Sunday, 23 October 2011


    I spent Saturday morning diving through some bins in one of my town's less salubrious suburbs. Yeah, I sure know how to have a good time. Not my usual weekend entertainment as I'm certain you'll understand, I was retrieving some property belonging to a friend.
    R is a friend of mine. Not trans or anything, just someone I know through having been a friend-of-a-friend. She's a couple of years older than me, and she has battled mental illness on and off for most of her life. In the last few weeks she's had a particularly hard time due to an anniversary of a family death, so she missed some of her medication and found herself tipped over the edge. She somehow came to the conclusion that having anything old or green in her flat would cause her to be sectioned (detained in a mental hospital) so she proceded to throw out anything that might possibly fit those descriptions.
     Personal documents, clothes, heirlooms, valuables, the lot.
    She's safe now, with other friends who are getting her back on the road. But a group of us knew that she'd chucked out half her life and would be heartbroken at the losses when she returned to her senses, so our mission was to rescue her property.
    Fortunately she'd been methodical in her turn-out, so things were neatly packaged and bagged. My small hatchback with its rear seats down was filled to bursting-point though, and we had something of a headache sorting it all out and storing it.
    It is worth learning the lesson of perspective at moments like this. It would be easy to sink into the mire, but an annoying dose of GD is not as bad as some of the things people can suffer from. Important not to forget that.


  1. It was kind deed well done.

    Once gone, all those personal items would be irreplaceable and so badly missed that it could have sent your friend into another deep bout of depression.

    I'm a great believer in hoarding momentoes of what has meant something, even if it was from a 'dark era' and might seem tainted. One day it could take on a quite different significance.

    In any case, we are the sum of our possessions. They define us. They record our achievements, be they ever so modest. Throwing them away is throwing away part of ourselves. It can be done, but always at a cost to the personality.


  2. You are absolutely right!

    There are many people young and old, whom suffer from many types of illnesses, all of which are much more difficult to deal with than GID.

    I have been slapped hard with reality more than a few times myself. Especially when I was in one of my my "poor, poor, pitiful me" stages. Having an experience similar to this, gives one reflection on just how lucky we are.

  3. Absolutely, while resisting the urge to become a pack-rat I understand the need to hang on to things. My sister is very different, she seems able to cast things off at will.

    In R's case I know she was extremely attached to her things. Mementoes of her mother, for example. Just the knowledge they are now safe could I think help her pull out of this.

    I'd rather not have been reminded of reality in quite this way, but yes, a moment of very necessary reflection.

  4. You've been a good friend to someone who needs one just now. I was wondering which bins you had to search. I can see why those things you've recovered will be precious to her and it would have been devastating for her to discover their loss later. I'm a bit like your sister when it comes to throwing things away but I do keep hold of certain things. My wedding ring is one example but most things I ditch after a while. Holdiday photographs (which I've not taken for years) got ditched years ago. I rely upon my memories rather than personal possesions. Some folk need momentoes though, I'm just not one of them I guess. It is a sad fact that there are so many folk suffering far more than most of us and it is refreshing to know that there are people like yourself Jenny who will come alongside and be a real friend.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  5. That was a good thing to do for your friend. She will be thankful that you did that for her when she is in a better state of mind.