Life isn’t just about sex, ropes, and handcuffs, even for me.
There’s lots more in life than that, though I might not write about it in my stories. Stories, fiction, are fantasies we use to escape and to plan ahead for the things that happen that we would really like to happen.
In between times, is real life.
My Real Life
Most people who have followed me on Facebook will know I have a lot to say about mental health and related issues. I’m on the autistic spectrum myself – although I’m high-functioning – and I’m keen on supporting other ASD sufferers. I’m also a part-time writer, my full time “job” is looking after a close friend of mine who has been suffering from depression for the last three years. A good year and a half ago it got so bad she needed someone to look after her pretty much full time; and as I was the person who realised it, I got the job.
It’s been the hardest job I’ve ever done, too, and the most rewarding. She’s not out of the woods yet, but she’s made huge progress, and there’s now an outside chance we’ll both start making some positive moves soon. People with depression can and do get better, if they get the right support.
I’m grateful that here in the UK, the government provides for carers like me. I’m sick of hearing about grafters and scroungers – frankly, no-one needs a better incentive than just trying to live day by day on what we get. It’s not generous, it’s barely even enough to live on, and we do it because we don’t have much choice. Were I looking for work, there’s no guarantee I’d find it; when there are three jobless for every vacancy, basic math says that no matter how badly all three want that job, two of them won’t get it. You do not need to starve people to get more into work, you need to have work people can get into. Sure, there are some grafters and scroungers out there, but seriously, not everyone who gets handed a redundancy notice magically becomes a layabout.
Recently, our esteemed Prime Minister declared that it wasn’t fair that some people on benefits got more than some people who are working, and that capping benefits would be “fair”. I think he’s confusing a benefits issue for a low wages issue myself. We’re all told the economy is recovering, but no-one in work is getting a pay-rise, so where the hell is all the money going? I’m glad I’m not the only one asking questions.
I do not pretend to know the answers, but I am pretty sure business as usual isn’t going to cut it for much longer.
I have strong opinions on climate change, too. Having studied physics, I know how science works, and frankly 99% of the claims made by climate-change deniers are bogus, designed to obfuscate and spread doubt rather than come up with any actual explanations of their own. This is because they do not have any explanations, the debate – as far as the science is concerned – is done and dusted: climate change is real, get over it.
Really, I try and look at most issues from a the point of view of gathering facts and weighing things up. I read an article once that described our thought processes as consisting of an inner Homer Simpson, and an inner Mr Spock. Mr Spock is logical, intellectual, and weighs up the evidence carefully before reaching a decision, and he makes good decisions; the only problem with Spock is that he’s slow and takes a lot of time to make a decision. Homer is lazy, sticks with what he knows, and makes judgements emotionally, and very often gets them wrong – but he’s fast. If you need to make a fast decision, Homer is your man – go with your gut, and act. If you need to make the right decision, and you have the time, decide with Spock because he gets it right. And do not be afraid to be wrong…everyone is.
But if someone wants you to make a decision with Homer that you have time to make with Spock – if they are appealing to your emotions, especially your fears, over your reason, beware: they probably want you to make what is for you a bad decision.
I’m a fervent supporter of good healthcare. Here in the UK we have the National Health Service, often described as our greatest national asset. It basically means that everyone can get free healthcare for anything necessary. A recent study placed it as the best overall healthcare system out of eleven developed nations studied (and yes, that includes the USA, which came in eleventh). That includes access to contraception and abortion for women. The cost of this system is quite low, too. Partly because it’s run efficiently, and partly by it’s very nature. You see, because I don’t pay for it, if I get sick and I am worried it might turn into something serious, I go see my doctor, and he fixes the problem. Because I’m not paying, I don’t worry about the cost. If I had to worry about co-payments, I might not go unless it was serious, and a serious condition costs a lot more to treat than a mild one. In a complete non-profit system like the NHS, preventative care is the cheapest and best option, and it works.
That isn’t to say that the NHS hasn’t got it’s problems, but I prefer it’s problems to the option of maybe not being treated at all if I get seriously ill. I’m not worried about Ebola, we have a system in place to deal with problems like that.
I have a simple solution for terrorism, and it goes like this:
1) Don’t be afraid.
2) See option 1.
Don’t forget to vote.
See, no plugs!
I am a writer, and I write erotic fiction. But that isn’t all I do and or all I am. Nor, in fact, is anyone else on this planet. We are all complex, wonderful, amazing people.
I think that’s awesome.
Normal service will be resumed on Friday!