Dave's Progress. Chapter 92: A Mindbloggling 100.

This is an easy post for me to write as all it is really is a self-congratulatory pat on the back for this being my 100th posting on the blogging network. But wait, I here you say, "Dave's Progress" has only reached chapter 92. Aha, I say, I wrote 8 posts previous to the development of the idea of calling my posts "Dave's Progress", hence the magic figure of 100.
So, how did this all begin? Well, I started blogging due to my involvement with the Media Action Group for Mental Health, who, in around 2007, began a project called "Mindbloggling". The aim was to get volunteers to blog about their experience of mental ill health, hoping that this would produce a firm anti-stigma message. Unfortunately the project came to an end and many discontinued writing their blogs. Now, I think, although you can still access the list of blogs that were written for the project via the MAGMH web-site, there are only two bloggers remaining- one being yours truly, and the other being my hirsute, hippy, happy friend, Gary aka klahanie. We have continued blogging despite the ending of "Mindbloggling" and, indeed, the blogs, particularly Gary's, seem to have developed lives of their own.
My blog, then, was intended to reflect what it is like coming to terms and living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, while at the same time trying to get across the anti-stigma message. How successful I have been in this is for others to judge, but I do know that many topics have been covered throughout my 100 postings. From the side-effects of medication, to the problems inherent in disclosing one's mental ill health, to the possibility of re-naming schizophrenia, the topics covered have been wide-ranging and it is now that I almost feel I have exhausted the subject.
So, as my blogging has progressed, I believe so have I. I have now had over five years of good mental health- no stays in hospital, no residual symptoms, nothing. I have learned to manage and cope with the illness, to the extent that I feel the label of "schizophrenia" really no longer applies to me. How much this has to do with the stigma associated with that term I don't really know. I know I have experienced the symptoms of that illness in the past, and people tell me that there is no cure, it is a chronic condition which can be "controlled" with medication, and like an addict, you are in perpetual "recovery". As I continue to get better, though, admittedly with the help of medication, I wonder why it is that I should labour under the stigmatizing term of schizophrenia for the rest of my life. To me, I am not "in recovery", but resolutely "recovered" and I hope this blog has gone some way to demystifying the illness and also confounding the stereotypes so often associated with it.
I am, after all, still just your normal, average, paranoid and delusional man.


bazza said…
Thanks for that background David. Congratulations are due to you. .
I realised that Gary and you were close and now I know why.
I think I have previously said that I admire your writing skill, your 'mission' and the way you have disseminated good and useful information. Carry on the good work!
David said…
Dear bazza,
Thanks for such encouraging remarks and also for your continued interest in my blog. One day, I hope to have as many "followers" as Gary!
Yours with Very Best Wishes,
klahanie said…
Dear David,
First of all, my good friend, many congratulations on reaching the century mark in postings.
You've have brought back some memories of when Mindbloggling was a thriving and very interactive blogging community. We called it a blogging library.
It was a shame that this concept that embraced the ideals of reducing the stigma that revolves around mental health issues, has all but fizzled out.
We are basically the only active members left that got their blog set up at MAGMH. At least we both still carry the torch for the ideals it set out to achieve.
You know you have my full admiration and support in your ongoing usage of blogging as a valuable positive resource.
I truly believe that verbalising your thoughts via your blog, has been very beneficial to you. Your ongoing progress is testimony to your resilience and determination. Bravo, David, bravo!
In kindness and respect, Gary.
David said…
Dear Gary,
Thanks for such kind comments.
As you know, I am a great blogger who occasionally condescends to read other blogs. So, your thoughts on my blog are entirely reciprocated regarding your own. Indeed, I know we have both got a lot out of blogging so I thought I had better pay a little homage to where it all began. And it is a shame that "Mindbloggling" is now a thing of the past. Only last night I met someone (a member of the public) who thought that it was a great idea.
So, keep on blogging, Gary. One day, we may get rid of the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Yours with mucho respect,
klahanie said…
Dear David,
Just wanted to let you know that I think your new blog template looks terrific. Well done and happy writing, my friend.
Kind wishes, Gary
Kelly said…
This may be my first visit here. I'm not sure. In the three years I've been doing the blogging thing, it's all become a blur. :)

Anyways, I just came from Gary's site and I wish to congratulate you on the award... and also reaching your 100th post. It's a milestone, isn't it? And really, I think it gives everyone a sense of accomplishment when they reach these blogging milestones.

I commend you on your progress of living with your mental illness. It sounds like you're doing quite well in your battle, if it can be called that, against it. I, myself, continue to deal with Major Depressive disorder- so in my own way I kinda, but not really altogether know, what it's like to be stereotyped in the "loony" category folks (dumb asses, really) like to throw people in.

In closing, I say take care and keep on blogging for another 100 more. It's therapeutic, isn't it?

David said…
Dear Kelly,
So glad that you commented and I apologise for not leaving a response sooner.
I suppose my blog is supposed to be all about my "battle" with mental illness and also the stereotypes which surround it, although I do occasionally broach other subjects. As you are from the States (I think that's what Gary told me anyway) some of this may make no sense to you whatsoever, but I hope you can relate to the blogs about mental health, which are many.
Thanks once again Kelly for dropping by and I will be sure to come over to your site soon.
With Very Best Wishes,

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