Archive for Mind alteration

On postpartum depression

It takes a village to raise a child.

I see this phrase a lot on birthing and parenting blogs, testament to the fact that everyone with children needs help from time to time. We turn to family, friends, experts – Jonty and I didn’t wash Isaac for three days after he was born, until someone showed us how. Our tribe and its collective wisdom is there when we need to learn new things.

But my tribe is scattered. Singapore, Scotland, Spain, Sss-London. Always at the end of a phone line, but not necessarily on hand for a cup of tea and a hug.

This isn’t to say I’m alone and destitute in Singapore; Isaac has a rockin’ little hamlet contributing to his up-bringing. But we lack the knowledge of bigger numbers (and different generations) and the past seven months have been lonely and tough at times.

Hiring a nanny was supposed to make it better. Someone who knows lots about babies, someone to give me a break when Jonty’s work means 12 hours alone with the little fella. I had a list of indulgent things I was going to do once the nanny came: yoga, massages, pedicures. But it didn’t work that way.

I used the breaks from caring for Isaac to sit alone in my room and feel sad. I’d guessed I was struggling emotionally for quite a while, but I hadn’t really had the time or space to recognise it. But there’s no denying it now, my brain chemistry is baffled by its current predicament and that means it’s time to go to a doctor and get help.

When mothers struggled in the 70s the solution was to view their children through a valium haze – the wrong end of a telescope keeping life at arms’ length. Today the drugs are kinder, less intrusive, so here I am, prescription in hand.

It takes a village to raise a child. But sometimes you need Prozac too.


Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary-Jane

Life without drugs… I haven’t missed things like pills or psychedelics because I took them so rarely.

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25 things

A Facebook meme. I think they are supposed to be random, surprising, amusing. Mine turned more exposé, hence it’s posted here, not on FB.

1. I am 28

2. I have suffered from two major depressive episodes, and a few minor ones. I accept that this might happen again so now instead of pushing back I look for ways to live round it.

3. I don’t mind the idea of not existing, but I am worried about death being painful.

4. When waiting for the tube, I am paranoid that someone is going to push me onto the tracks (see above).

5. I have two body piercings and a tattoo.

6. I lost my boy virginity at 14. It wasn’t a very good idea.

7. I lost my girl virginity at 18. It was an excellent idea.

8. I have lucid dreams, like the kid from Waking Life.

9. I am fascinated by psychedelics, but sometimes find them challenging. You have to be comfortable inside your own head. My mother thinks all drugs = escapism; she is wrong.

10. I never want to stop learning.

11. I want to have children, and already feel a sense of loss knowing that if I do a good job bringing them up, one day they will out-grow me.

12. I have started writing a graphic novel about fish, and a thesis about post-evolutionary psychology taboos. I wonder if they’ll ever get finished.

13. When I was 14 I told my chemistry teacher I would rather have a job I liked than good pay. Last time round I got both – now I am spoilt!

14. I am a control freak, and I am guarded with strangers (aloof). It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I realised these things.

15. I make a mean toad-in-the-hole.

16. I have been to high class orgies with wall-to-wall Champagne, cocaine and beautiful people, and only ever had an alright time.

17. I have fallen into bed with friends, pissed and giggly and wearing mismatched underwear, and always had an amazing time.

18. I once sustained concussion giving head in a bathroom in Bangkok (with a bellyful of whiskey and speed).

19. I don’t own any bathroom scales.

20. I read the Dao De Jing when I was 21, and was amazed that someone had verbalised what I felt about life.

21. My favourite novel is The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.

22. Martha Gellhorn is the famous figure I most admire, and probably the writer who has most inspired me.

23. I try to be honest with myself. This blog is a tool in that process.

24. I like who I am.

25. Life makes me smile.

Weird-ass lucid dream

Had a pretty fitful night’s sleep. Woke about 2am and was very fidgety.

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UK PM likely to ignore advisory council advice on reclassifying cannabis

A woman on the radio (Jacqui Smith?) keeps saying, “But there’s new evidence that it’s stronger, there’s new evidence.” Yes we know, that’s why the case has just been re-examined. Surely a panel of experts will have thought to take all new evidence into consideration?

And what’s this nonsense?

He [the prime minister’s spokesman] said the PM stood by earlier remarks about the need to signal that cannabis use was illegal and unacceptable.

If the drug classification system exists simply to remind us arbitrary criminals what is legal, and what is acceptable (WTF? Why does my lifestyle need to be acceptable to the government?), then why bother with all those pesky categories?

Why not sift all actions into a big green GOOD category, and a big red BAD category? Much easier. It’ll save the police loads of paperwork, and it will mean that double parking is the same as setting fire to the Queen, so we can bring back hanging for all offences and free up prison space as well.