Considering The Characterisation In Disc World

I love the Discworld series by Terry Pratchet. The characterisation is incredible. The personalities are bold, funny and magical. And despite these wonderful quirky appearances, the people are so believeable. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to create such dynamics if I were to write stories. Granny Weatherwax is developed throughout the disc world series, but not in a descriptive account of her persona. Rather, she develops as her actions are portrayed, and my sense of her personality comes from this. I find that interesting, as I’ve been wondering how you develop characters and how I would ‘describe’ a personify. Pratchet draws his people in words.

“You (cat) kept away from the Bees, but stalked through the garden, following Granny as she moved through the herbs, touching a frond or a leaf as she passed, and the whole garden seemed to answer her, the plants almost nodding their heads in respect. ‘ the sense I get, and this follows on from the previous paragraph, is the Granny Weatherwax is dying. P40 The Shephards Crown.

Creative Writing Begins – Diary Entry One

Its funny reflecting up my writing, when I haven’t written anything. No matter. Thing is, I’ve began to read through the creative writing coursework, and I feel motivated now. For a couple of months I’ve felt demoralised at settling for second best. I want to take a degree in Photography, but my health isn’t going to permit that.

Reading the manual has helped me to reflect upon my writing experience over the past two or three years. I’ve written for fun, I’ve written to connect with others, I’ve written essays on themes that I feel passionate about, as well as writing for study. I am a writer, and that’s why I chose creative writing. I’m Richard, and I write.

My Eating Disorder Recovery – Latest Update

My thinking around eating has been disturbed this week. I have experienced an intense desire to stop eating and to lose weight. Partly this has been triggered by a drop in my mood and energy, but my weight gain hasn’t helped either.

I’m on an anti-psychotic because I experience severe paranoia, and this medication affects my metabolism. Consequently I have put on an amount of weight that isn’t usual in anorexia recovery, and is affecting my self esteem. I don’t want to keep putting on weight, and I dare not come off of the medication. I took myself off of it over the summer and the paranoia, anxiety and suicidal ideation were unbearable. I can’t exercise because of my heart condition, and I must eat the quantities of food as agreed with my nutritionist so that I maintain good health. I feel a bit trapped to be honest.

My mood has also dropped, which I believe is common for many of us during the winter months. My thinking has been quite dark, with an increase in rumination and suicidal ideation. But I can cope with this as long as I stay meaningfully occupied. Although this hasn’t been easy to do over the past week, I have fumbled my way through.

Life is complicated. I have a few quite serious health conditions, which affect my physical and mental wellbeing. But hey, that’s life. Each of us on the planet has our own set of complications that we need to face on a daily basis, and we all have ups and downs with these.

What do I need to do in order to cope with mine? Firstly, the above attitude is the right one for me to adopt. My difficulties are no more or less unusual than anyone else’s. I can’t afford to think that I’m worse off than others as that kind of thinking is the start of a slippery slope that’s dangerous for my mental health. Secondly, I need to keep eating the same amount of food, and to see eating as being the same as taking medication for my mental health. Thirdly, I need to stay meaningfully occupied. Fourthly, I need to make sure I also have adequate rest. My heart condition is now causing fatigue and I’m needing to rest for longer periods during the day.

Life is a balancing act, but there are definitely things that I can do to stop myself from slipping off of the tightrope.

If you have an eating disorder – recovery is possible, speak to a family member, someone you trust, a doctor, or search google for an eating disorder service in your country.

United Kingdom

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC

 

The Bane Of Codependancy

It would be easy to state that codependancy is people pleasing and the desire to make others happy, but that view would be a naive statement.

When I am in the company of others I don’t want to make decisions for myself because I am afraid that I will cause offence. My preference, at least outwardly, is to agree with suggestions from the other person, because I want to make them happy. It’s easy to go along with this way of thinking and acting, but to do so is to believe the lie.

When I’m reflecting upon this kind of behaviour with an open mind I can see the truth of the matter. That truth is disturbing. People pleasing is dishonest and self centred. My codependancy is born from a fear of rejection, of not being good enough, a belief that if I state my needs in any given situation then you will not like me and will abandon me. My self esteem is low.

I know this internal belief comes from the horrors of my childhood. My upbringing has left me full of shame about who I am. I feel like I am a useless, worthless and bad person. These emotions become heightened when I interact with others, and to be seen as a good person I must make you happy. If I disagree with you then I am bad and you won’t like me. I’ll then feel the shame of my very existence, exposed, naked and raw. It’s self centred and puts me at the centre of the universe. It’s a statement that I have the power to make you feel good or bad, that I’m that special and unique.

It also means that you cannot have a relationship with me. If I’m not being true to myself in my dealings with you, then you’re not in a relationship with me. You are in a relationship with who I think you want me to be. It’s a selfish way to live.

In romantic relationships I am at my worst. The emotional entanglement overwhelms me. If you point out a fault, or disagree with something which I say or do, then you must be right. I find it easy to see things from your point of view, and in doing so I lose myself completely. I slowly stop having opinions or ideas and I end up a confused mess in near constant pain. I stop being me.

The above is a scary picture, and painful to see in black and white, but this was my experience for most of my life.

Living on my own for several years has given me a break from the mess, and it’s also given me the opportunity to begin to address my codependancy and heal. I practice self care in many ways, and doing so improves the value which I place in myself. My friends can now ask for an opinion and I’m able to respond truthfully. I can be with others and say what I would or wouldn’t like, at least some of the time. I’m a work in progress, and I have to put a lot of effort into being honest with others. I still have a strong fear of rejection and abandonment, but I am improving slowly. A romantic relationship is definitely off of the cards, but I’m finding I’m more able to be honest with friends and family to a degree.

I’m finding out who I am, and beggining to let go of who I think you want me to be. I’m not perfect, I can still avoid sharing my truth some of the time. But I’m certainly moving forwards one step at a time.

Considering The Year Ahead, Life, Death And Photography

It would be impossible to think of the future without considering that there is the potential for me to die from heart disease. As you’re aware I have decided not to have surgery for my heart condition. I can see how dieing could be a scary experience, but I have been at peace since making this decision.

Knowing that I have a limited time left has most certainly helped me to focus on living well and considering whether my daily actions improve the quality of my life. This doesn’t mean running around like a mad march hare and doing, doing, doing. Sometimes I just want to sit still and do nothing, others I want to read or birdwatch, and occasionally I want to be around people.

I’m not used to being around people, and I can struggle even when I’m around those who I love and feel safe with. Getting the balance right for me isn’t easy, I’ve had a wonderful Christmas, but I’m ready to go home now.

When I return home my plan is to begin meditating daily. Meditation is most definitely linked to my creativity and photography. I have a few ideas for photographic project’s and I know meditation will help with developing these. I have vague ideas about making photos with others who identify as being non-binary or gender fluid, and making use of masks or props to explore and express gender identity.

I’ve particularly enjoyed my embroidered photography this year, for my project “Some Emotional States Of My Anorexia, And The Strengths Of My Recovery.” I completed the project just before Christmas, but I don’t feel ready to make these public at the moment. The wonderful thing is that I already have a gallery/arts project who would like to exhibit the series. I can see the potential for building upon this work to explore mental health further. Meditation will definitely aid my progress in these areas.

“Snippets” is a series I’m currently working on in which I write down snippets of overheard conversation and take a photo in the area of which the conversation was heard. I got the idea from a fellow OCA photography student Chloe Halstead. The idea is to have this as a long term project using my Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and to present the series as a photo book.

Hopefully I will also have some news about my application for a bursary to study an Open Foundation in Creative Writing, with the Open College of the Arts, I can feel some more photo essays coming along.

Colour is also going to feature in the clothes I wear, it’s time to bring more colour and variety into my attire, and today I’m top to bottom in yellow. I’ve also seen some green corduroys that I like. I’ll give them some thought.

I guess I’ll need to tone the colours down when birdwatching, something which I plan to do more of this year. I’m so grateful that I discovered RSPB Rainham Marshes. One thing that would aid my birdwatching would be finding a teleconverter that I can attach to the front of my Mzuiko 75-300mm lens. I can’t currently afford one. However, I have four photos appearing in The Loudest Whispers exhibition, run by The Arts Project London, during February, March and April. If they sell then I’ll be able to afford a teleconverter. Fingers crossed. 

I don’t have a bucket list, but I would like to be able to go on a birdwatching holiday during the summer.

Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead.