Next week I interview stand-up comedian Alasdair Beckett-King, winner of the Leicester Mercury and New Act of the Year Shows, 2017/2014.ABOUT LESLIE TATE’S BOOKS:
- Love’s Register tells the story of romantic love and climate change over four UK generations. Beginning with ‘climate children’ Joe, Mia and Cass and ending with Hereiti’s night sea journey across Oceania, the book’s voices take us through family conflicts in the 1920s, the pressures of the ‘free-love 60s’, open relationships in the feminist 80s/90s and a contemporary late-life love affair. Love’s Register is a family saga and a modern psychological novel that explores the way we live now.
- Heaven’s Rage is a memoir that explores addiction, cross-dressing, bullying and the hidden sides of families, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. “A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage” – William Blake. You can read more about/buy Heaven’s Rage here.
- The Dream Speaks Back, written by Sue Hampton, Cy Henty and Leslie Tate, is a joint autobiography exploring imagination and the adult search for the inner child. The book looks at gender difference, growing up in unusual families and mental health issues. It’s also a very funny portrait of working in the arts, full of crazy characters, their ups and downs, and their stories. You can buy a signed copy of The Dream Speaks Back here
This has been a very enlightening read. My son suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome and extreme anxiety, My younger sister suffers from sever depression and had chronic post natal depression. Reading articles like this helps with gaining an understanding which I continue to seek. It is not always easy to understand depression when you don’t suffer from it yourself.
Thank you so much, Robbie! And thank you for taking the time to try and understand something that’s difficult to understand when you don’t suffer yourself. I’m so sorry about your son. I believe that I also suffered from post traumatic stress after the birth of my first child because it was sheer agony (she was in the wrong position) and the labour went on for hours.
If you have contact details for your sister, I would like to talk to her if I could. That’s one thing about my blog, Creating My Odyssey, that I’m doing – contacting people with depression and talking to them.
Thank you so much for getting in touch, Robbie.
How lucky to have such a supportive husband. This has been a good insight for those of us who have not suffered from depression. Do you think women have a double whammy to endue with the lifelong ups and downs of hormones with childbirth being the riskiest event physically and mentally in women’s lives?
Hello Janet! Over the years I’ve begun to appreciate how lucky I am as regards His Greatness (Husband) as I refer to him in my articles. We’re soulmates, each other’s rock, lovers… and we share the same potty sense of humour. Our humour and laid back approach has saved us through many an angst ridden moment!
As to a double whammy – I’m not certain that women have a double whammy as regards hormones and birth. Physically, yes, they’re a pain in the proverbial – literally(!), but I think the birth situation has improved vastly since the bad old days, so risk in that area is generally minimal now.
But I do think men have it really tough in the emotional department. Both Husband and son are sensitive, and the notion that the male sex should hold it all in is rubbish! Doesn’t help in the slightest.
So what I’ve learned over time is talk talk talk. Get it all out!
Leslie – Thank you so much for all this! It’s been brilliant, and helping spread the word as regards creativity and mental health is so good. I’m sharing and posting on social media sites so the message will reach as many sufferers and carers as possible as well as those in neither situation to help them understand better. Thank you.
Thank you, Jo. We need mental health out in the open and accepted as part of the whole spectrum of inclusiveness, as in #endthestigma. In any case your story was a gift, a wild ride and just so interesting!
HI Jo, thanks to you and Les for the very interesting article. I wonder if you know about Lapidus International which is a UK based organisation for writing for wellbeing, though we span all expressive arts really, from painting or yoga to small figures and sand. I’m a Director of Lapidus, to declare an interest!
I was particularly interested in the bit at the end of this article. In a way, my joining a Lapidus group was a way for me to acknowledge my own low moods and to get out and about in the company of other creatives. Having taught creative writing in a competitive environment, if one is feeling low, it doesn’t help to be feeling in competition for publication or those awful “who writes best?” conversations that take place. Lapidus is good for removing the pressure to publish or compare work. The satisfaction of creation, reading aloud and sharing work can be enough. And I agree with you, I don’t want to write about my mood usually, I want to get away from it.
Thanks, Barbara, that’s really interesting. Would you like to guest blog about Lapidus International on this website? Maybe you could cover your personal experience, the history of Lapidus and all the other expressive arts events/activities the organisation is involved in?
Thanks Leslie, I would love to. It’s very kind of you to suggest it. I will try and write something next week, when our conference is over. All the best, Barbara