Dandelions and Bad Hair Days, Poetry, Prose and Mental Health

Dandelions and Bad Hair Days, by Suzie Grogan

Why, in this day and age do mental health issues still carry a stigma? We know so much more now about the physiological workings of the brain and the environmental causes of stress that I find it astounding how uncomfortable people can be talking about it. We talk readily about our aches and pains, our surgeries, and our physical challenges,  so why the shadow of shame looming over mental health, anxiety and depression?

One guess is that like epidemics and disabilities, we shudder at the fear of being personally affected by mental illness ourselves. We don’t like to talk about what we fear and so admitting to even the possibility of needing help becomes taboo. My friend and fellow WordPress blogger, Suzie Grogan has gathered some like-minded contributors to help dispel the shadows and taboos in her new book Dandelions and Bad Hair Days, Untangling Lives Lived with Depression and Anxiety. It is due for release by the Dotterel Press in four days, on October 10th, 2012 and will be available for purchase on Amazon and in other select book stores.

All profits from the book’s sales will benefit SANE, OCD Action and other mental health charities nominated by the contributors who are, in Suzie’s words, “open about their own experience and the issues raised are universal; each contributor keen to raise awareness of mental health issues and reduce the stigma and discrimination many of those affected still encounter.”

I’m looking forward to getting my hand on a copy as well. Feel free learn more about it on the website, Dandelions and Bad Hair Days, and on the Facebook page.

Suzie and I came to know each other through poetry.  You might enjoy a few poems she has been reading this week about Dandelions. Just click here. As her WordPress screen name is Keatsbabe, you won’t be surprised to know that it was the Keats reading that I dug up in my last post from two years ago that first allowed her to find my blog. Since then we have kept in contact and I have been very impressed at her efforts on this new book. I was particularly honored to read her poem “Life Force,” which centers on the Lake Region where Keats found inspiration for much of his work. The poem sets a meditative mood, taking its strength directly from the scenery in which it is set. It helped Suzie find her own inner strength and equanimity and I could not be more thrilled that she asked me personally to read it as part of the book’s promotion. I include the video below. May you enjoy.

Please visit Suzie and purchase the book, Dandelions and Bad Hair Days.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Such a gorgeous poem, Suzie, and so beautifully read, David!

    This poem and the breathtaking photos make me want more than ever to visit the Lakes District. I’d love to see with my own eyes what so inspired Keats and his contemporaries.

    Thanks, too, for highlighting Suzie’s new book. It sounds like she is doing important work there.


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thank you, Jennifer. Suzie has been a bit self-conscious of that poem, so I will have to tell her that such words from you I consider high praise.


  2. slpmartin says:

    Very nice reading of her poem.


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thank you, kind sir!


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