Friday, 30 August 2013

Street Talk: The Average Mental Health Patient.

I'm out. Been out for five days now, all of them awful. And I hate myself for having awful days because Syria. Want to scratch my way out of my skin but I can't. I'm stuck waiting for the wind to change. It's like a scene from Grey's Anatomy where Yang just did a heart transplant and everybody is holding their breath ..... waiting for the new heart to beat as it just lays there in the chest.

I'm waiting for my heart to beat.

In the meantime, I can let you know a bit about the average mental health patient. I haven't heard mental health discussed much at all in this election lead-up. It should be discussed more. Everywhere.

The average mental health patient is just like me and you. They wear nice clothes, have iPhones, jobs, large families who love them, houses, cars, sometimes even children.

It's the kindly grandmother, admitted because she says she has nothing to live for anymore. It's the young girl who stabbed herself so deeply in the lower stomach she perforated her bowel and will have health problems for the rest of her life. (She *loves* watching Australia's Got Talent every Sunday night.) It's the young good-looking guy who draws like a true artist, refusing all meds, preferring his illness.

The average mental health patient plays dominos, cards, does jigsaws, walks quickly .... anything to feel how he truly feels. It's the woman who smuggles a thick razor in, ready to cut her neck artery and bleed out in five minutes but can't do it. She just couldn't do it. It's the man missing all of his teeth, eating only mashed potato, never smiling. Until a nurse tells him she can make him an appointment at the hospital dentist.

It's the schizophrenic who has so many valuable things to share during group time. The middle-aged woman who is CRAZY. Just batshit. But dresses herself every morning and does her hair in thick plaits.

The average mental health patient uses up his holiday leave and tells work he's actually holidaying in Bali. The average mental health patient often doesn't even know what they're fighting but they're still alive anyway. It's the gatherings of people outside the nurses station, literally dying to get their smokes.

(The average mental health patient will often prefer mental health nurses to any other kind of nurse.)

The average mental health patient is the man who does the Elvis shake and comments on his Malley bull balls, banging against his inner thighs. It's the mum you walk past during school pick-up. The dad filling his car at the petrol station. The teenager crying in the dark. The seven-year old who makes her first suicide attempt and doesn't really know why.

The average mental heath patient feels love, empathy, compassion. Pain, depression, anxiety. The gamut. They can go on to live successful, rich, better lives.

The average mental health patient is me.

The average mental health patient .... is you.


Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing
27. Kristen at the Elephant Bean Cafe
28. Uncle Paul
29. Jess The Mama
30. The Two People At The Checkout
31. Alfie The Pourer

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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