Scottish Sunday Mail, November 30 2014

This is the transcript of an article by journalist Jenny Morrison featuring the most in-depth interview about my experiences that I’ve done to date. It took me a while to agree to do this, as it would a mean a lot more detailed exposure closer to home and my fear of a backlash was greater. But the imbalance of efforts to raise awareness and provide support throughout the UK is too significant to dismiss an opportunity to at least try and address this. Please note the minor clarifications I’ve included below the transcript.

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The Anxiety of Happiness

Today I’m remembering a therapy session I had with *Maria a few years back. I hadn’t been diagnosed with BPD or bipolar disorder at the time, although that’s not really what’s important here. I’m just remembering the strangest dilemma I had, and it’s one echoed by several people close to me who, through circumstance or self-development, have made real progress in enhancing their emotional well-being, but were finding that instead of feeling content and happy, their levels of anxiety and even panic were becoming more pronounced the better they got! Talk about a ‘can’t bloody win’ situation! But nonetheless, the feeling of overwhelm, dread and mistrust that came with feelings of increased contentment and happiness were very real.

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Amee (Mother)

I look out into the garden, at the soft beams of warm afternoon sunlight breaking through the branches of tall fir trees. I used to play there when I could, daydreaming at the foot of that long line of tree trunks, gazing up into dizzying green heights. Often I would find the eyes of King Tiger the cat staring down at me. What a wise old thing he was, always watching over us and offering comfort to those he knew needed it the most that day. Kahlia was already gone. Buried under the nettle bush that grew beside the patch of herbs to the left of the trees. Amee always took care of her herbs, more than she did the flower bed, which was strewn now with weeds, although the odd red or orange splash of a tulip still flourished here and there. I used to have to pick handfuls of mint and coriander from the earth and prepare them to add to the pot. When I had grown I used to joke that she  drugged us with her cooking, so good did the taste of those dishes make me feel.

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