by Dolly Sen
ISBN: 978 1 905610 94 5
About the Author
Author, poet and activist Dolly Sen lives in Streatham, South London. Born in 1970, she had her first psychotic experience aged 14 which lead her to leave school. After year of mental illness, probably bought on by an abusive childhood, Dolly decided she should write about her experiences. She was inspired to write her own story after reading Jason Pegler's autobiography 'A Can of Madness'. She has since written five books, become a successful performance poet who has toured throughout Europe and has set up two charities.
"Writing has always helped me. I found it when I was 22 and it has kept me alive since then. During my worst depressions, writing gave me a reason to wake up in the morning. Would I still have carried on writing if I never was published? Of course I would. One of my favourite writers, Charles Bukowski, said of writing: 'It is the last expectation, the last explanation, that's what writing is'. A plain piece of paper won't judge you, criticize you. And above all it won't lie to you. If you can't say what needs to be said face to face, write it down.
People with mental health problems who are able should think about either writing their story or at least telling it. Their lives shouldn't be what they think are dirty secrets they have to hide. One woman at one of my book signings shook her head sadly and said, "I can't, it's too painful. And besides, nobody wants to hear it." That's what I thought once. I now know that to be untrue. People, men and women, young and old, rich and poor, have taken me aside after reading my book and say, sometimes with tears in their eyes, "This happened to me too. but please don't tell anyone that it did." This is painfully heart-rending. Because I think if you don't share it positively, it'll manifest somewhere else, in your body, in your relationship to others and the world. For example, it can be seen in some people's eyes; they try to smile, but their eyes don't believe it. Their eyes are telling their story - something about their life always will. So you might as well have some control over it.