By Andrew Aldred
Key Themes: Mental Health, Mental Illness, Paranoid Schizophrenia
This is the continuing story of Andrew Aldred as he tries to find a job after being on sickness benefit for a long time and the way he sees the world. Andrew Aldred is a Falklands veteran and has been in secure mental hospital for twelve years. He has been out of hospital for ten years and come off a home office section. He remains in a relationship with his ex-wife which is very important to him and retains contact with his own family after stabbing his father twenty years ago.
About the Author
I have been in Mental Health Services since 1985, when I had a huge mental breakdown after serving in the Falklands with the army. Since then my life has been something of a rollercoaster of mental illness until meeting my wife Jane seven years ago.
I have been in and out of hospital from 1985 until 2009. I had an illness which I attributed to my father and resulted in me stabbing him in 1997 and going to the Edenfield Unit in Prestwich Hospital for 6 years. This is when I started to write poetry to keep myself sane and give me something to focus on.
It’s been a week since it started
A hacking cough and a streaming nose
Sweating profusely in my bed at night
Wondering whether I am going to be here tomorrow
Or if it will affect my cancer treatment
But slowly I’m managing to recover
All that’s left is a persistent headache
And a face full of cold sores
That makes me look like I’ve been sparring with Floyd Mayweather
If it had been worse, I’d have had to go to hospital
And to be honest that’s where I should have been
It’s time to get back to normal but I’m so tired
Thank God my girlfriend has been there to support me
It’s times like these you really need somebody
Next year I really must get the flu jab