Wednesday, April 13, 2005

MINDOUT' 18th-24th April

Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

National Depression week.
18th-24th April 2005

A mysterious – painful and tormenting illness, DEPRESSION!

Just after the seasonal-UN affective Ness of December, January and Feb it got into me. I know when I’m about to get ‘clotted’ when I forget my pin number of my credit card completely, and everything becomes DEAD!. A white infinity of gloom – lack-lust and sluggish, (A melancholic senselessness). It’s something you can’t understand unless you have been through it, and it’s such a twisted emotional language a sort of abstract- that will not get you to ‘Pull your socks up’ it takes time ,hard-work and understanding from people around you.
-WOE is me! When depression works it’s way into my interconnections I feel better off dead! But after a visit to the nut house-(hospital) and a packet of Tricyclics along with a packet of seeds, some TLC and a redirecting of my negative thoughts + gardening i can slowly walk into the Spring sunshine again, and the storm thank GOD is abating. The time in hospital was not great as you can imagine (in one big inhuman moment I ‘past out’ with catharsis. But it wasn’t ‘One flew over the cockoo’s nest BAD, not at all. The NHS realy is very good and understands this as a serious illness. It also gave me a focus to get out and be back in gardens- so I battled and bluffed and did just that. Strange though that my trek across the Sahara with it’s two nasty bites got me more idle attention then this Molotov cocktail going off in my mind. People still don’t understand!!!.

The good news.
I strongly believe that gardens and gardening are a great tool in the line of defence of the 'BIG D' (they are creative –physical and outside) Which is one of the reasons I’m working towards getting a community garden/environmental centre in my own town, and from now on going to push with help, to get gardens on the battleground of mental health. The time of NDW could not be better as I have found out that spring is one of the worst times for mental health, I sort of die back with the garden in Autumn just like everyone and winter is a hike up the mountain , but it’s just being down, Not the abstract surreal mind set. The word depression is banded around so much that the spinning in either with physical and mental torment doesn’t fit it at all.
I used to get pissed but this makes things worse ( waking up at three am in the middle of London doesn’t do much for the EGO. So not drinking is a rule never to be broken by me)also to make me feel not so loony tune I always read the poems of the legendary ‘goon’ and British comic genius Spike Milligan, He had the illness in it’s most powerful form (although any , weather- clinical, bipolar,reactive,endogenous or post-natal are all overwhelming in impact, and highly distressing!) ‘Anyone who can call the future King “A grovelling bastard” , is all right in my book.and his book ‘depression and how to survive it’- written with his psychologist is spot on. Stop the ignorance & stigma of mental health , it’s not just the Woolf’s Tchaikovskys and the Cobain’s it’s the postman, nurse, gardener ect ect and I wouldn’t wish it on G Dubya!.

depression week is an appeal to raise awareness and fight the stigma!

photograph and text by Andrew Stenning 2005.


Blogger asdfasdfasdf said...

glad you're feeling more "in"--
i'm so thankful your ideas and words are out Here

depression is a horrid mind-fuck. susan sontag once said something about envying the parnoid--"they actually think people are paying attention to them." with depression, it's often treated by peers and family as some sort of psychosomatic experience unless you're around knowledgable people. i'm so glad you found some who validated your experience to help you push through.

soak up the spring tonic, my friend!

April 15, 2005 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger andrewstenning said...

Mindfuck week! that's what they should call it ..
"Depression is melancholy minus it's charms" Susan Sontag.

"The new rose trembles with early beauty.
The babe sees the beckoning carmine,
The tiny hand clutches the cruel stem,
the rose is silent, life already telling lies.
sorry about the strange lexicography! I was usE'#***ING A libertarian computer....andrew

April 15, 2005 at 9:55 AM  
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Wonderful post Andrew. Glad you are feeling better. Your photographs are wonderful. (Red Writer)

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