I spoke to two artists. Warwick is a writer who has mental health issues. He says writing is a way for him to calm his mind. He has done a writing piece about the many social workers he has met. They all gave him a different view on how he can change his life. Warwick likes sharing his work with other people. Adam is a writer and painter who has a mental illness. He often goes back to a painting to repaint it after many years. He does not think having a mental illness helps creativity.
I went to some writing workshops for Deaf people this month. I learned a lot about writing. Together we shared our stories with each other and what it was like growing up Deaf. We then presented our stories to an audience at this year's Melbourne Writer's Festival. We were encouraged by the positive reaction from the audience. I really enjoyed the night and if I ever have the opportunity to do this again, I would.
Dale Carnegie's "How to stop worrying and start living" is a great book on how to try and eliminate worry. He writes about just about every single worry such as health and financial worries. He believes worrying is bad for our health. Carnegie offers advice on how to stop worrying. He recommends relaxing at work helps you to do more work. He believes being busy, having a good sleep and getting regular exercise can eliminate worry. He also suggests people only think about now rather than the past or the future. I recommend this book.
Throughout history, people with a disability have often been portrayed poorly in fiction books. Characters with disabilities were often pitied or had done something wrong. Some writers used disability to show other ideas such as the problems of a society. Today, writers of fiction talk more about the feelings and thoughts of people with a disability. Writers present characters with a disability as people first. The character's disability is only one part of the person. It is good to read about disability in a positive way. I look forward to more people with a disability becoming writers.
Me & Her is a book Karen Tyrrell wrote about her mental illness. She was a happy teacher, wife and mother. But the parents of one of her students began harassing her. She became very stressed and could not sleep. She ran away from her job and family. Karen was found and taken to a hospital. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In her book, Karen tells of her search for reasons and remedies for her illness. The book is simply written and interesting. It is for anyone interested in how people live with mental illnesses.
The Outsider is about a man named Charles who had a mental illness. The book is written by his son. Charles's illness made him so unwell he became homeless. His wife and son stopped seeing him. But years later and after Charles's death, his son finds people who knew his father. He speaks to them to find out how his father lived his life. I think the book covers many symptoms of mental illness. But I also think parts of the illness are not clearly explained. However, this book is a strong account of one man's total desperation and defeat by schizophrenia.
Peeling the Onion is an Australian young adult novel. It tells the story of Anna, who is left with injuries after a car accident. Anna learns she will never be able to do things, like sports, that she loves. This makes her feel like she is no good. But Anna slowly realises she is still a great person and can live a useful life. She becomes closer to her friend Luke who helps her feel better about the future. Peeling the Onion is a great book for people with disabilities to read.
As a child I loved being read stories. Now I listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks are a recording of someone reading a book out loud. The popularity of audiobooks has grown. People listen to them while driving or knitting. I listen to them when I can't sleep. They let me escape into another world. Most local libraries have audiobooks available. They can be borrowed as compact discs or on digital devices. Some libraries also allow them to be downloaded. The Melbourne Library Service does this. Anyone in Victoria can sign up to borrow eAudiobooks. Listening to audiobooks brings me enjoyment and relief..
Left Neglected is a novel by Lisa Genova. It is about Sarah, a married mother-of-three and successful businesswoman. Sarah has a car accident and is injured. She is told she now has a condition called Left Neglect. This causes a patient to not understand that the left side of their body exists. With her disability Sarah is forced to change her life. She is determined to get better and quickly. I recommend this book to people interested in psychology or disability.
close up of someone taking a book out of a bookshelf
'My Left Foot' is still interesting today.
Christy Brown's autobiography My Left Foot was written 60 years ago. It is his story about growing up with a disability. When Christy was a baby, doctors told his parents he was 'mentally defective'. But as Christy got older, his mother taught him the alphabet and to read. He learned to write by holding a paintbrush or pencil with his left foot. During his teenage years Christy became depressed and frustrated by his disability. But when he met other people with disabilities he started to feel better about himself. At the age of 18 Christy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.