Since taking the LWW Community Reporter and blog training last year I’ve enjoyed contributing not only personal reflective posts but also activities and events that have helped me remain well, the act of writing them itself has been therapeutic, other commitments and the long winter have prevented me from using or developing some of the ‘field’ reporting skills we learned, however I usually take my own bloggie (camcorder) wherever I go!

During the eight week course we learned to use, which is described as a ‘hosting platform’, a blog template tool which offers people the opportunity to set up a free blog, it fired my imagination sufficiently to also start my own blogs, each with a different theme. I like the freedom that creating my own blog allows me; choosing the theme and colourways has been satisfying but time to publicize or develop them further is restricted, they are a hobby, I’m not expecting them to have wide appeal.

On the training course we did discuss the use of Twitter or Facebook for widening the LWW audience and I was surprised to see on a course module I take, Current Issues, that we were encouraged to start a Twitter account and use it in class! So now I am a little addicted twit..ter!

Report writing because of its more clinical format I find easier than creative or analytic, academic pieces, an assessed disparity between my intellect and academic skills may not have been improved by the effects of ECT or age related memory changes.

Most of us probably know that remaining well is cyclic, like the seasons, not linear, I don’t think promoting well-being is simply about presenting a positive spin on what we might do to keep well, having suffered distress undoubtedly make life harder, my resilience has been affected by it, I find getting a balance between doing things, ‘being’ and reflecting on past and present experiences helps me. ‘Being’ for me involves wrestling with some of the often disquieting thoughts and feelings that occur, allowing the healing water of time to wash over them, a good night’s sleep helps that process.

There were underlying causes which led up to my breakdowns and while diminishing they still linger at times of stress, I try not to worry about any accumulative negative effect they, or their treatment may have caused me.

I believe one of the biggest factors in remaining reasonably well is, where possible, to have rejected the diagnosis I’ve been given and negotiate the treatment that remains, as much as I would like to be medication free, fear of another acute episode of being overwhelmed by thoughts of past events, prevent me from making a complete withdrawal, I have the freedom and professional support to do this at my own pace.

Being open, sharing experiences about mental health issues can be risky but I usually chance it even with strangers, doing so on a blog though is still an unknown, so far blog feedback comments from friends, fellow contributors and readers has proved a boost to continue sharing, however inspiration what to write about is sometimes low, the summer months may improve my scope for community reporting. It was the spark of anger, intriguingly, and the remembrance of the 18th century poet John Clare and his long struggle with mental distress which roused my muse today.

‘O Clare your poetry so translucent and clear, I salute you with tears’ Charles Causley.


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