Cool spring evening, birds chirping as the last heat from the sun dissipates leaving just a cold wind. Its been 4 years since my last post; but we’ll come back to that. This month I have mostly been playing the excellent ‘Sharp Practice” (more in a future article). This is a wonderful game and appeals to the role play gamer such is its ability to take you into the unknown and allows you to weave a story between you and your friends. We chose the Napoleonic period and drew lots on various European armies. Obviously historical accuracy went out of the window so fast it didn’t even stop to open them . She then sat on the window ledge and glowered as Russians fought Anglo-Portuguese (my army). It finally gave up and left when the French got destroyed by the Spanish. That was two weeks ago and she still hasn’t returned. Its one of those rare games where losing is just as much fun as winning (well almost), its also light on the pocket as a army has around 40-60 figures, One box of Victrix French line infantry and a box of the Perry twins’ equivalent, a few cuirassiers and you’re ready to go. (ssshhh but Front Rank are still better, in my opinion).
Now the difficult bit. I have been teaching in Cambridge for seven or 8 years and managing to host and cook for foreign exchange students who attend a school affiliated to us. so working 12 hours, home to cook then a few beers and then bed or wherever I happen ro crash out. finally after a few months of this I predictably had a complete nervous breakdown. added to this I have bi-polar and schizophrenia
I left the job. stayed in hospital for a couple of weeks and went home. I thought I was coping ok with my new medication but I gradually I replaced them with more and more alcohol until I was just sitting in my flat drinking 24 hours a day. I was arrested by police, and I have no memory of this, walking down the train tack with no shirt in November-singing Rhinestone cowboy!!!.(Bruce Springsteen..go listen) Sure enough next day I woke up in the hospital again. The police who had arrested me were there and they let me off free for the trespassing on the tracks laws. In fact there were probably more help than the Dr.
On leaving the dark satanic halls of the hospital I packed 2 huge suitcases with as many valued possessions as i could force into the cases (yes of course i took my airbrush and compressor!)you never know when you’ll need them and flew to Spain. I sat around all day binge watching TV shows and one day hit the drink again; this time however I was on some seriously strong medicines. I was found lying on the beach. Back to hospital, although this one had new treat for me. I received 3 doses of E.C.T. if you haven’t tried you can’t imagine the pain, nausea and vertigo it causes. In Spain and here too it still used for extreme moments? people? the language gap meant it was fairly useless so they contacted the British embassy in Madrid
The British Consulate in Grenada paid for a business class flight back to Heathrow and police here took me to my parents home. And here I am 6 weeks without a drink; 6 weeks of taking my megatons and I’m floating weightless in a cotton candy sky. I feel like I’m right there with John Lennon as he sings the verses to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. This is not a hard luck story it a tale of incredible people who do the most stressful jobs around. They cared and looked after me. I would probably not be here now without them.
I spend a lot of my days at the hospital and the Crisis Team came and visited almost daily. When I feel really bad I just call and someone comes round to see me. The police have been incredible and the NHS staff are out of this world. They’ve been on the receiving end of ten years of Tory government cuts and still they do their jobs with passion, pride and efficiency .And now of course under increasing pressure from Covid19 they must almost at breaking point
So, my apologies for this ramble. well get back to painting next week.If you or anyone you know ad similar conditions you can dial 111 and go for option 2.
there is also “single point of access”08000234650 this is also a 24 hour service
To all the people who have shown me love and kindness over the year. THANKYOU!!!!
Its never too late to start to love yourself and be happy