I think the message I want to communicate is that there is no one, perfect, magical solution to the problems that arise in life. It has taken me a long time to realise this, and a lot of the poetry is about being in the present and observations and feelings that arise from that. It is not so much a personal philosophy, as just "where I was at" at that moment in time, trying to make sense of the transition I was going through. The main thing I have tried to do is to express warmth and love of life in spite of the difficulties.

I have included two poems from the publication for you to sample, which you can access via the links below. If you enjoy them, you can purchase the E-book from Chipmunka's website, also via the link below.



Lullaby

The Meaning of Life

Purchase E-Book

Mental illness is the same as other types of illness, in that medical intervention isn't the only treatment or route to recovery. In fact, although I personally feel that the NHS has played an indispensible part in my well being, I also feel that the purely medical approach is rarely very effective on its own and other resources have to be tapped into in order to regain health and cope with the impact of both the illness and the medication, which can have harrowing side effects. See the 'useful links' page for just a few of the many community groups that act as support and information services, often running programmes in everything from supported housing to drop in centres. There are organisations which offer therapeutic occupation, volunteering opportunities and back to work support as well as help with sorting out benefits. Self help groups are another way of engaging with support and finding out information.

The arts have always been a very natural way for me to express myself in my childhood and teenage years, but when I became ill, I had a tendency to give up on expressing myself at all. I often find it hard to say what I think, and for a long time, since my diagnosis I have questioned my own thoughts, sometimes believing they were the result of paranoia or a symptom of illness. So Redhall, the Alma project and Chipmunkapublishing came together at a good time for me.