• Tom Robinson

Update: house destruction, book, blog, and more gardening!

I thought I would just write an update this morning because I've been writing a lot of complicated posts again, and it's time to take a breather and step back for a moment!


I've been looking at a few other mental health blogs recently and I've realised that people either write 'journal entries' with references to their mental health, or they write about the less stigmatised topics of mental health and well-being.


There's absolutely nothing wrong with this of course, but I haven't yet found one that discusses the contentious and complicated issues that surround mental illness, so I am determined to keep doing what I do!


I know that some of the topics that I discuss on here need to be exposed in national newspapers but I haven't got time to wait, and I want all of this important information to be out in the public domain immediately. I'm therefore dependent on my readers to recognise the significance of what I'm doing, so please keep sharing these posts to others!


Apart from spending hours researching and crafting these difficult blog posts, I've been doing a lot of house clearance and gardening which is exhausting but also really rewarding.


I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago explaining that we had finally managed to buy the hoarders house next door, and much of our spare time recently has been devoted to clearing it out.


I have been considering hoarding and the implications of the disorder while we've been removing the tonnes of car magazines that reside in every corner, cupboard, nook and cranny that you could possibly cram them into! The sheer amount of hoarded stuff is quite unbelievable and makes me sad because it was such an obvious and deep-rooted problem.


Having done countless tip runs over the last few weeks, and thinking that we were winning the battle, I was shocked to find another stash on Wednesday when I was showing the builder where the leak is in the roof.


There is another mountain of magazines crammed into a small space above the kitchen, so yesterday evening we pulled the ceiling down and hauled them all out. This means that once again our weekend will consist of going back and forth to the tip and posting thousands of magazines into the paper recycling bins! Oh dear!


The other thing I've been working on is the garden which, up until a week ago, was choked by about three feet of ivy! I sprayed it with tree root killer four times and it still didn't die so last weekend we strimmed it and now we are pulling up the roots and weeding it.


Although it's a back-breaking job, I am finding the process of weeding so therapeutic. I had known about its benefits before but not really been well enough to do it, but now that I'm well I'm determined to be useful and I'm finding that there's definitely something in weeding that calms and satisfies the mind at the same time!


There's also something about taking an old and unloved object, reviving it and giving it life again which gives such pleasure and satisfaction. When I've finished with the house and garden I'm going to move on to resurrecting furniture like they do on TV programmes! I really think there's a positive mental health/well-being gain to be had from it, so I'm determined to give it a go!


I am still waiting to hear about the book which is frustrating but I am just having to be patient about it because I know that these things take time. I have interest from a couple of agents now so hopefully things will start moving forward soon.


I am also reading a lot which I have always found such a great boost to my mental 'health'. 'Bibliography' or 'bibliotherapy' played a vital role in my recovery and I always try to have a book on the go so that I continue to learn and reap the benefits. I find it so beneficial because it focuses the mind on the present moment, and then you carry the story or the points of the book around in your mind during the day.


I've just started Kay Redfield Jamison's book 'Exuberance' which is fascinating so far. She makes a really valid point right at the beginning which is that psychologists and psychiatrists seem to focus on the depression side of things rather than the upswings of mania or even psychosis. I've never really thought about this but she's right and no-one has ever sat down with me and analysed that side of my illness, which when I come to think about it, is another massive oversight!


I've had many more supportive messages this week and I've spent quite a bit of time responding to emails and helping people again which I love doing. I've also realised that there is no better feeling than supporting others and this is another beneficial mental health/well-being aspect to consider too!


Please keep sending me your suggestions for posts and thank you for the continued support!


I am taking tomorrow off from the blog as have quite a busy weekend but will be back on Monday with more mental health and illness educational insights and comments!


Thanks for reading,


Speak to you soon,

TR

www.dyingtostayalive.com




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