How brilliant is that.
I was really keen to take part in this exhibition, my stepson Mark is bipolar so mental illness is something we, like many others, have experience of as a family.
Mark was a world class acrobat and performer - as he would say " I've been round the work 7 times"
this was either with Ra Ra Zoo or with his then partner Ali and their 2 children.
He could juggle, back-flip for England, trapeze, diabolo, make balloon animals, swords and flowers.... he just loved to perform.
He and Ali choreographed a surreal double act that was one of the top acts on the Physical Theatre charts.
Somewhere in the combination of traveling, permanently high adrenaline levels and some tablets he was given and didn't question, his personality began to change.
He became more and more manic, at first the gradual change seemed like him just being a more outrageous performer but eventually we realised something serious was happening and then he was arrested in London with the possibility of being sectioned unless he self referred.
He self referred -
his life has changed immeasurably.
He is now a alcohol and nicotine dependent and amongst other changes doesn't take a bath without putting up a lot of verbal resistance often to the point of a bath being abandoned.
Better to have a smelly hug than no hug.
Mark is a very loving, wonderful man who is so good hearted. He is also a man who became proficient in at least 3 martial arts (I have never known him to be violent) and Japanese "No" theatre.
Mark is one of those that have been lucky - he now has a flat, with entry system and caring help and support from Julian Housing. They are an amazing charity. What is being done to the NHS now especially in Mental Health will set standards of help and support back many years.