This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

Back to postings list | Add a comment

THE CONFERENCE YESTERDAY

I spoke at the BME mental health survivor 'Doing it for Ourselves' conference yesterday. The whole conference was so inspiring and I met a lot of amazing people. I don't know why some people think those with mental health difficulties are weak, because all I see is strength and resilience.

Anyways, I talked about strength in one of the talks I did. Here is part of it:

So you go to the psychiatrist and they give you a label. Schizophrenia? Manic Depression? You become a set of symptoms. You become the illness. Everything else does not exist. Your childhood, your aspirations, your dreams, your likes and dislikes, your quirks and sense of humour become meaningless. Every time you see a mental health professional, they say ‘What’s wrong with you? Anything else about your life is of no interest to them. So is it any wonder that an already fragile identity is lost? If you are your illness, what is the point of hope?

I have taken my pill, so now what? My heart is still breaking, my childhood still broken. My dreams are still in my head. YOU say I am not allowed to dream them. That I have no right, it will make me too big for my boots. Don’t get above your station. You say I am not capable of dreaming or making those dreams come true. My prognosis clearly states: ‘No dreams, no dreams allowed’. I say fuck you. I WILL dream. Your pills won’t stop me dreaming. I will leave you behind. My heart WILL heal. With or without you.

Posted by Nat Rand, 28 October 2008

Last modified by Nat Rand, 23 January 2009