Bit crazy

This short film is called ‘Bit crazy’. Because although I am a serious person, an academic, researcher, writer etc., I am also a bit crazy. Aren’t we all? This film shows a series of hallucinations I experienced, over a period of about 2 months. I still hallucinate, but my visions are much brighter now. I am showing you a section of my life when I had dark, traumatised visions, because this film shows how I deal with them. I paint, I write, I make films. Sometimes my visions are scary and violent, as you will see. But when I paint them, or write them down, or make a film, the violence recedes and what’s left is pure expression. It is no longer scary, it is illustrative, forever interesting. 

See me. Here I am. Alive and well, thanks to having this means of expression. 

I made this film a couple of years ago. I wrote some of my thoughts about what recovery meant to me, at the same time. This seems relevant. We make our own recovery.

What is recovery?

I have been avoiding this topic. I know I need to think about what recovery means for me, but recently I have taken a turn, which is potentially (always-already) inflammatory. 

I worry that I am not the “Recovered Person” I am supposed to be. I don’t even know what “recovery” is, any more. This is why it is an important thing for me to consider.

Recovery is not having to worry about food or my weight. It does not matter; it is not the most important thing about me. 

Recovery is feeling connected to this world, and being able to participate and be a part of the things I love.

Recovery is feeling accepted and valued – just as I am.

Recovery is being open and transparent (not ashamed or scared) about my hallucinatory experiences. 

Recovery is having visions of procreation, not my destruction. 

Recovery means being able to breathe deeply and easily. It means rejoicing in being mindful of the creative present, not being scared by its discontents.

Recovery means being the best possible version of myself, and being compassionate and kind towards myself when this is not always possible. Keep breathing, and trust the process.

Recovery means having the right amount of medication to suit my physical and mental needs. Not drunk on pills or overcome by their side effects; but knowing and using the correct dosage of various chemicals to help me be well, live well.

Recovery means not feeling nauseous, light-headed, dizzy, spaced out or exhausted. It means feeling energized, happy and connected. 

Recovery means understanding that there are times when I feel less than ideal. It is OK to reach out at difficult moments – this does not detract from my recovery, but strengthens it.

Recovery means having solid foundations, which I can lean on when I am stressed or hallucinating. 

Recovery means trusting I won’t fall over; knowing I can do this.

Recovery means allowing my creativity to express these impossible situations or extraordinary experiences.

Recovery means telling my story.

Recovery means being heard, read, listened to, valued, needed.

Recovery means having a life – not just my story of illness, not just mental health. It means having and following other strengths and talents.

Recovery means developing a new life, where I am just a person. Not an ‘ill’ person (past or present), but valued on the things I can do now.

Recovery means switching off, taking time out, to enjoy myself and be with friends. 

Recovery means being true to myself, and knowing when I need help. This does not make me a lesser person, it means I am brave and committed to my recovery.