Blog John, Mental Health

Funny Tales 1. (John)

Please don’t take it all too seriously, some of this ended up in the show. However, the point on romanticising bad mental health I feel is still a pertinent one…

As I’ve said on this blog I do stand up comedy about my experiences with mental health. I’ve put a link to such stuff above. As I’m about to perform the show in a variety of places in the coming months I’ve started to write and reminisce about other potentially humorous tales. One that stands out to me goes way back to 1995 when I was first committed to a psychiatric hospital in Aberdeen…

This was my longest stay on a psychiatric ward. I was in Cornhill Hospital for nearly seven weeks. It was around the first onset of my bipolar proper. I always tell folk I started my comedy career proper in 1999, but the truth is I actually did stand up over a short four month period while I was living in Aberdeen. Myself and a friend Ewan decided to put on an open mic night for budding new comics. Problem was around that time very few people were interested in doing stand up. So every fortnight night I tried to commit to writing a brand new ten minute routine, which was incredibly stressful. Eventually we were joined by others. I’ve just this very minute traced one of them on social media. It will be great to hear from him as the last time he saw me I very much doubt he thought I’d become a full time comic.

Anyhoo as the months went on I ended up being hospitalised, but one day it was felt I could go and join in the open mic with the other comics, so I was allowed out of hospital on a pass. I can’t remember much about the actual comedy night, but what I do recall is a car load of us driving me back to the psychiatric hospital. The other comics thought this was a genuine wind up and I would let them in on the joke once we got there. That’s not how things unfolded. When we got back to the hospital the main gates had been closed as it was late. I then duly had to get out the car and start climbing these massive gates to get back into the hospital. The others were still convinced this was a wind up and I’d let them in on it any second now. You’re not trying to tell us this guy is BREAKING INTO a psychiatric hospital? But that’s exactly what was unfolding. I’m sure it’s not a sight often seen. The other way around yes. But not breaking in! Just gives you a wee insight into where people like me prefer to be when they’re not feeling so great.

PS I got back in.

4 thoughts on “Funny Tales 1. (John)”

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