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10 Years of Recovery


Staff member
Oct 29, 2018
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Wrongfully Convicted
It's my daughter's birthday today, an incredibly sad occasion as it is yet another that we are spending apart. To help alleviate the sadness of this gross injustice, I posted the following as a thread on Twitter, celebrating my substantial recovery from mental illness. Of course, I'm not cured, I still suffer from time to time, but it's not nearly as bad - in particular as of this July I have been psychosis free for ten years.

I was 14 when I believed that a personal apocalypse was approaching. Voices told me that if I didn't receive help within a fortnight, 'something bad' would happen. It was a worrying presentiment, and the beginning of my journey with Bipolar. After years of failed treatment, I had now come to believe that I was the subject of a mind control experiment by a secretive division of the SAS. I described how a field operation had been conducted in my bedroom as I slept to insert circuits into my brain.

These occasionally caused pseudo-seizures (which were a very real phenomenon I experienced), and allowed a two way dialogue by telepathy - the operatives sounded very similar to the internal voice you hear as you're mentally reading this aloud. It was the height of conspiratorialism. I recognised the irrationality, but frustratingly still struggled to question it. Suffering the delusions for months, and having only narrowly avoided being sectioned, I decided that I'd had enough and vowed to get better.

I'd tried numerous medications that did little for me, so my solution was different. I would question everything and only accept as true anything for which I had proof. The more outlandish, the more hard evidence I would require. I still heard voices, they grew increasingly frustrated and angry as I challenged them. "Kill yourself", "why?" I retorted. "Because you're f--king worthless". "Explain how?" I challenged, ad nauseum until in a tirade of expletives they gave up to try again later.

It worked a treat, and within about six months I no longer heard voices or indulged in delusional thinking. I tackled the wild mood swings with meditation and breathing exercises and developed a technique for controlling my nightmares and depression with lucid dreaming. If I was feeling low, I'd give myself a boost by instructing myself to dream of flying, riding a giant roller-coaster or befriending a dinosaur for a spot of hockey. I awoke feeling refreshed and rejuvenated with a smile on my face.

Several years later, I still suffer from the odd blip but I've been psychosis free for ten years this July, with no mania and just a handful of depressive moods - quite an achievement given the extreme stress to which I've been subject. I Tweet this thread because I am incredibly proud of the hard work I've put in over the years to move towards recovery. Mental illness can often feel like a life sentence, but people can recover (against expectations).

I'm still not perfect, but I'm much better.

:champagne::cheers::champagne: :cheers::champagne: :cheers::champagne:

Roy catchpole

Senior Patron
Oct 31, 2018
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You are who and what you are, Matt, as you very well know. You have an incredible gift, which is occasionally very distressing and sometimes frightening. What is the nature of that gift? Let me try6 to indicate just a little of its nature...

My first-born son began to exhibit signs of psychosis at age 19. He was a beautiful soul, and I loved him more that I dare to say - because it is so painful to remember him even now, some years after his death. His internal world was sometimes an alien place, accessible only to him. He never managed to achieve the depth of understanding that you have so far managed to find, Matt. What that means to me, among many things, is that you have a gift to offer to me - and this you never fail to do every time we meet and often in your posts. You are precious, Matt, and your achievement so far is, I know, appreciated by many of us, even though much of what you have learned and achieved will remain hidden from some of us.


Jul 1, 2019
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the Exeter Area
No Further Action
It was so good to see and read your thoughts, Matt. This can be a brave excercise and often we rely on others to describe us, so it is good to take control of the flow of information. We can so easily be negatively marked by our difference and no credence be given by others to our struggles.

The wider world for someone like me, with ‘High Functioning Autism’ (HFA), can be quite baffling. I am not one of these ‘modern’ Autistics , who seem to present themselves in volatility and with significant behavioural maladjustment, using aggressive and demanding undertones. This said, I am persistent (sometimes an irritant) and this can aggravate others. Formerly. I was one of the ‘sit at the back’ politely, quietly, conjuring ridiculous thoughts in testing my own deep analysis to resolve a problem; much the imaginative ‘cartoonist’ who embellishes through their pencil and paper the features and characteristics of people and situations. I sometimes smile inappropriately, as my mind goes into over drive taking my thoughts to an extreme, re-enforcing the finer nuances of HFA as a communication disorder.

I really have a considerable internal anarchy which is bursting to get out, but I am not prone to exaggeration or lies. I slow down all my responses and through adulthood became very diplomatic in my presentation. Although I might not be considered as a deceiver, I am someone who will pretend that the world is a far better place, for me, than it really is and with RADA type acting skills, I mask my inner distress. I used to trust others infinitely until they let me down. Today I am much more guarded about other peoples intentions. If suffering fools is a sign of intelligence, then you must not consider me as intelligent. I was never ‘espirit de corps’ material, a bit of a plod along focusing on orthodoxy and stability. This was always my route to getting on in life, as I confidently stood alone through my honesty and moral judgement of my world.

It made the person that I am and my so called 'afflictions' contributed, I believe, to my past successes.