Showing posts from June, 2023

Creativity vs Tyranny

  Frank Lloyd Wright, John Milton, William Faulkner, Miles Davis, James Joyce - these are the cultural and artistic beacons of hope in my new novel. Having sufficient clarity of head space to walk around one of Frank Lloyd Wright's perfect buildings or read some Paradise Lost while sitting in the garden on a sunny day can unquestionably have a therapeutic effect. When I was at my lowest ebb with OCD and the depression it brought about, I felt cut off from art and culture. At times while hospitalised I thought that the novels and poems I had so avidly consumed as an English literature student had come back to haunt me in the form of intrusive thoughts that were assaulting my mind. I felt that my unenviable state was punishment for an over-reliance on the mind at the expense of the soul. Mental illnesses rob sufferers of the perspective that can provide some welcome relief when we are feeling unwell. I was told over and over that my symptoms would ease and I would recover, but I neve

The OCD Bully

  In my novel, 'Myself am Hell', I started with the idea of three strangers coming together through a prank gone wrong. You know the kind of prank I mean: that time when you're in a queue or a public place and someone comes up and taps the person in front of you on the shoulder and then hides. A brief moment of baffled looking around is followed by the joy of seeing a friend or relative or someone we haven't seen for ages and didn't even know was in the country, etc etc. I wondered what would happen if the tap on the shoulder and hide prank went wrong. What if this simple act had unforeseen consequences for the people involved? I started thinking about the prankster and the victim. And the innocent bystander waiting in the queue who becomes inextricably connected to them through no fault of his own. I realised quickly that the innocent bystander is a character pushed to the brink of mental collapse by obsessive compulsive disorder. I had not planned to do this; it h