Space Cadets - our new mental health project. Get involved!

Space Cadets - our new mental health project. Get involved!

“You can’t be a rationalist in an irrational world. It isn’t rational.” Joe Orton

I have mixed feelings about #WorldMentalHealthDay As someone diagnosed as bipolar, I’m not sure how useful labels are. They deny that the world’s messed up, rather than our reactions to it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could challenge the insanity of power-crazed politicians, rank inequality & the lowest social mobility since Victorian times & build the world anew? That could really improve everyone’s mental health, right?

Instead, we have Self Care. I hate the term, because it often means nobody else does. “Shut up, & light a scented candle.” We shouldn’t accept that. We deserve better.

I am incredibly grateful for my amazingly supportive partner and family and the very lucky life I’ve mostly lead. However, I’ve been irrevocably damaged by events earlier on in my life (content warning: mental illness, suicide, sexual assault)

At the age of 19 I was diagnosed as Bipolar, locked up on a psych ward, drugged to the point of being nearly unconscious and raped. By the time I got out of that place, I was in bits: really genuinely mentally ill & with added #cptsd . I subsequently spent a lot more time in loony bins, during which I became psychotic, saw and spoke with people who weren’t there - lost touch with reality & attempted suicide. It was a terrifying and very lonely time - especially as I was advised never to tell anyone, as it would make me unemployable.

Well, I call bullshit on that. On World Mental Health Day, I think it’s worth considering that ‘mental illness’ might be a rational response to irrational cruelty. It’s not ourselves we need to fix: we need to come together to smash a patriarchal, capitalist system and create a kinder, less crazy world.

Sending much love to anyone going through it and to those supporting them. You are not alone. And you’re not the one at fault. Be as angry as you want. Turn it outwards, when you feel strong enough. Demand better. That’s how change happens.

If you want to read my play Bright, about my experiences, produced by Soho Theatre, click here

Fireraisers is making a new show, Space Cadets. If If you have experienced psychosis and would be willing to talk to us, please email [email protected]

I am furious about the swathing cuts to mental health services, which were already the Cinderella of the health service, but here are some support resources:

The SamaritansMindBipolar UK

And let’s end the secrecy. Tell your story.