Full title “You’re Crazy: First Hand Accounts Of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Trauma From The Punk Scene”
From the site:
You’re Crazy Volume One compiles twenty-five first-hand accounts of people from the punk scene who live with mental illness, addiction and trauma. This volume also includes two stories of punk rockers who are allies to those of us who struggle and their experience. This book exists to help empower the writers who are sharing their personal experiences so that they can be better understood. It also exists to help show that we are not alone in this world and that life can get better. It’s a necessity in our community. We all deserve to be heard. You’re Crazy aims to help decrease the stigma that the authors, and those like them, face while dealing with mental illness, addiction and trauma. By sharing their stories they are putting themselves on the line as they take ownership of their lives and experiences while demonstrating the reality of their lives. These stories educate and inspire, increasing understanding and empathy while reducing stigma.
And two of those accounts have been written by myself and Eric. 🙂 The book is edited by Craig Lewis of Punks In Recovery.
Why the punk angle? I guess because being into punk (and other subcultures) while mentally ill can be both a help and a hindrance. Being that eccentricities are tolerated or valued (to point), many of us found these movements offered a modicum more of acceptance than the mainstream world, as well as a sensibility found in the aesthetic, lyrics, etc. that resonated more with what was going on and how we viewed the world. Unfortunately, when it comes to mental health treatment it can be hard to find professionals who are able to separate the “differentness” of various forms of bohemia or counterculture from actual mental issues. I’m fortunate now to have a counselor who has understands underground art & music and doesn’t do this. But there’s certainly been doctors in the past (especially at Woodhull) who seemed more fixated on why I had tattoos and funny clothes than what my actual emotional experiences were. Doctors who’s ideas of treatment had less to do with moving a patient towards self-actualization than with trying to get me to look and act “normal” , as if this in itself would be the solution to all my problems. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t work. My cover was always eventually blown. “You’ll notice something funny if you hang around here for too long.”) I’ve read some other mental health bloggers express the desire to just feel “normal”–whatever that is–and if that’s their wish it’s their perogative. But where does this leave the person who, even without mental health issues, does not desire to play along with whatever their culture’s consensus definition of “normal” is?
Anyway here’s where the book can be got, along with Craig’s “Mental Health Recovery Workbook”: http://www.lulu.com/shop/craig-lewis/youre-crazy-volume-one/paperback/product-21453775.html
In other news (yeah right, this is news.)I’ve had a recuparative weekend. The housemate-from-hell, she who has yet to figure out that she is the Boss Of NOTHING, has been instigating shit again. It began around Valentine’s Day. That compounded with the usual between-check low funds and this 90 days of totally sobriety they’re having me try out at the center, did culminate in my blowing of steam with a razor-party on my right arm again. I didn’t channel it into a painting this time, because I had to get to my gig. I’m not a football fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve seen enough TV shows and movies where there’s two guys on the team (or sometimes two rival teams) who are in a fight over something, but before they actually start scrapping the coach character will come up, break them apart and say “save that energy for the game boys” or something like that. So it feels like I have this experimental-noise-performance-art version of a football couch hovering over my shoulder where an angel and a devil would be in a cartoon. “Save that bordering-on-psychotic-meltdown-rage for the game, chica.” The game being the show. The show in Friday night’s case being in a full bar about half the size of a subway car where entranced I set a dollar bill crumpled at my feet on fire while screaming “OFF A JOHN FOR SATAN!” (Inspired by my mixed feelings on this news story) and proceeded to flail Eric’s percussion metal with a chain–along with my appendages, judging by the bruises. Natal brought distortion and electric violin like a REAL boss the whole time this was occurring. This was an act of magick, I believe, because by the time we finished and I looked up, only the other dadaist or Collective Unconscious art-type people were in the bar. We had made the yuppie transplants disappear! 😀