My Pilgrimage To Paddington has gone exceptionally well. Yesterday evening I dined with two men who have had a significant impact on my life.
When you leave school at the age of 15 without a single qualification you don’t expect that 26 years later Lord Scarman will be presenting you with a Masters Degree at Coventry Cathedral. I will never forget the excellent support that Tom Schuller gave me in my year at Warwick University in 1987 that led to that memorable day. His encouragement to write cteatively and conduct empirical research will never be forgotten.
I am also grateful for the research of someone else: Irving Kirsch. His exposition of the myth of ‘chemical imbalance’ has changed my life. If I hadn’t read The Emperor’s New Drugs -Exploding the Antidepressants Myth it is probable I would have been taking antidepressants for the rest of my life. Becoming aware of research that proved antidepressants were no better than a placebo gave me the confidence to stop taking them. With the support of a therapist I have learned how to think my way out of depression.
At 7 am I will be on a train to Coventry with the prospect of a very different day. I will be catching up with my brother and mum. A day reminding myself of the unfairness of dementia lies ahead.
My brother is unlikely to really know who I am as Alzheimer’s has robbed him of cognition. My mum will be disappointed if I am not able to take her out as she loves to escape from her Care Home.
The evening will be Respite from Dementia in the company of my eldest daughter and her family. Her two beautiful daughters would lift the mood of anyone who has had a challenging day.
Whenever I have tough days, thanks to Irving I know that I am not suffering from a chemical imbalance. It is natural that I won’t be in high spirits when I reflect on my brother’s and mother’s welfare. However, two high spirited grandchildren are likely to take my mood in a positive direction: as has the news from Arderlea Care Home. I heard yesterday that Maureen is settled and going to bed at night: that is a really positive balance!
Footnote: I’m blogging from my mobile while I’m on my travels so no links or graphics today. Normal service will be resumed on Monday.