By Adam Grieve
Key Themes: Mental Health, Short Stories, Essays
With this collection of novella, short stories, poems and essays, I try to create a reading companion to somebody who suffers or knows somebody who suffers from mental illness. It is meant to be a meeting point of ideas and opinions for those who like to explore new topics and understandings. It is also, in some parts, a free expression of mental ranting and rambling (often tongue in cheek) through which I found a sense of therapeutic help, release and liberation. I hope you get as much fun out of it as I did in writing it.
About the Author
He was born in Capetown in South Africa during the Apartheid regime in 1963. He grew up battling a racist government and society, and extreme mental illness. As early as fourteen he suffered terrible bouts of depression and isolation and began drinking and running away from school. By 18 he was thrown into two years of compulsory military service but went AWOL in the first three months. Then it was working in factories, hotels and warehouses in rough parts of Johannesburg but the psychosis all the while getting the upper hand. Then it was living on the street “Following Jesus” and losing contact with all his friends. Then a flight to USA where he studied fine art and did window cleaning but the psychosis ended this and he returned to South Africa to “Follow Jesus” on the streets again. Then it was a flight to Italy to “Follow Jesus” again by walking the entire length of Italy visiting monasteries and begging in brothels. Then return to South Africa to be thrown into Psychiatric hospital.
Family having immigrated to London he made his escape and joined them there. More work in factories, hotels and warehouses until the psychosis got too much then thrown into psychiatric hospital again for a year. Put on strong anti-psychotic drugs daily he has since been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for two decades. In that time however he has turned his life into a positive learning curve by taking 16 diplomas, passing one degree in writing, writing hundreds of journals and producing thousands of paintings of all sizes and formats.
Real insanity replaced by involuntary neuron-transmitting interference on way back to night,
Awakening from a dream that you didn’t dream, you might be right,
Too much whiskey, cigarettes, food and sleep,
If you have no hope of recovery, your senses you might keep,
A superstitious chill, a sleep-walkers abstinence of light.
The terror inducing panic you always keep in sight,
No angels at no pearly gates, this is the hell out of sight,
The hand of death embracing your immortal coil to reap,
Real insanity replaced by.
A chronic hypochondriac’s aversion, a bronchial pensioners might,
A ground breaking scientific discovery, in casualty there is a fight,
An ex-love arriving on your celibacy, for a repeat,
Convincing your employer you are sick, when he leaves you in a heap,
A bossy, overweight, menopausal matron’s well developed bicep tells you it’s alright,
Real insanity replaced by.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 17 May, 2012.