All My Worldly Joy

By Laura Richmond

A memoir of motherhood and mental health.

Monday, 26 November 2018


Dearest everyone,

First of all, thank you for your beautiful, heartfelt, overwhelming responses to my last update. I’m sorry that few of you got more back from me than variations on “Thank you x” - I was just so depleted at that point, and had used up all my words. I am still quite short on conversation, to be honest. But please know that your kindness and support really does mean the world, even when I am not articulate in saying so.

On the advice of a number of people who are cleverer than I am, I decided to take a couple of weeks off writing this book, while I reassemble my various fragments. I am trying to be kind to myself, although generally the more I need self-care, the less I feel I deserve it. I’m not quite resting: there’s been a lot of stressful newly-single-mum admin to plough through. Plus I’m on a grants panel, reading and assessing funding applications for peer support projects, as well as applying for more freelance work. I am struggling with depression and everything feels bleak and black and hateful. The wise ones were quite right that I need to take some pressure off myself, however I can, while we all adjust. But, at the same time, I have always found writing immensely therapeutic, and so I’m going to ditch chronological order for now and just start jotting down whatever I fancy – probably all the depressing bits. I promise they won’t all end up in the book.

Finally, I wanted to share this interview with yours truly in the latest Sprogcast. (It's a fifty-minute podcast, with about twenty minutes of me.) I really enjoyed getting to talk all things birth trauma and maternal mental health with Mark. I discuss psychiatric mother and baby units, what it was like to be admitted to one, and about how histories of trauma affect women in pregnancy, labour, birth, and postnatally. I also got to say a bit about diagnoses of ‘personality disorder’ and how harmful these are for trauma survivors and for humans generally. I haven’t actually listened to myself back because I would only crumple in agonies of self-consciousness, but by all accounts this podcast is a good ‘taster’ for the book. Please help your girl out by sharing it with anyone you think might like to join us here in Bookland.

All the love,

Laura x

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