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Splitting Penny: the ups, the downs and Ruby Wax.

I've been poorly and bogged down. Staring at the walls and wondering why I painted them like I did. One is red.

 

Looking at the news and thinking this is all so crazy. This is a big brew of hate bubbling to a head. Feral gangs? Criminal immigrants? Disabled scroungers? When will people rebel against this?

 

I know we're battling. I showed my jittery face at an ATOS demo in London, but I could not stay long. The heat and the crowds, too much. 

 

My life is split into many identities and my therapist tells me this is quite common in BPD. Huh. Am not so sure. Outwardly I am mostly on chug-mode. Happy with friends. Annoyed and silent with everything else. Agoraphobic hermit mode a lot of the time.

 

Edinburgh was a bit of a disaster though I did do the show, along with ending up in the infirmary after falling ill. I also got to meet Ruby Wax who I now adore with a passion. She is doing good and on a journey with her show 'Losing It'. Her memoir is very honest. Let's encourage her to some Mad Pride too.

 

I'm twitching around my own memoir. Oh 30 years since I started writing journals. They freeze your memories in a glow of fond nostalgia. How things have changed - it amazes me I managed to live in London when there were no PAs, barely a computer, only an Amstrad with its errie green lettering.

 

There has been progress which we've fought for in many capacities. We can't lose it, somehow we must not let that happen.

 

I'm a cheerful soul, really. Truly, madly, definitely. Mood swinging, I almost enjoy it. 

Posted by Penny Pepper, 5 October 2011

Last modified by Penny Pepper, 5 October 2011

Fancy Nancy, the novel, is finished!

Amid painful chaos and the world falling in I did a wonderful if tortuous thing. My thoughts still go through a cruel mangle and bits of me come out the other side in jagged fragments. A lot still hangs in a rather precarious balance – housing benefit issues, the benefit trap, lack of regular work, poor mental and physical health.

 

But then….? I don’t know whether it’s the meds – which were increased recently. I am less raw, but also less motivated and removed. I’m in the famous fog, slow in the anti-depressant dirge of non-emotion. At least the blunting of anxiety gives me a rest – you know, from simply feeling too much.

 

Maybe the task in hand needed that. My rational self had to push through, my humour had to kick me up the arse and say get this thing done girl!

 

The classic situation is that of having a novel I could not let go of. One therapist (a very nice one) suggested over some years I was frightened of success as much as failure. It was deep in me. What happens when you say ‘the novel is complete’ and you don’t have it there burning a weighty purpose into your being?

 

Well, the novel IS complete. It made it as a whole entity at 4am on Oct 10th 2010. Only a nine year journey of rewrites, of hiding in cupboards and on different PCs. ‘Fancy Nancy’ is ready to show her brazen face to the world whether it’s ready or not. I need an agent and a publisher – any ideas or pointers welcome! I will work on it, when motivation can be sustained.

 

Things felt different after this scary task. I’m hoping I can sustain it, because as the godly Leonard Cohen says in Anthem, ‘there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.’ This completion filled me with light, and I’d been missing that.Terribly.

Posted by Penny Pepper, 11 October 2010

Last modified by Penny Pepper, 11 October 2010

Penny Pepper is surviving and sunning

It's a very strange place I find myself in this week. An uncertain placing in the world. They, the faceless, have given me hints of another diagnosis - borderline personality disorder. I've 'probably' had it all my life. Not sure what to think, but then that thinking stuff is all a bit scrambled right now anyhow.

My wise therapist of 12 years on and off (sadly not able to guide me officially now) is urging me to resist identifying deeply with any label, but using it if it helps with finding support. The GP meanwhile, infers I am a hopeless case anyhow and too fucked up physically and mentally for them to do little but cast me aside as an inconvenience who doesn't fit in a neat and comprehensible box.

I cried a lot, swore a lot and he told me not to use expletives.... fuck that. I think I'm deemed a vulnerable adult, as I have 24-7 PAs. Yet the shrink team shoved me around hither thither and use my PAs as a stop gap. I simply don't know what next.

Meanwhile out attempting to interface with life and my Kev. Did some filming in Hastings and am editing various films to be shown later this year. We recently went to see the Anthony Gormley installation, 'Critical Mass' on the roof of the very beautiful 30s masterpiece, the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill on Sea.

My PA Sally who is a visual artist about to return to Goldsmith's for her MA, told me about direct light. Viewing the statues, lumps of unforgiving darkness, I was struck by their male blandness and helpless uniformity. But against that light, the sighing sea and the big open sky it was certainly a memorable experience.

I was calm in the lovely rich light for awhile and I know one thing. I am still, even up against any intensity of beingness, glad I am me.

Posted by , 6 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 7 July 2010

Penny Pepper urges people to go to the Islington Film Festival

I've been away. Not sure where. Wandering inside my head I suppose. Best to save details of that for another day.

I'm trying to come to terms with 'major depressive illness'. That's the label now, more are coming. I want to pour it into creativity. I can't help myself......

My short film is being shown this Sunday June 27th at the Islington Film Festival, Holloway Odeon. Do come... it helps and it's appreciated. I know it's a good thing, though I feel a bit distant from it...

Who has some guidance? How to work and not crack into pieces, and keep yourself there somehow.

Posted by Anonymous, 21 June 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 21 June 2010