Part of my illness (a trigger) is when I hear I'm going to meet someone like Matt and I immediately want to look up which one of us sold more books. I have learned to hold back because if it's him, I know I'm going to get that jolt in the stomach that signifies envy and if I accumulate a lot of them, I can tip into the foothills of madness.
I had the first walk-in session last week at the Arts Theatre and it was a hit - if a walk-in session can be a hit. People came in in all sizes; young, old, straight, gay, all nations represented. It's pretty clear everyone wants and needs to talk, just to feel heard and understood by compassionate people who feel the same.
An enormous benefit of mindfulness is that you get a free ticket to that rare destination: the present. Okay, I hear you say, 'What's so great about being in the present moment? What if I don't want to stare at a butterfly wing or hear the single ting of a windchime? I have places to go, people to meet.'
At New Year's Eve I'm already writing my epitaph. While everyone around me is popping balloons, I'm thinking I'm one year closer to my end and at that point usually start looking for a handy Xanax. If someone says they don't think about it, they're lying - otherwise we'd have no fear and all fear stems from the sense that our survival is threatened.
I would love to be able to write how joyous I am that Christmas is around the corner but I'd be lying. I feel like I'm falling down the rabbit hole. I had this depression exactly at this time of year last year (after a gap of seven years). I think my mind is recalling what happened a year ago which triggered me into a mental whirlwind of despair...
The research into Alzheimer's and dementia is one of the most prevalent problems of this decade and these are brain diseases so why should depression or bi-polar be any different? If the government don't put funds for mental health in this budget at the end of November, it won't happen for a long time and the suffering and lack of help will continue.
I wish this were my life, being fed by beautiful men, in the presence of great minds discussing new and better ways to live and hopefully change the world. I had these type of discussions when I was 18 when I was hopeful and then never again but here's the spark and hopefully some day all this might come to fruition and I can say I was there.
Could we please wake up. It's 2015 for God's sake. It's time to spend some money on why people aren't mentally healthy to come up with solutions to alleviate the suffering. When I perform my show, Sane New World, I invite the audience to have a discussion or ask questions. Three times I've had people stand up and say that they've had cancer and mental illness and when I ask which is worse to them they've all said the depression. One man told me and the audience that with cancer he wanted to live, with depression he wanted to die.
My impression was that New Zealand is a virgin, not yet corrupted by greed and ruthless competition. People here are sweet, not aggressive. Even the birds are friendly. There have never been any predators so even the robins come up and stare at you with absolutely no fear; practically feeding you crumbs