Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

Words from Myself As A 75 Year Old British Man

Posted on | January 5, 2013 | No Comments

Members of the Colony might remember that two years ago I found myself on the internet and his name was Michael G Kimber and he wrote novels that he posted online. You can read about it here: http://colony-of-losers.com/wordpress/2010/12/10/the-return-of-michael-george-kimber/

He is 75 years old and British. Immediately we had a strange kinship you can only experience when you are the exact same person but separated by 50 years and an entirely different life. To know that there is another Michael Kimber who has put his dreams to page and felt love, heartbreak and the knowledge that time brings.

During the winter I always wonder if I should have come out and made my pain so public. Because it’s hard hearing confessions from strangers who just want someone to listen to the things they can’t say that to the people they love. Because I don’t actually know how to help them.

Because each time I go back to the Colony I both love and hurt more than I am comfortable with. Because my little brother still hasn’t been able to find help and my connections with the Mental Health Commission don’t make any different from the rest of you.Despite auditory hallucinations and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder he remains unmedicated. The government says he doesn’t qualify for treatment.

A counsellor told him that if he wants to get help he has to be suicidal, have a plan and make it eerily plausible. You almost wonder if a little small cutting would be necessary to provide the requisite versimilitude. The government is comfortable with children dying as long as it feels it has plausible deniability. And I remain powerless to stop them.

Because I often have to lose strangers and learn about the tragedies of people I barely know.  I have peeked behind the curtain and seen the life of people laughing at parties and crying when no one can see them. I have seen the vulnerable side behind the smiles and felt love so wild and desolate it has taken nights of sleep where I live the nightmares of strangers and hold the hands of their loved ones. I lack patience or an understanding of a reasonable pace to change a system that takes 4,000 Canadians from their families every year.

Because I am wildly ambitious and want to change the world and the world changes slower than I would like it to.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter that strangers say nice things and the world has greeted me with open arms. Because sometimes I wish it hadn’t happened and I could just be like everyone else. You want to peek through space and time and see if you did the right thing.

This is the letter that traveled to me through time.  This is me as a 75 year old British man.  All I can say is that it was nice to hear:

 

Hi Michael,
I’ve been reading about you in the Toronoist (don’t ask me how I got there!) and about your coming out campaign. Just thought I would send you a message of support between namesakes.
In the article you claim that you did not set out to be a spokesman for people with mental illness, but life has a funny way of creeping up on you. It seems now that you’re the man. As you probably sussed out in our previous correspondence my language is not as colourful as yours but from time to time there’s an exception; like now perhaps. I hope you have the balls to carry it off. People with your kind of problem need someone with strength and determination up front to speak for them, someone who knows what it is all about. I guess that’s you Michael.
I was pleased too that the piece carried a good photo of you. I never really knew what you looked like and now I do. It reminded me of something you said in your blog shortly after you discovered me, “I’ve seen what I will look like in fifty years” you told your readers. Looking as I do from the other end of the telescope I can tell you that, apart from the beard which I didn’t have then, and the hair colour (I was very fair when I had some hair) we do share a kind of a likeness, so you may well have been right. I’m tempted to say be careful what you wish for – you know the rest.

Good luck to you in your endeavours. I hope that helping others will in turn help you,
Best regards for 2013 and beyond,
Michael

Props to Michael George Kimber and the wonderful world of the internet. To the Colony I am here with you and the time to make a change is coming. Expect big things in 2013. To my little brother, we are also just getting started. I expect big things from you in 2013 and I will break the world if tries to keep you from being in it.

Happy New Year. Let’s make history.

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  • About

    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on twitter.com/colonyoflosersand twitter.com/quimbo. If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out Mindyourmind.ca. I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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