23 04 2011

Despite my minor ups I’m still in the usual down, which means I’ve still yet to get a grasp on my mood swings. Anyway, I like that I can use whatever tags I want in WordPress. Just testing out a new one called ‘Fuck off world’ because I’m cool like that.

Yup, sarcasm not easy to pull off in text form.

So what is bothering my busy little mind today? Well, it’s still one of those things where a few stories dominate the headlines and so I thought I’d just have one of my little moans to get the shit out of my head and maybe it’ll all settle down a little.

In the world of politics it seems the upcoming referendum on AV or Alternative Voting system. There are, of course, the Yes and No campaigns, each pushing their own version of events. For me the comical of which is this article in The Telegraph which says that not holding out for proportional representation is a mistake and that not many voters believe that AV will make MPs work harder.

Bless Lord Owen, he tries, just like he tried to be the political heavyweight yet only managed to punch at flyweight. AV is not a system to get those who represent us to work harder, it is a system to get in the one we’d prefer over the rest, sort of like an elimination process (cue X Factor style analogies). Proportional representation is a more democratic system but then it’s not on the table and I’d choose AV over first past the post any day.

So I’ll be voting Yes to AV? Actually no. I won’t be voting because I choose not to vote. Some say this means I don’t get a say but then that denies me the right to say what I think by choosing to say nothing. I long ago figured out that, in the UK at least, there was no real difference in political parties and that the local MP was of no real relevence to me. I’m sure there will be some to take issue with this but the thing is that what the hell can an MP do that I can’t? They can do… nothing. They are simply a minor voice in parliament and it’s only the voice the choose that makes even a possible shred of difference. If you read Terry Pratchett you might have read ‘The Last Continent’ which was a not australian based honest tale where they locked up their MPs as soon as they were elected on the grounds that they wanted to be elected and therefore corrupt and therefore criminal. It makes sense to me, especially in light of the various ways MPs and those in the House of Lords have found to make themselves a bit more money.

Yeah I know, a little crass but it’s a comical way of suggesting that those in power have a habit of going all Animal Farm on us. Nothing new there. In summary I suggest that people vote Yes to AV because it’s logical to do so, it is the way it should be, perhaps not the best way but certainly better than the existing system.

Next is a story close to the hearts of mental people everywhere. Catherine Zeta Jones. Don’t you just adore how open and honest she is? How composed she is in the face of adversity? How she has battled through and still remains dignified? Isn’t she just THE poster girl for Bipolar?


As discussed previously the whole CZJ affair had the stench of media leverage all over it. From the way things were described, those of us who weren’t clamouring to console, send our love, and celebrate Catherine Zeta Jones (yup, I’m staring intently at MH charities here), saw that she had intended on covering over something which is, to be fair, a very personal and still private thing for many. With the press being what they are, the CZJ publicist went on the offensive to make sure that the negative or shock factor was taken out of whatever was coming. Bravo! Success in downplaying something which could have been difficult to deal with and instantly offending a rather large proportion of the bipolar community.

When you think of the term brave etc, it was used in excess by everyone, fawning to provide the most support and the most readers (insert trite comment about the horrific Daily Mail here). Now, there’s no doubt amongst those with bipolar that having to publically air such things is difficult, it’s the same for celebs who come out of the closet usually because the press are about to shove them out anyway. There’s also no doubt amongst us that going into hospital, regardless of for how long, is a very major step in itself despite having enough money to make life extremely comfortable in a way those of us who have sampled the joys of NHS care would sell vital organs for.

So why do I bring up CZJ again? Because it really does overshadow someone else who has had a far more positive effect on mental health in a way that most who shouted about CZJ wouldn’t have understood.

Ever heard of Demi Lovato? I hadn’t to be fair, but then I don’t have kids who are addicted to Disney. This is an 18 year old actress/singer/the usual other professions someone who’s been on a Disney film and/or show happen to have who has recently come out as having Bipolar, Eating Disorder, and self harm issues. Her openness shames the press (and the charities to a degree) because she gets very little media coverage in the UK. She should be getting huge amounts more! Why? Because (don’t point out the grammatical error there, just acept it and move on) she is happy to go on national TV in the US and talk about things. Hell, she’s even writing in one of the leading american teen mags about her problems. This is someone who holds sway over a good portion of younger people and can influence them in a way not possible to the non-addicted to Disney older generations.

Ok, this isn’t giving those of us who are older and already in the system much hope, especially when bundled with this article about early intervention but then if nothing else, I would love to help those who will inevitably follow in our footsteps to follow a path less tortuous than I, and many like me, have followed.

For those who don’t think I’m a hopeless romantic I finish off with this – Yeah there’s huge amounts of work to do to care for those already in the system, and we WILL get it done. Keep the faith people.




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