Love and Other Distractions


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


By David Sweetsur

ISBN: 978-1-84991-722-3
Published: 2013
Pages: 88
Key Themes: Mental Health, Poetry, Depression, Bipolar, Schizo-Affective Disorder


These poems were written in around 2004. At that time, David Sweetsur was experiencing an episode of mental illness. Despite this, although some of the poems deal with his state of mind, the overall collection is not preoccupied with mental ill health, and speaks of many different subjects. Some poems even have a celebratory tone, when, for example, he speaks of his interest in cinema and music. Other poems deal with more “eternal” themes, like love, death, time and memory. The poems are written in a frank and accessible voice, and by not focusing solely on his mental illness, David hopes that this will show that anyone with experience of mental ill health is still a thinking, feeling human being; indeed, that behind every diagnosis there is a person with their own unique story.

About the Author

David Sweetsur was born in 1971 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and now lives and works in neighbouring Stoke-on-Trent. He is a passionate believer in ending the stigma surrounding mental ill health, and has been diagnosed variously with depression, bipolar disorder, and schizo-affective disorder. His current diagnosis is schizophrenia. Despite his illness, David was awarded an honours degree from the University of Wolverhampton in 1993, and still manages to do voluntary work for a local mental health charity. He has written about his illness and the issues surrounding it both for his own blog and the “OT” mental health journal. A previous collection of his poetry was published in 2004.

David first became ill in around 1990, when, at first, he noticed himself becoming quite severely depressed. Later his illness would evolve into experiences that included both mania and psychosis, hence the changing of his diagnosis.

The stigma surrounding his illness often takes the form of a deeply entrenched stereotype, usually portraying people with schizophrenia as having an almost complete loss of functioning, a so-called “split”, Jekyll and Hyde personality, or a tendency towards violence. Having met many with the condition through his own experience, David knows this stereotype to be misrepresentative at best, at worst simply misinformed and untrue. He therefore hopes that this collection of poetry will go some way to proving that, even with the most severe of mental health conditions, one can still contribute and achieve.

Book Extract


Sell off the railways,
Sell off the water.
The biggest con-trick ever known,
Buy shares in the things you already own.

Meanwhile the kids are getting desperate,
Communities are collapsing and they have nothing with which to operate,
So let’s raise a glass to the working class,
And cross ourselves as we see it pass.

So let’s get pissed,
And let’s get glassed,
As we give birth,
To the underclass.

Let’s eat chips every day,
Give birth at 13 after one tragic lay,
Take heroin when mum isn’t looking,
Give up on family cooking.

Because there’s no such thing as society,
Only red braces and money have propriety,
But then again along came Tony,
And things could only get better surely?


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