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by Bryan Hopkins

The Story of my Bipolar Journey of Mind
A Search for Spiritual Truth

ISBN: 978-1-905610-35-8
Published: 2006
Pages: 104


It is three years since the death of my grandfather. You could say that he was beaten by cancer, although in my heart, knowing how he suffered throughout his life with mania, I couldn't say who won. I often consider whether he is now happier, free from the constraints of a 'socially unacceptable' illness. People who suffer from depression should pull themselves together- right? It is understandable why some people think like this- doesn't everyone suffer from depression?

When I tell people that my grandfather suffered from Manic Depression, they often look at me with a misguided, knowing look; "ah yes" they think, "I've felt sad sometimes". This is the point when I get the desire to shake them until their eyes fall out! If I'm honest, I cannot possibly comprehend how it must have been for him. Some days he would wake up and the world was so grey- black even- that the idea of plummeting hundreds of feet from a multistory car park was preferable to being alive. Other days, I remember him frantically writing, drawing, possessed by a passion for a new plan; it could be anything, My Nan, Brother and I were often guests at our own family 'Mad Hatters Tea Party'. My Granddad created Brain Clubs, Mind Map Clubs, Writing Clubs; I remember all of us sitting around the dining room table, surrounded by masses of multi-coloured stationary, my Granddad excitedly waving his arms causing wind to flutter his wispy silver hair.

The "Ego has Landed" is about my Grandfathers courageous battle with life; from being given the name of his 'mental illness' to his journey with Cancer. He was an inspirational, passionate man. I really miss you Birty, but I hope you're there when I graduate! Charlotte Easter

Book Extract

Shortly after retirement, I was fortunate to attend a weekend school on the 'The Human Brain', where Tony Buzan (of Use Your Head, Brain Club, Mind Mapping etc fame) was the only lecturer/group leader. A wide range of topics was covered and that weekend proved to be the most intensive and enjoyable learning experience of my life (I had not yet the Life Foundation!). I wish I could have had the benefit of that sort of learning in my school or college days (but perhaps then I would not have understood or appreciated it properly) and that it could be more widely available to pupils or students today. Unfortunately, in the UK, maybe the demands of the national curriculum, entrenched attitudes, general bureaucratic requirements and indiscipline make it unlikely. We may be taught a lot at school about what to think, but perhaps little or nothing about how we think, how to think, and how our Minds and Brains really function.

The weekend school could not have come at a more opportune time for me. I was looking for interests to replace my previous obsession with work and my reading about Manic Depression was already leading me to develop a fascination with The Mind. My Accountancy Institute organized the event and I had attended many such schools over the previous twenty years. However, those weekends covered such subjects as: Accountancy; Public Finance; Economics; Politics; Information Technology; and Management (including such Psychological aspects such as Leadership, Teamwork, and Group Dynamics). A weekend devoted to the Human Brain was a complete innovation. How strange it should happen when my Journey of the Mind was at an embryonic stage.

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