peace – at last!.

For Anthony Pierre Greville, Born 14th July, 1930 – Died 4th October 2012.

His  spirit was purified by Sept 28th at the latest; his spirit was released during a private family service about three weeks later.

His spirit was purified by Sept 28th at the very latest; his soul was released, during a private family service, about three weeks after his death.

This entry, like all published in this site to date,  is the intellectual property of MissionMiraculus Ltd., and in particular all the copyrights of its contents belong to ‘J.Knee Operations Ltd’ . Anyone else who is invited to write for this site will keep their copyrights intact with a contract with MissionMiraculus &/or ‘J.Knee Ops Inc’  in relation to it’s publisher rights.

This  piece December 7-8th, 2013

A Broadcast by MissMiracle’s MIC :-D

October 29, 2013

NB ‘MMus’ is the trading name of MissionMiraculus Ltd.

‘My interpretation of what’s in your head – by MissMiracle’s MIC

 MMus Ltd.  is a community based project group delivering specialist services to mental health users. Initially this will be delivered within the west midlands (December 2013 – June 2014). It will then be rolled out nationally, then internationally.  Specialist services are to be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Money for this purpose will be funded by grants and funds raised  by MMus’ Charity Trust.

The current Mental Health system works for some people and fails others.  By using a catch all process, the MHS delivers its care in a way that’s far too general.  Specific issues that make a huge difference in someone’s treatment are often missed because those issues fall outside of the standard mental health flowchart.  MMus will try and address this imbalance.  By promoting and creating specific life events tailored to a specific user’s needs, their difficulties will be healed. We expect to find exponentially improved recovery rates and to enjoy hearing about the thriving lives which proceed from our healing work.

Here are two hypothetical situations

Paul is a sufferer of depression.  He is currently being treated in the usual pharmacological way.  Psychologists have long reported that Paul’s issues derive from a lack of self-worth; he is a person who lacks self-esteem in a wide range of areas of his life.

What could help Paul ?

Paul needs to feel valued by others to truly value himself.   A 10 min chat with Paul reveals that he likes nature and gardening.  So MMus arrange for the city council to grant a space in the central Park to build a small garden.  Paul is asked to help create this garden with other MMus users who share the same aims.  The garden is created and Paul sees  a triumph.  MMus then gives support to Paul and he eventually finds a job as a park warden.  Moreover – he is so delighted with the success of MMus methods that he joins the organisation and takes on new clients with mental health issues he can relate to and who enjoy gardening…. Thus begins a cascade of ‘self-help’.

Lucy suffers from an aggressive personality, a diagnosed personality disorder.  She is on a low dose of anti-psychotic medication and anti-depressants.  She has been sectioned twice and she now just sits at home worrying and becoming more reclusive.  As far as the Mental health System goes she gets a visit once a week by a support worker.  MMus Gets a grant from the Government to run an art workshop for a week.   Lucy is invited and discovers a love for carving wood.  This then gives Lucy a objective to focus on and MM will then help promote and share her work.

These are two very Happy Ending scenarios and, in the MHS, for every 2 people you will help there will be 8 people you can’t. Our aim is to change these statistics . We believe that we will reverse these statistics.

MMus Is a way of targeting specific care shots to specific people whether it be de-cluttering, helping with a driving licence etc etc.  It’s the little things in life that really make the difference, these lead on to the more remarkable changes and ultimately is a cheaper way of getting people back into society that constantly giving them mind altering drugs.

MMus is trying to break the habit of “managing people” and change this to “inspiring people.”‘

RESPONSE? 🙂

 

 

 

How Janie is experienced….

October 18, 2013

Please fill in our ‘Polldaddy’ survey re Bipolar/Manic Depression and Anxiety/Depression levels of experience. There will be prizes for the  respondent who provides contact details, completes the survey questionnaire and offers the best idea for a short, catchy slogan to be attached to the relaunched identity of MissionMiraculus and Miss Miracle’s MIC

….by her loved ones…

Zainy Jainey Take a Chill Pill!

Zainy Jainey Take a Chill Pill!ound all their alarm bells.

It’s a bipolar relevant matter. My bf (boyfriend) and bf (best friend), my elder daughter and, to be fair, no one else who has expressed concern, have jointly and separately provided a wake-up call for me during the last three weeks. It hasn’t been that I have performed the constant nightmare role in their lives but that I was slipping into something that reminds them of trips to the nuthouse and this has been quite sufficient to unnerve them.

There are, of course, reasons for this instability. Last night I opened up my floodgates of grief re my Dad’s departure for unknown territory a year ago and this has been grounding for both me and my sister and, moving forwards, for those in my world who I love and who love me.

It’s all about ‘early warning signs’ of course – but unless you have an accurate map based on an accurate understanding of causes and pathways then the ‘EWS’ work will be entirely futile. As it has been over and again during years gone by.

This time the medication routine is nailed into the strategy (not necessarily forever but certainly til we get to safe ground) and I am continuing to listen to trusted others.

I am also mindful of anxiety levels around me and mindful to examine the flow of fear that moves across the networks of my friends and families in relation to my social conduct and expressive behaviour.

Just as laughter is poised on the interface of pleasure and pain, so hypomania is poised on the interface of psychic-emotional pain and pleasure – it is that critical point of meeting where fear in the form of anxiety enters the system as adrenalin and begins to flood the body. The body doesn’t have a clear ‘knowledge’ of the meaning of this tidal wave and it moves obediently in accordance with the instructions of the conscious and subconscious mind.

To come to rest the body needs to discharge this adrenalin in a manner that does not merely excite further outflows from the adrenals.

Consequently the ill-advised approaches are:- 1. enter a state of conflict or anger; 2. To be controlled by the adrenalin fuelled state as distinct from remaining mindful of the fact of this flooded condition; 3. To allow the adrenalin flow to go unimpeded.

Due to the pleasurable experience of high adrenalin flow in the body providing that it is linked with excitement rather than fear, the experiencer can be or become inclined to indulge in the flow and to resist external attempts to bring it under control.

Due to the body state – flooded with adrenalin – the very worst move by friends, relatives or mental health services would be to attempt to intervene abruptly and from ‘above’ to bring this condition to a halt. In the vast majority of cases this would be experienced as threatening and frightening by the possessor of the condition and the overwhelmingly likely reaction/response will be resistance. THE RESISTANCE WILL BE IN PROPORTION TO THE FORCE BROUGHT TO THE CONDITION.

[contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/]

Remember always: adrenalin, at an evolutionary level, is the body’s device for commanding extraordinary levels of emergency mental, emotional and physical energy. The ‘sufferer’ will be in an ‘enhanced state of consciousness’ and an ’emergency-alert body state’.

Where the discharge of the adrenalin is directed toward creative or academic pursuits the results may be surprising in their levels of achievement. Where the discharge is directed toward sporting expressions, similarly, the achievements may be untypical of what would be predictable by the person in their ‘normal’ state. Sport is an excellent vehicle for discharging adrenalin since it clears the body of those poisonous chemicals associated with adrenalin which will collect in the body and harm it whenever it is simply left to fester undischarged.

This of course, is a level of understanding that remains light years away in any NHS psychiatric hospital. It is also why MissionMiraculus has a strategic interest in creating a service that will compete with the NHS for such patients and holds high hopes that it’s bench marked and staticised and published results of the first 2 years of business in this regard will demonstrate that its ‘shared humanness’ ethos and its translated from theory treatment plans outstrip the NHS success stories hands down.

Which is why, if you take an interest in bi-polar/manic depression and/or depression & anxiety, you should link across to Facebook MissionMiraculus page right now and ‘like’ our page there. While you’re at it track the life of Arrabbella Faith on Facebook and sign up to see the ‘Laughing for a Change’. Its Headline act is the well known ‘Barbara Nice’ – well known in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Less well known are a group of ‘new and developing comic artists’ amongst which will be Arrabbella. Only £5 a ticket from the Box Office at the Birmingham Rep and on a Sunday night beginning at 7pm – so it won’t be a late one.

It will, however, be a fun one.  Please fill in the poll questionnaire and take note of the contact details for this site, below. The 1st, 10th, 25th, and 100th person to fill in the questionnaire will win a gift from the Company ‘Miss Miracle’s MIC’ upon providing your email address or mobile telephone number and name. Candidates for a prize should nominate their preference for a gift leaning into the following fields of preference: a book; a gift leaning to nature; a gift from the domain of ‘art and culture’; ‘surprise me’.  The 1st and 1000th respondent will receive a special invitation to the first formal meeting of MissionMiraculus re-launched, a three-course meal with its core team members and the chance to take the stage on the day if they so wish.  The RRP of the gifts are range from £50 to £500 in today’s values. They are forecast to rise in value over the next five years to an exponential degree, ie way out of proportion to the UK annual inflation rate. These gifts, therefore, are recommended for investment purposes as well as for pleasure.

[contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/]

ALL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS ACROSS THIS SITE AND RELATED SITES BELONG TO JANIE GREVILLE. ALL COPYRIGHTS RESERVED.

Hello, Good Evening and Welcome once again ;-)

October 1, 2013
Oasis at the University of Birmingham -

Oasis at the University of Birmingham –

NB ALL NAMES IN THIS OR ANY OTHER ENTRY ON THIS SITE ARE INNOCENT OF ANY CONTENTS HEREIN. GLORY SHOULD BE DIRECTED TOWARD THEM, ANY RAGE PLEASE SEND MY WAY (VIRTUALLY ONLY. IF YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICALLY ENRAGED REACTIONS PLEASE SIT QUIETLY IN YOUR BEDROOM TIL IT PASSES. A VALIUM MIGHT HELP.)

Yes: after a detour into the world of F(ine)Art, its heroes and demons, we return to the sunny climes of the Midlands, focus on the University of Birmingham (though I’ve never actually run a group in or at the clock itself it remains a handy focal point) and the topic of ‘Mental Distress’.I say ‘Mental Distress’ in preference to the normative heading of ‘Mental Health’… After all – does one go to work in a department titled ‘Blood Health’ when one is researching causes of Diabetes? Wouldn’t that be kind of… weird….?

Or would it? In fact maybe such projects SHOULD be called ‘Blood Health’ to assist the focus into how to bring bodies into alignment with healthful balance? I suspect that with Diabetes there are some unsurprising ‘discoveries’ in that direction, though not in the official language, which remains driven by DISease and INbalance and ILL health.

Be that as it may, I am primarily addressing the delightful students I met yesterday and today in one of the science blocks, working with Maureen Smojkis in delivering learning around families and solutions focussed approaches within Social Work practice.

Those of you who have seen us working together know that we have developed our act over the last three or four years (or more) and have now got to the stage where we accidentally lead the way in adult (and child) learning, since we are a ‘force to be reckoned with’…. we don’t talk at people, if we can manage it we don’t talk too much at all; when we do talk Maureen is the straight guy, I am the fall guy and everyone ends up having the minimum of a chuckle.

Is this naughty I hear you asking… Is this something the chancellor in his huge office; his vast piles of paperwork; his ambiance set, doubtless, by paintings, portraits of ex-chancellors etc, and luxury wallpapers with a vast and imposing work table (better known as an executive desk); with his secretary in her own outer office gatekeeping on his behalf and a further office of administrators busily ensuring that the central core of the university is all run according to ‘high academic and social standards’, ‘appropriate protocols’ and ‘unwritten rules’ – would be likely to welcome or abhor?

I couldn’t tell you. I’ve never had a tete a tete with the Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, although I’d love to have a coffee and chat with him, for some reason best known only to himself, he’s never rung to invite me.

To be utterly frank, I think I do know the answer to this mystery. It’s less a mystery than an entirely predictable state of affairs. He has never heard of me. He doesn’t know my name; he doesn’t know I work at the University; he doesn’t know what I look like, sound like, or teach like. He doesn’t know my history, my ‘track record’ or my ambitions. He doesn’t know my age, my gender or my height.

I tend to doubt that I am a detail he has ever needed to take any cognizance of.

I may leave it like that.

Then again…. I may alter that… it depends on what I find out about him. So far nothing. He could be a her or a pekingese dog for all I know, though to be fair if he proves to be a small dog I shall be asking serious questions – like – who put him in there? does anyone take him out for poos? does anyone make sure he doesn’t wee on the paperwork – it may sound unlikely, but my benjii frequently sits on a kitchen chair before I get home so I can admire how humanoid he’s becoming…

And – if the top dog of the University of Birmingham is reading this now and is thinking ‘what a delightful person this appears to be, I must contact him/her and invite h for a coffee: please don’t act yet. I need to find out what kind of animal you are first.

Anyhoo… I’ve written this in the hope that the students: Alix, Paul, Dave, Lucy, (I’m running out of remembered names guys, sorry), will get onto this blog and get commenting and opening conversations.. I’m so keen to shift this ‘blog’ from a ‘broadcast’ to a ‘conversation’ (albeit with me having the editor’s pen in my hand at all times and pushing out long monologues when the fancy takes me) –

And I ‘should’ write tons more ‘scintillating’ and ‘profound’ text to send you to sleep with…but I’m almost asleep already…so….

What kind of prize would tempt you to help me out? 🙂 ??

Love and Hugs,

Janie

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..

 

Passing Strangers

February 1, 2013
Mr Fox

Mr Fox

Started this entry and lost three paragraphs immediately. How infuriating is that!!

Well, as I was starting – I met with Nicola Bate today for the last time.

As the woman who has worked with me for two years to adjust my identity toward self acceptance, embrace of my womanhood, ego-stabilisation and recognition that ‘no man is an island – nor is any woman’ and, even, that this was a lesson I needed to learn: it was not an occasion I necessarily looked forward to. She has become my ‘internalised mother figure’ and it’s always nice if you have an external figure to attach to your internal registers.

Still, I have memorised her image quite well, I doubt I’ll ever forget her face or her gait, indeed, I’ll never forget anything much about her. To her I owe my entirely novel state of wellbeing.

It is an achievement that would not have been possible, however, without an entire network of friends and associates in my life echoing her acceptance and positive regard.

Is this the point at which I list all of the people I regard as contributing to my recovery, indeed, not mere recovery but progress toward what Mike Smith and Marion Aslan define as ‘Thriving’?

Is it too soon to make such an announcement? After all, I’m sitting in a kitchen that defies description in any civilised terminology – my entire home is reminiscent of anyone’s concept of ‘hell on earth’ – boxes, bin bags full of books and clothes, portfolios, canvases, ‘people’ every inch of the place – it’s barely safe to walk to the front door, so likely is it that I’ll fall over something leaning in my way. Loft insulation wonderful, preparation for it – nightmare!

But also – preparation for it: miraculous: down fell so much art work I thought I’d binned many years ago.. Of course the larger part was binned and this is merely the smaller stuff the ephemeral stuff that was easy to chuck above myself out of sight. Still, it’s been a treasure of wonder to me that I can only feel deeply grateful for. How to proceed from here, though, is another question. My father’s will to furnish me with sufficient fund’s to see me out of financial distress after his death was an unexpected privilege I still haven’t got over, any more than I will ever get over, past, or want to move from his words and look on the last day I spent with him, five days before his death. The cash is not in sight as yet, however, and won’t be for some time. The house needs to be cleared, cleaned and repaired before that can occur.

I’m still accepting incapacity benefit/esa and ‘therapeutic earnings”supervised’ by a woman who seldom offers any supervision, and I remain in the dark regarding how or when a more dignified alternative to this plight will arise as an unmissable opportunity.

Yet, such an opportunity is what I have some sense is absolutely predictable for me within the year.

So, again – is now the time to announce my transition to health or is now the time to remain a little wary of such open optimism?

On balance I’ll stick with just a little wariness. Whilst also thinking it’s high time I thanked endless characters from the University of Birmingham – Jerry, Maureen, Kris, Ann & Alex, Dee, and from MHRN, Sonia, and Paul McDonald, for a culture of acceptance and tolerance in relation to me that has made a big difference to my life in recent years. To Paul Roberts and Gordon Parsons, Becky and Bella I owe my sense of security in possessing a local friendship circle and to Glenn Miranda I am ever grateful for his unswervable faith in MissionMiraculus. He, I and Gordon alone, I suspect, remain enthusiastic adherents to the mission and values informing that eccentric little group. It’s never been smaller or less active, officially than it is today – other than that ’til 2009 it had remained effectively a concept in my head and a few bits of paper since 2000 – so it’s made progress since then.

It surfaced in my mind today after seeing Nicola and having my eyebrows threaded (not simultaneously). I sauntered into Cafe Nero, my favourite Redditch coffee bar (there’s a really cute little girl who works there, same age as my own daughters, and I tend to buy her a chocolate each time I go there, though today, after the expense of the threading, she had to go without). I sat down and within minutes the owner of the cola on the table I was at appeared and sat beside me. His name was Mr Fox and he was 26 years old and he suffered from the kind of restless, nervous leg movements that aren’t unusual amongst young men. It transpired that he has suffered from mental health distress and that he attended Kings Norton Boys School. I add in these details because, if anyone recognises this description I’d like you to urge him to come along to Suresearch and find some peer support in Birmingham. In the absence of any organised peer support in Redditch it seems the best thing to do.

Suresearch has a website and the address and directions to arrive at the right destination will be on the site. I go to these meetings so he won’t arrive and find himself isolated in any way.

It made me think. Maybe I need to localise some of my energies and organise some kind of peer support group in Redditch that isn’t paternalistic and boring as hell but appeals to young people being casually written off by a cynical social infrastructure.

That’s it for now.

I need to brush my hair and dash along to Birmingham to get another hepatitis jab for my honorary research contract.

Toodle Pip,

Janie

Manna from Heaven

January 31, 2013
Hiding from the Wreck

Hiding from the Wreck

Or, rather, from my loft (same difference?)..

I very sensibly arranged to have my loft insulated lately and today is the day that the event will take place. Indeed, I am writing this just 40 minutes prior to men entering my home to find that preparation for their work has turned my home, which had lately begun to look quite civilised, into wreck of the hesperus – not that I’ve ever read that poem, but it’s entered daily parlance so I’m assuming that the overwhelming chaos in which I daily find myself is a fitting tribute to that concept.

Not that I had or have ever wished to make such tribute. It seems that my life has been predisposed to the matter. No sooner do I exert myself to the huge effort and commitment of a mega clear up than something comes along in my life that undoes all my good intentions and returns me to this whirling disorder.

I’m not, at the best of times, the most domesticated animal ever born, so maintaining simple dignity is a challenge even then, but when my life is turned upside down like this, it’s like beginning to drown in life’s drivel..

I maintain my sanity by ignoring it and sitting down to write. It hardly answers to the demands of the occasion but it answers to my need to hide from ugliness by living inside my mind.

It is, perhaps, one of my more crazy habits.

Still, in recent years my crazy habits have been very kindly tolerated and accommodated by an ever growing circle of true friends who seem to acknowledge, accommodate and forgive them all by focussing on what virtues I possess. If it weren’t for these dear friends I dare say I would still be living half my life in the loony bin, drugged up to my eyes on anti psychotics and hardly able to walk in a straight line, so deleterious are such drugs upon one’s co-ordination, hope factor and social opportunities.

I was reading a very interesting account by Jan Wallcraft in her recently initiated blog – I can’t recall it’s name now, which is infuriating – I’ll get back to you about that.. She was writing about ‘recovery’ and her attention was focussed on the use of that concept, and the bending of it, by psychiatry. Psychiatry has taken the concept of ‘recovery’ on board by emptying it of any meaningful content. They have to because, as dealers for pharmaceutical companies they must, perforce, continue to peddle the crappy idea that people who have intense life crises that see them ending up in front of a psychiatrist will probably need to be held down with drug addictions for the rest of their lives.

Jan has a very good point. The concept of ‘recovery’ has been utterly corrupted by these idiots. And around the country, certainly in Worcestershire, the regional mental health trusts are ‘leading by example’ of identical idiocy. Pernicious idiocy is what we’re talking about of course.

Still – there’s a case for re-claiming the proper meaning of the word. In the last couple of years I have been ‘reclaiming’ – and ‘recovering’ the identity of ‘Janie Greville’ as it had been ‘identified’ prior to `1997 when I fell foul of my ex husband’s good will and thus the mental health services.

Little by little I have noticed that I am addressed as an intelligent, creative, productive and affectionate if impulsive human being. This would fit nicely with the ‘Janie’ I was prior to meeting my ex-husband. I managed to sustain something of that identity even during much of my relationship with him. When it became impossible to ‘be myself’ with him I ended the marriage.. And apparently my entire edifice of being. His temporary blind rage ignited the mental health services in 1997 to an energy of purging. The intent, it would appear, was to purge me of my identity, my personality, my character, my aspirations, my earning power and my reputation. It all fitted in well with how my enraged ex-husband would like to see me punished for the crime of ending the marriage. It barely fitted in very well with my purpose of improving my – and my children’s – lives, however.

So I kept rebelling. Each time I rebelled I found myself back in hospital drugged to a state of bare consciousness. A steady stream of psychiatrists and cpn’s and one very silly social worker, ‘maintained’ this despicable culture. May I name a few people? I’d better not, I’m not wanting to excite trouble I can avoid.

I’ll name those who stand innocent of this fiasco, though. Verity and Fez, social worker and cpn respectively, who have intervened in my life in only beneficial ways.

There is a Dr Dhaya in the background, also, who doesn’t appear to have input much harm into the situation. He has stayed in the background, exactly where he belongs. To that extent he must be praised. It’s just a possibility that he is notably less dogmatic and arrogant than so many of his colleagues.

There is also a man called Dr King, now largely if not entirely retired now, I think, who ‘saw me’ in ways that were not merely hopeful but positively flattering. I like being flattered, don’t we all? Most of all, though, I like it when I am treated as a person I can recognise as me. He had that capacity. He occasionally addressed the part of me who saw me in my potential even hypothetical best possibilities. That tended to make me feel a bit nervous – I always fear disappointing others and prefer to underplay my abilities rather than the reverse, though at times I too see the possibilities, fear of failure has held me back.

But I support the attempt to paint my picture in as optimistic a light as possible – after all, it’s encouraging and hopeful. And a huge contrast to the kinds of portraits offered to me by his predecessor. I feel I owe him a tribute for this; partly because it held me for a few years in a state of survival instead of probable death; partly because he may in fact be somewhat a designing architect of the identity I now approach.

After all – we, none of us, are ‘islands’. This cliche needs to step out of its space as simple cliche. We are in fact less islands, or lands, than junctions into which and from which energies move and flow, or become stuck. Everything that encourages flow enhances the self, everything that inhibits flow or excites explosion, is to be condemned as destructive of the self. Every successful achievement is the achievement of a community of goodwill and support and input – even those achievements that appear to be the production of a single person are in fact the achievement of a community of this kind.

It is true, likewise for destructive as well as noble actions. None of us act alone however lonely we may feel at times. This knowledge tends to support the idea that we should choose our friends carefully for undoubtedly we shall in time become the measure of the friends we spend most time with and the values we nurture most in our minds.

Well! What a splendid way to avoid the clearing I need to do to turn my wreck back into a home, and the loft insulators are still not here, they were due 15 minutes ago – gosh I hope they haven’t forgotten!!!

By Janie Greville 2013.

The Collaborative Learning Initiative

January 17, 2013
Oasis at the University of Birmingham -

Oasis at the University of Birmingham –

at the University of Birmingham is an annual season of teaching and learning that crosses professional boundaries to bring together training psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses – but sadly this year no occupational therapists.

It also brings together a group of people who have long standing experience of using the mental health services as a patient or as the carer of someone suffering mental health distress.

And, of course teaching staff at the university covering the disciplines mentioned, barring always that no-one teaches ‘life’s hard knocks’ so there isn’t a tutor actually paid to proliferate and skill up patients and carers. Lol.

Although: I believe that the very concept of ‘narrative medicine’ which is at the heart of the presence of we ‘service users’ and ‘carers’ in teaching positions contains a kernal of conviction that we would be very careless to ignore.

This kernal is the conviction that first hand experience stands as valid knowledge and that ignoring first hand experience is to imperil all knowledge and activity relating to anyone being ignored.

This may yet prove to be a difficult nut for the health professions and the academic professions to swallow, let alone digest. Tokenism becomes impossible once the ramifications and logical consequences of such a statement are thought through.

Yet again I have begun a talk in mind of narrating a tale and instead issuing a sermon and an advertisement. If you hadn’t noticed the advert – worry not – it’s coming up next.

The ‘shared humanness model’ provided by Tracey Holley sets parameters within which the knowledge of first hand experience may begin to be positioned within the nexus of medical theory. And social theory. And educational theory. And much else.

Human Aesthetics is my particular additional contribution to this model. It is not yet developed to a hybrid model, nor an integral model of both theories.

Human Aesthetics refer to those parts of our appearance and behaviour which we apply the greatest of detailed care to, in refining and polishing our skills of interaction.

Human interaction is seldom seen as in need of such attention.

I beg to differ. I believe it is the primary purpose of our living. After all – if we lived alone on an island like Swift’s Robinson Crusoe we’d yearn most desperately to find a Man Friday to save our bacon: I know I would. So if our very survival depends on each other and our capacity to co-operate for common good, isn’t it incumbent upon us to take the matter of social skills more seriously than we do?

The history of mental health services and the tragedies within its sagas is a trail of social skills problems. It begins with distress becoming distressing and it ends with abuse traumatising someone already distressed. It would be hilarious if there weren’t so many lost lives involved in it.

Fortunately the times they are a changing. Be the light of change and the changes will settle more quickly and easily for everyone.

PEER SUPPORT

December 20, 2012

All Kinds of Roads Lead to Love

Peer Support has a strong following.

At its most normative it is the fellowship of members of a suffering group.

Frankly the suffering can be at any level. Mothers at a baby and toddlers group; men at the pub chewing over grudges in the office over a couple of pints and a lot of disassociation and a tendency to dissociate from problems and an equivalent tendency to ‘boast’ about capacities and ‘gains’ – sexual, ….mainly sexual… linked in with self representations as ’empowered’ despite underlying ‘power’ issues…

Those ‘peer support’ groups which lean toward such as mental health survivor groups (/service user groups etc) possess an almost beautiful tendency to accommodate feelings of vulnerability, of failure, of anxiety, of underlying fear.

It is not that we would want anyone to embrace fear.

It is the reverse of what anyone should embrace.

However.

To embrace the honesty of the experience indicates an HONESTY.

Apparently ‘honesty’ is easier to embrace if one is a woman.

Women find it easier to confide in each other about their fears of failure – failing to be the ‘perfect mother’; ‘perfect homemaker’; ‘perfect earner’; ‘perfect body’; ‘perfect face’; ‘perfect lover’; ‘perfect all-rounder’…

It makes it much easier for us. By seeing ourselves as imperfect everywhere we have so much less pressure weighing down upon us…

By having so much less pressure weighing upon us we have a greater chance of achieving anything at all…

Is that a possibility?

What is ‘woman’s priority’? On the whole, by the time most women get to 30 or 35 (more likely 25 maximum as a median average) they have already chosen that the care of their children counts as top priority.

This subsumes their identity to another(s).

Meanwhile men, on the whole, are stifled by this commitment, since their commitment is predominantly still to themselves. On the whole – if a problem arises in their relationship with a female, even their parenthood will prevent them from continuing as a committed partner. Or parent. Their focus remains upon themselves.

This has multiple consequences. Although it has apparent unfortunate indications for women who are trapped by their emotional social commitments of minors depending upon them, thus tending toward lower incomes to support them: they tend to have strong friendships with fellow women including family members, and a very strong sense of purpose.

Men on the other hand are weak by comparison. Why are they weak? Because of their solitary commitments and because of their fear of confessing or showing weakness.

Perhaps where they are able to declare their victimisation at the hands of one woman they may be able to ‘buy in’ to another woman’s sympathetic loving commitment. Indeed, I’m sure we are all keenly aware of one or two men whose social (and sometimes financial) ‘salvation’ is gained this way.

How long will this last once the perpetrator of male misery has paled from view, however?

No – let’s return again to the strength of woman to woman solidarity and what it can teach men, and men and women.

A woman who tends to the misery of man to the exclusion of her own woes is as a mother to a son. A man who does similarly is as a father to a child.

The strong ‘peer support movement’ between members of the ‘mental health service users and survivors movement’ is one which can withstand strong challenges from both strength and weakness because of the empathy that holds between members.

If we forget this side of the movement and simply focus upon ‘professional commitments’ of ‘research’, ‘committees’ and ‘meetings’ – we have lost the war. Never mind the battle. Just de-frock and go home. The strength is surging through the feminine in a manner that has nothing to do with ‘feminism’ or ‘being a woman’.

It’s all about ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. I haven’t a clue which is who. But I do know that femininity needs to surge in order that humanity survive.

Amen to that.

Harrassment Alert

March 4, 2012
Strength Battered By Brutality

Strength Battered by Brutality

Today we wish to draw your attention to a case being brought by the police against a citizen of Birmingham.

The person in question is a member of the Suresearch group in Birmingham. Suresearch is a service user peer support and research group that also includes and involves friends and allies amongst professional academics at the University (where it is hosted) – and other groups and individuals championing the cause of human rights and, i.e., improved treatment of sufferers of acute and/or enduring mental health distress by both provided services and surrounding communities.

He is an active citizen who is committed to offering his time and energies to the service of others by providing information and links to members of the suresearch group and to other groups of which he is either a member or an actively interested visitor.

One of these other groups is ‘Pink Shield’, a gay community group. At meetings of this group a police contingent is present to represent and to learn about the threats faced by this community group and to respond appropriately to its needs.

Our Suresearch member made a link with one of these police officers and added her to his email list for relevant communications. In addition, where he deemed it appropriate, he sent her specific communications to alert her to matters he considered relevant and significant for police notice.

Around about the time of the August riots last year, he noticed that the police officer concerned possessed a facebook page that clearly identified both her occupation and her private living whereabouts. In an act of protective alert, he sent her an email to caution her about this, explaining the potentially vulnerable position she was placing herself in.

He was arrested on January 17th this year and held, first in a police cell, then at a remand centre, for 8 days and nights. He was allowed no visitors or phone calls, and the letter sent to him by his brother mysteriously ‘disappeared’ – at any rate, he didn’t receive it until he returned home and could read the copy of it his brother had wisely made.

He has appeared in court and has been given an adjourned date of 26th April, 2012 for the hearing.

We will be obtaining the time and the address of the magistrates court where this hearing will take place and we will be calling for visible support for this maligned citizen.

Thank you for your time and support of this case.

%d bloggers like this: