…Reading, Writing and Arithmetic have always been and still are highly valued. Reading and writing have been pleasurable and therapeutic for me for many years. Contributors to Leeds Wellbeing Web and other re-blogs posted on the site, show this to be the case for many who have experienced mental illness.
Reading Dorothy Rowe’s work was one of the biggest factors in my recovery. I was lucky enough to attend events where she spoke, and I found her to be as clear, warm, compassionate and non-jargonistic in person as she appeared to be in her writing. Despite having physical health problems of long standing, following her talks she willingly engaged with individuals from the audience…even little ol’ me. I admired the way she coped with those in the audience, keen to identify themselves as mental health professionals, in opposition to her approach, she had answered them calmly and with clarity.
I was so ‘depressed’, heavily drugged, when I first started to read her work that it took me two years of borrowing and re borrowing, from the library, her ‘Depression Handbook’. Dorothy sees ‘depression’ not as ‘an illness or a mental disorder but a defence’ against difficult life experiences. This explanation comes close to my own understanding of my acute episodes and slow recovery.
One of our regular commentators whom we have also re-bloged, is the local author, Jean Davison, writer of the memoir, ‘The Dark Threads’. Dorothy Rowe has recommended Jean’s book thus.
Well …..what of the arithmetic, could it be an aid to well being? Perhaps as another thing to conquer, I have always been really perplexed with the subject….there’s time! I am only in my third age! and Leeds many educational centres have the facilities to try it at what ever grade you might want to start.