Gill Manly #HealingWords2019

Gill Manly #HealingWords2019


My name is Gill Manley. I am – what am I – I’m a singer, I’m a composer, radio broadcaster occasionally, playwright, I’m a columnist
for a magazine and a singer and an actress. And I’ve been very fortunate
throughout my career to be able to write. So my journey with
mental health difficulties stretches back a long, long time. I’m 58 years old
now and I can safely say that for the last 50 years I’ve had struggles of
varying degrees, certainly with depression, breakdowns, incorrect
diagnoses, different medications that weren’t applicable. I think Healing Words is now firmly a fixture with The Advocacy Project and
I’m really very happy that it is. I think it’s groundbreaking. What I love about poetry is really, strictly speaking, there are no rules and
I’ve lived by that mantra of “there are no rules” in terms of writing. So what do
we write about? Sometimes a really good place to begin is something like this –
having a cat on your knee. You may have a pussycat, you may have a little dog, you
may have a goldfish. And just looking and thinking about your relationship with
that petal, that animal, could actually start a train of thought. Sometimes it’s
just about a moment in your life that maybe was so difficult, that now that you
have perspective on it, you can actually look back and see – well – that’s how I
dealt with it. Struggles come in so many different forms but I have found that
sometimes just being able to write it down gives you ability to look at it
rather than to be in it. This might be your first attempt. If it is, don’t be
afraid because although I am – shall we say – a “judge”, I’m not here to judge you in
the sense of “this is good” or “this is bad”. I’m just going to appreciate all
your work. This is for you. This is for you to express
yourself. We do carry a lot of shame and fear when we have a mental health
difficulty. And I think the more we can do to help ourselves, and more that we
can do that in a sense publicly, so that we can be acknowledged and understood,
the better it is for everybody. You are invited. The invitation is open. The Advocacy Project absolutely wants to hear from you and so do I. I cannot wait to
read your work.

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