By Thomas McNeight
Key Themes: mental health, autobiographical, authority
Tom McNeight has recently written a short, poignant book, which he has titled A Glimpse of the Holy Through Bloodshot Eyes. It is a book written primarily to expose to the general reading public a close up view of what life is like when one is living under the supervision of the mental health authorities and has to cope with being in a perpetually heavily medicated state of mind, essentially, one supposes, to prevent the sufferer of the mental illness from hurting himself and others. Tom tries to depict this syndrome in as clear and logical a way as he can. He tries, in his book, to show how he has survived the last thirty-five years hide bound by a crippling mental malaise and a health monitoring system imposed upon him by the authorities. He has attempted, through this book, to try to show to the reader what life is like on the outside of society.
About the Author
Tom McNeight has written several books over the last few years, and he has had three published. He has, over the last thirty or so years, taught himself to write and to paint as well. He has had numerous art exhibitions over the years and his paintings, like his books, depict the trials and tribulations of a life lived on the edge. Tom has a condition, known as schizophrenia, and he has had to cope with its problems for most of his adult life. Tom has led an active life, his hobbies include fishing and travelling. In his twenties and thirties he went on many climbing excursions and tramps in the Southern Alps and other rugged areas of New Zealand.
The ossifying effect that misery has on the emotions, the ramifications that this glorious state can have upon oneís decisions in life, oneís purposiveness, oneís motivation, lead one to imagine that perhaps there is no God. No heaven. No hereafter. Ramifications which include such unenviable conditions as cancer, aids, madness, you name it. The list goes on. How can God, if he is out there, allow such abominations? What is it worth? This existence? This drama we all act in? What does it cost us? Our lives? Our peace? Our joy? Why should it cost anything? We are hurled into this world through no choice of our own and before we know where we are we are dragged out of it again. Back to God knows where? So what does this add up to? A life we had no choice in. Forced to march. With the others. Along the muddy track. Diseased. Desolate. Dying. Neon lights blaze down on us. Police sirens rent the air. We scream and laugh. Hysteria. Ecstasy. Blood and dirt. The junky spewing his guts out into the gutter outside the nightclub. The red and blue flashing lights of the police cars. The dank smell of petrol. Sounds like nightmare material does it mate? Well, right you are! Just go outside and walk down town mate. This is what you see and smell and taste, petrol, diesel, sirens, screams, flashing lights. Yep. Thatís how it is. In every city. In every country. All over the world. Thatís how it is mate. Yep, thatís how it is. Hell on earth. What joy there is for the rich. Who can afford to get away from the grimy slums and out into the wide open spaces. Where there is still some beauty. But not much. And what there is is there only for the rich. The poor people get left behind. In the sewer. Loaded up with chemicals, antidepressants, antipsychotics, tranquilizers. You name it. Anything that the doctors in all their wisdom, can think of to keep us quiet, to stop us making loud noises. To stop us screaming. While the rich go off to the mountains and the beaches. To enjoy themselves in the peace and the quiet. Where they do not have to look at people like you and me. The dissolute. The dirty people. Of course, you must now be falling off your chairs laughing at this mish-mash of self congratulatory abysmal self pity. What rot! What rubbish! Well, right you are mate. But I tell you what mate. If you knew what it felt like to be me. To be an old nutter. An old loonie. Stuck on medication for the rest of his life. Without a hope in hell of ever finding a way out of this predicament that I am in. You may not be so ready to scoff at these things that I am writing down. I am writing all this down for the sake of my own peace of mind. It is therapy. A relaxant. To write. This is why I write. So donít bother reading it if you do not feel up to it. I do not blame you. However, if you would like to know a little bit about what life is like on the lunatic fringe, then please, be my guest and read on. Sure enough life is hard, itís hard for all of us. Itís a struggle. But hardship and struggle can be rewards within themselves. In the blackness that surrounds my life, I can see sometimes the faint gleam of a diamond, a jewel. Of such intensity. Of such power. It is intoxicating. That faint glimmer in the darkness. The gleam of truth. Of light. Of life and of love. Of the Holy Spirit. That is what I can see. In my darkest moment. Gleaming. Out through the emptiness. An incandescent gleam of hope. Of joy. Of bliss. Of life. A light in the darkness. Entrancing me. Empowering me. Forwards. So thatís what this book is about. A glimpse of the Holy, through bloodshot eyes. ďYey, though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil.Ē Yeh baby, thatís it! Thatís the one! Iíve walked through lots of valleys. Iíve seen lots of evil. There are some mighty mean mothers out there. It would not do to describe what they might do to you on the printed page. Some people may get very offended. Try living life as a nutter mate, see how you like it. Then come back and tell me if you saw God. If you caught a glimpse of the Holy. Through blood shot eyes.
Working out in the sun all day. Pushing wheelbarrows and mixing concrete is a good way to help one realise, the precariousness of his predicament on this God forsaken earth. It did that for me anyhow. I decided I would become a writer no matter how difficult such a task may be. Anything to get away from the whine of the concrete mixer. So what? So what has this life got to offer? I am now writing my fourth book. It is about catching a glimpse of the Holy. So what does that add up to? Depression? Anxiety? Nightmares? Schizophrenia? Mental illness? Because thatís all my life is all about mate. Iíve never caught a fleeting glimpse of the Holy. All I ever caught was a glimpse of a rat running down a drain pipe. Such is life! What a bore! Who is going to read this crap? When I look out at the stars at night, on a cold frosty night, I am filled with awe. With hope, I admit it. I am a spiritual man. I believe in the Holy Spirit. Whenever I look up at the stars I feel something stirring inside me. And I am not about to quit. And I am not about to give up trying to reach that distant light. At the end of that long tunnel. That tunnel I am crawling through in my mind. That long tunnel that I cannot crawl back out of. That I just have to keep crawling through. Onwards and upwards. Whatever the price. Whatever the pain. Whatever the horror and the terror. This is my lot. My task. My great chance. So I write. To tell the world what my life is like. To be a loonie. A nutter. Someone everyone laughs at and kicks around. Thatís me mate. The old nutter. Well, be that as it may, I shall not waver. I shall not quit. I shall reach my goal. To become a great artist. I shall show the world what life is like for the disenfranchised.
This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 05 January, 2010.