So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu.

By the title of this post you may think that I've finally decided to give up blogging. But, please don't breathe your collective sigh of relief yet, for 'tis not so. No, I will carry on with my anti-stigma message and occasional forays into other subjects for the time being. So, to what does my title refer? I hear you ask. Well, after five years of working voluntarily for the Media Action Group for Mental Health, I've decided that it may be time for me to move on. As I've said in this blog, I've started looking for part-time paid work with the help of the organisation, Remploy. So that I can concentrate my efforts on this (and writing this blog, as well as attempting to co-author a book about mental health with a friend), I felt that I had to give up something.
I have often spoken of how my voluntary work has been invaluable in my recovery from mental ill health, and indeed, I would recommend volunteering to anyone who is trying to recover from a mental illness. It provided a meaning and structure to my life that was sadly lacking before, and the many projects I have been involved with have introduced me to new people and increased my confidence no end.
Way back in 2007, when I first attended the group, I was involved in their "Talkbank" project, which involved media training, such as how to give interviews, or write letters to media organisations about discriminatory or inaccurate representations of mental illness. Indeed, I almost can't remember now how many letters I must have written on this subject, and even at one stage gave an interview on a local radio station. Soon after that came "Mindbloggling", which saw the beginnings of this oh so humble, little piece of writing. I researched into the campaign to change the name of schizophrenia, and have spent many hours collating stories about mental health in the local and national media. The most recent project I was involved with was "Local People, Local Lives", which saw various volunteers, including yours truly, writing pieces about our experience of mental ill health together with remembrances of our local area, which then became booklets which we distributed throughout Stoke-on-Trent.
So, I would just say a great, big thank you for all the group has done for me. I now feel equipped to deal with the outside world once again, and perhaps return to paid employment. I can only hope that I'm successful in this endeavour, but going to the Media Action Group has meant that my chances of finding such work have been increased. To John and Amanda, then, I wish the very best of luck in their continued work of battling the stigma around mental illness. And, after all, this isn't really goodbye, just so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu.


bazza said…
It sounds like a real sea-change in your life David. Those occasions are exciting and daunting by turns!
When I owned an electronics business I used to sell Remploy soldering irons. I knew they were made fairly nearby in Barking, Essex but I did not realise until many years later when a friend became a manager of a similar unit and I supplied electronic components at cost price to help them out. I was quite surprised but pleased that I sold so many Remploy products!
Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’
klahanie said…
Dear David,
Actually, thank all the positive powers that twinkle and glisten, that you are continuing your blog.
You, my esteemed intellectual beast of a man, have been an integral part of MAGMH. I know that it was empowering and puts you in good stead for your future endeavours.
And back in those glory days of "Mindbloggling", we witnessed a thoughtful project that promoted reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. And luckily, the catalyst that started you on your blogging route, will continue to bring further awareness of you and all your various interests.
Wishing you well as you seek gainful paid employment.
Dixie said…
David, it's great to know that your interest in blogging remains the same. Having "followed" your blog for three-four years I've come to rely on the experience you bring to living.

Yes, I do wish you well in the employed world and wonder what new ideas will present themselves and what you'll write about from them.

I'm glad you chose to volunteer and made the very most of it. Continue structuring awareness to present to those otherwise uninformed or misinformed.

Respectfully, always ~
Lost in Space said…
I'm glad you have been able to get so much out of your volunteering, and I am sure you will be missed by everyone at MAGMH. But good luck with your search for employment. If anything, I believe that a job would be yet another achievement that proves you are so much more than your illness.

And I am glad that you will continue to blog.
David said…
Dear bazza,
Yes, it is a big change, and it is a little daunting, but I'm also excited about perhaps doing something new. I've been at MAGMH for over five years, so just felt it was time to move on.
And well done for selling soldering irons to Remploy. Unfortunately, their factory in Stoke is due for closure as it is making a loss. It's a real shame, and the disabled people who work there have been protesting vigorously.
Thanks bazza.
Very Best Wishes,
David said…
Dear Gary,
Thanks for all the flattering remarks. Hopefully this little blog will continue to help reduce some of the stigma around mental illness, and will change at least some minds. I'm sure that your own work does much the same, as well as being entertaining and funny.
Take care, Gare (oh, that rhymes!),
Very Best Wishes,
David said…
Dear Dixie,
It's been great to have you following and commenting on my humble, little blog. Your support has been of great value, and be sure that I will be writing about any future developments in terms of my employment situation.
Thanks Dixie.
Very Best Wishes,
David said…
Dear Lost in Space,
Thank you for all your supportive comments. I hope that I will be successful in getting new work, but I suppose I'll just have to wait and see how things pan out, as well, of course, as putting in lots of effort. And we are all more than the labels that have been attached to us, including your good self!
Very Best Wishes,

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