I was recently given the privilege of speaking at the Time to Change Launch Event in London’s Whitehall, and I know I am not the only person who left that event feeling uplifted, positive, and frankly, all warm and fuzzy inside. It was attended by so many people, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Paul Burstow, representatives from the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief, and celebrities including Trisha Goddard, Alastair Campbell, Fiona Phillips.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A man walks into a bar, there’s a bowl of peanuts next to him; just as he’s about to order a drink the peanuts speak to him, ‘Gosh you’re beautiful,’ they say. Bemused by this he walks away and stands by the juke box which, as he arrives, says, ‘Man, you’re ugly.’ Indignant and fully disturbed he goes back to the barman and tells him, ‘the peanuts have just told me that I’m beautiful and the juke box have said I’m ugly. ‘Yes’ the barman says, ‘the peanuts are complimentary and the juke box is out of order’
Speaking out about mental illness and my experiences is hard! I’ve just found how difficult it is to speak out while writing this blog. I have had four psychotic episodes over the past ten years and have experienced depression and anxiety. I have worked pretty much the whole time in different workplaces and contexts.