Jigsaw Lockdown 2020

Reflections of a proud madwoman/MindFreedom

When I was a young child I loved to do jigsaws. Living in the west of Ireland in a small rural village, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to make some jigsaws with my family.

Many years later after I got married and moved to Cork, I continued to do some jigsaws in my spare time. I was new to the community with time on my hands.

A jigsaw can be a great challenge to create a lovely picture. It can be simple or difficult but it always demands your full attention. You can do it alone or with other people. It is always a thrill when you find a missing piece!

After my encounter with psychiatry, I remembered my past love of jigsaws. None was provided by the establishment so Jim, my husband, made sure I had one to keep me occupied. But this time I was no longer able to put the pieces together. I did not know why and was very frustrated because I was now also separated from most of the things I loved to do. As I now know, it was the damaging effects of electroshock and drugs that deprived me of my humanity, my cognitive ability and left me a piece of psychiatry flotsam. They had successfully caused a chemical lobotomy that left me unable to do even a simple jigsaw puzzle. In fact, a male psychiatric nurse spent all his time doing the jigsaw then! The system is so cruel that it makes it difficult for service providers such as that nurse to work with coerced ‘inmates’ because of the damaging interventions it continues to use.

My life itself was a master jigsaw puzzle that I did not understand for so many long years. The reason for this was that it was so easy to confuse the propaganda of so-called ‘mental illness’ with the real effects of drugs and electroshock. Also, there was no way to find out as most of the literature was in favour of psychotropic drugs, electroshock, fake illnesses and coercion. On my side of the Atlantic I never even heard of survivors of psychiatry!

For most of the time from 1978 until 2000, my mind was coerced. I did not know MindFreedom. For other times in my life, I did not have physical freedom, for example when I was in a boarding school for 5 years and in an enclosed nunnery. However, when I was physically coerced then, I always had MindFreedom and loved to use the beautiful mind I so gladly received.

Now today November 3rd, because of Covid 19 I am physically restrained once again but thankfully with a free mind, I am able to continue to be myself and continue to develop and thrive.

Soon after the arrival of my first beautiful granddaughter, Lexie I have regained my love of making jigsaws. Since she was first able to put some pieces together we have spent some lovely moments both in England and Ireland. Soon afterwards Annalise and Harry arrived and they also have played their parts. Now even a little friend called Ava who also loves to play gave me more jigsaws for the lockdown.

I have completed 4 jigsaws. The first had 3,000 pieces. The second had 500. The 3rd and 4th had 1,000 each with a litter help from my friends!

Without freedom we are nothing. We are born free!

” There are real indignities and real problems when all facets of life are controlled – when to get up, to eat, to shower – and chemicals are put inside our bodies against our will.” Judi Chamberlin

Mary Maddock