Longing and Belonging workshop with Penny Shutt

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop facilitated by Dr. Penny Shutt at Pinetum Gardens, Cornwall.

In May, I became a member of Lapidus International, an organisation for people with an interest in writing for wellbeing. This was the first of their events that I was able to attend..and what a wonderful way to begin. Continue reading

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Swimming in Circles

In the midst of a challenging few months, I haven’t exactly known what to write here. So, I haven’t written, except for myself. Pieces that may see the light of day at some point, or pieces that may not. I’m trying hard to be OK with that.

In my spare time, I have returned to Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive once again. When my brain won’t just ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’, I find audio-books very useful indeed. I’m not exactly sure why I’m writing here today, beyond wanting to convey that I haven’t quite fallen off the face of the earth.

The title of this post arises from my short-lived stint of swimming lessons. I can swim, but I’m not the strongest of swimmers. As you might imagine, swimming in circles is the result of one leg putting in substantially more effort than the other.

I have another piece in the pipeline for PETRIe, and a piece under consideration by Parabola magazine. Things are happening, but not necessarily at the pace which I would like them to. In the meantime, I’d ask you to be patient with me, whilst I work out how to move forward over the next few weeks and months. Thank you for reading this far.

Speaking My Truth

Sorry for my silence here – it’s been a little hectic behind the scenes.

A couple of months ago, I discovered Ignite Cardiff. The first talk I watched was by Christina Thatcher, on the subject of writing about grief. Whilst reading up on the concept of Ignite Cardiff on Twitter, I discovered another talk. Claire Greaves, mental health advocate and Huffington Post writer, was talking about her experience of anorexia.

‘Anorexia has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness. Sufferers can die from malnutrition, heart failure and suicide.’

I heard those words, and they stopped me in my tracks. That was when I turned the video off for the first time. Too many memories, few of them good. I didn’t think I’d be able to watch it again.

However, I decided to continue to follow Claire’s work, and duly discovered her articles for the Huffington Post. Within a few weeks, I heard that Claire had launched a project entitled ‘How Are You? Honestly!’ which aims to turn ‘How are you?’ back into a question, with an answer, rather than a greeting.

From the first, I understood exactly why Claire is doing this, and the importance of the project. I’m guilty of ‘I’m fine.’ So, I threw my support behind her as much as I could, and I’m delighted to say that the post with ‘nearly 5000 honest words’ went live yesterday.

Head over and check it out – and don’t forget to tell Claire I sent you. 🙂

https://mentalillnesstalk.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/how-are-you-honestly-the-campaign/

I’m already looking forward to ‘How Are You? Honestly!’ 2016.