Acceptable Suicide (by )

A few days ago one of my favourite actors died, it was suicide and the press where all over it, as was social media and the conversations in the cafes and at the dinner tables and so on.

Reaction ranged from sad to angry to hurtfully belittling. The press predictably where not brilliant at presenting it as an illness rather than 'selfish idiot' or 'weak celeb' - mental health charities and supporters riled to show how it should be portrayed and where using it to highten awareness of various mental health issues and though I think that that is kind of noble it is also kind of using the mans death and I am not sure how that makes me feel - another exploitation of the situation as it were.

As things progressed a darkness within humanity emerged - newspapers are well aware of copycats imitating what they see in the news and therefore decided to put the method of death in big letters on their front pages. Then the trolling began, trolling here means an attack on social media. Robin William's daughter proceeded to receive vile comment after comment on Twitter resulting in her deleting the apps and things on her phone so she wouldn't have to deal with it at the moment. This behaviour is something that has been becoming progressively worse over the last few years and it is becoming a very real issue and one there are not brilliant ways of address at this point in time.

Now people have a right to think that the suicide was stupid or selfish, as everyone has their own head space that is theirs and you know it wouldn't be an issue if they spoke about it with their friends or on threads that were not directly targeted at a family member who is distraught as they are dealing with a loss.

Then more information starts to trickle out and it is revealed that he had Parkinson's - a horribly debilitating disease with a distressing decline. And that is when my skin really started to crawl over comments and such over the net and in the physical.

Suddenly it is OK that he killed himself - it was just self euthenasia and he is saving his family from the grief etc...

But erm... it is still suicide - he was still suffering from depression and mental anguish - weather it was brought on by a physical situation or a brain chemistry screw up is kind of irrelivant. In either case a pre-existing condition made him feel so small and lost and vunerable or terrible and burndenistic or confused and worried that he took his own life.

The issue of suicide is a difficult one, with children of suicide victims being more likely to follow suite and those surviving attempts often saying they were grateful to be saved - but how much of this is due to our cultural set up?

If we are going from the angle that self-euthenasia is acceptable but crying down the telephone and then downing a butt load of pills isn't then we need to look at what makes a suicide acceptable?

Now with medical stuff I am in a high risk category, I am a chronic pain patient and have been for over 10 yrs, I was young and being told there is nothing that can be done to take the pain away, to give you back the life you never quiet got to lead - well that is depressing. Chronic pain suffers often take their own lives, on the pain management cause I was on at least one of the people was there because they didn't want to do the same as their mother and leave their family devistated.

But one of the questions that then comes up is - is not the families grief then being selfish to the person who is in so much pain they want to go?

And here I think it is a time to say that emotional pain can be as if not more debilitating than physical - if you can ever truly separate the two - we are complex interlocking feedback systems and as such one affects the other.

The ancient greeks - I can't remember which flavour, had thought about this and had a system where you could commit suicide but you had to public state you wanted to do so and then wait a certain amount of time in a quiet contemplantive environment, if you still wished to go ahead after that then you were at liberty to. Of course this was open to abuse - such as being given the choice of suicide or family being ruined etc... but I think that kind of happens with everything to a certain extent when people are faffing with power play.

The other thing is how different is killing yourself due to not wanting to face a future of medical deteoration verses feeling you can't face the future with all it's heart ache? There is a thing here over the likely hood of things getting better - many people look at it and say 'ah yes but they can get meds to sort their heads out he didn't have a choice' but the thing is that the meds for mental health tend to have very bad side effects and they become less effective over time for the patient and conversly: medical research is being done into conditions like Parkinsons meaning that even for those suffering now there is hope that something will come up.

See how undifferent they actually are? Having a "physical" medical condition does not somehow make a suicide more acceptable, nor should there be such stigma associated with it. All that does is stop people who want help with the feelings that may lead to suicide. And that is before we factor in the religious beliefs of not going to heaven etc...

I wonder what would happen if we had 'the right to die'?

Finally I Get One of My Dreams (by )

This week has been harsh - I am not going to lie about that - there have been Drs trips for Mary (she's fine and her skin is responding to the cream but really - two skin conditions?!), finding I had missed the deadline for the resubmission of course work that had been done the first time and I accidently submitted the wrong piece due to muppetness etc... BP seeming to be actually quiet high from the monitoring I've been doing and pulse perminately at about 100, someone kicking our door and egging our house and visits from the police and yeah - so rough week.

But I always wanted to be a in a band, I always thought it would be with my Bro and then when I got to uni I discovered that everyone else was an accomplished musician and I could play the first part of a Tori Amos song badly.... and erm... course work and medical stuff and yeah well...

I always dreamed of jamming and making stuff up as we went cos it sounded right.

Today I was downloading and printing forms to apply for various things (mainly art and science stuff today) when Jean appears with her guitar - it is not the pink one she got around when Mary was born as she wasn't really using that as it was PINK and Mary claims it as her's as it's pink but a few weeks back one of the parents in the play ground just asked Al if we had use for a child's guitar and he said yes.

She loves it and has been faffing about with it and Mary is happy as now the pink guitar is officially her's. Anyway she looks at me and says 'can we record a song Mummy?' I almost said no I am too busy as it is I told her I had to finish what I was doing, she sat and she played what she wanted to have as backing. I gave up and set the laptop up to record.

I am so glad I did!

The tuning is her own special tuning where the top E (the thin one at the bottom (yes I know!)) is actually an F and the G is an A but the others are all standard tuning. She then wanted some wind sounds over the top which we recorded in a separate channel, she added filters and that was that!

She is now making plans for an album and musical future for us both - so at 33 I think I may have just started a band with my not quiet 9 yr old daughter! Who musically I think is much better than me 😀

As far as the singings concerned I think I was channeling Jim Morrison or Nick Cave or someone - Jean did point out that I almost started singing another of my songs in it. Jean was desperate to share this piece but worried people wouldn't realise it was her work, she was really pleased to see her name on it.

Comic Books, Cuddly Science and Music and More (by )

So I've been a busy bee but I kind of forget to blog about stuff which is stupid as then people don't know it is happening. Anyway I have just finished writing another 50,000 words in a month as part of the summer CampNanowrimo - a variant on the Novel Writing month challenge. Everything was based in the Punk's Universe which is now epically big and pushing to get out there to the public but apart from a few flash fictions and short stories which you can read here, it simply is not yet ready!

Second there has been great progress with Cuddly Science thanks to help from Mum and there will be an unleashing of more puppets soon plus a website etc... this next month is going to be about really pushing that project forward which is really exciting 🙂 Though I have to confess Ada puppet has managed to scare a few house visitors especially when I forget to move her out of the guest room. To fully realise the vision of Cuddly Science though I now need to be looking for some external funding and also kind of finish the very last piece of my Science Communication course. For those of you who don't know Cuddly Science is a series of scientist, engineers, technologist, medicine and maths peeps in puppet form who can either run shows and/or interact with kids showing and helping them through games, experiments and sci-craft activities. Using their own stories they explain the wonderous discoveries that have been made and show just how much there is still to find out whilst giving the children a gentle taste of some actual science.

And Universe In A Box has arrived to help run Cuddly Science workshops and a few other bits which I am very pleased with 🙂 And also part of the money I spent on this fab kit will help poorer schools and things get hold of the same kit on a global scale which can only sit well with my idea of science for all 😀

I have also been working on music and have produced a song called Somebody Please which came about as I was so distressed to learn of the children from the single mother's homes that were neglected and disrespected even in death. It was a song that had to be - it isn't a happy one and it reminds us that there are still children that can be rescued - it was one of those that had to be written and also has my first ok attempt at guitar.

I think I kind of forgot to blog about the last few songs as well - so here is I'm at the Bottom of the Sea - were I attempt to play the Temple drum out friend Seth gave us.

And Little Ghost of Parade.

Then we get to the comic books, I have discovered that Gloucester Library has lots and lots of comic books and graphic novels which I think I mentioned before. Well I've started taking them out of the library rather than flicking through them whilst in situ as it were. When I was little the library in Hornchurch did not have such things and I couldn't afford them. This week I read Neverwhere which I loved but kept kind of remembering bits of it in a very specific voice. I know it is a novel as well but I think it must also be an audio book or radio show that I've heard before. Anyway I really liked it.

Hmmm amazon has a BBC series so maybe that is what I am remembering!

Anyway I have also been working on my own comic and due to feed back etc... I now have two covers and am toying with the idea of there being a black and white version and a colour version.

Black and White Revolations cover Revolations cover mock up

I also have the light core of the optronic super computer which is a mix of water colours and computer jiggery pockery which I worked out and did all by myself without asking Alaric how to install stuff etc...

The Optronic Super Computer light core

I have also drawn the Punk walking - this picture looked better before I inked it in and rubbed out the pencil as the pen splodges so I need to look at materials again - maybe different pens or paper or both. But it is supposed to be a fusion of the "traditional" DC/Marvel comic book styles and the Japanese Manga and the old old cowboy comics and fantasy art stuff.

Outline of walking Punk

I'm still mucking about with how I'm going to colour the pictures but feel I am making great progress!

I also painted a flamingo as a last minute birthday present for Al's aunt. It was one of those wake up at five in the morning ideas - I have really only just started with the water colours but it seemed to work.

Flamingo water colours

So as you can see things are busy busy especially if you add events and life in on top! But I think it's all going well - though sadly at the moment due to health stuff I'm only going to paid gigs which has made me feel like I am slightly letting people down but I can only do so much stuff at the moment 🙁

There is a lot more fun stuff I need to blog about - the girls and the chickens and what not so hopefully I'll get a chance to catch up soon!

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