From the MM message machine - Sept 3/99
Hi, I should have done this a long time ago, but I just wanted to express my appreciation .. um.. My circumstances have changed quite drastically now and one never knows what's going to happen in this life so. . . It's gone from working, to unemployment, to being in Erik Martin, and now going on social assistance and disability, and still taking programs at Erik Martin. So, um ... I really appreciate .. ah... especially when finances are down to the fine line .. I appreciate that this is offered. Thanks.
From the MM message machine - Aug /99
Hi, I'm nervous about leaving this message because I never express myself very well.
Um...Even though I've listened to your recordings for ages - actually I've listened to this one, even though it's only Wednesday, three times - um... I now that I live really close and I'm more up to going out... um... I've seen two and I just want to say I'm so impressed with your dedication and thoughtfulness... um...
I've been going on and on about you since . . to my mum and my sister, especially after reading that article in Canadian Living . . I think you deserve more articles of recognition like that... um I also like how you so thoroughly describe the movies on these recordings. I also noticed your warmth and understanding when I talked to you briefly after one of the movies I saw.
Keep up the good work - it's . .um. . really appreciated and I'm really impressed with this initiative you've taken for others.
'Kay, take care. Good-bye.
(Honest - I didn't make this up. I've kept the original tape, it's so sweet. This is exactly the kind of person I've hoped to reach since I started realizing what MM events might accomplish, and how being public about my story might affect people. bs )
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 1997 17:00:39
It's ---, that guy from the mental health support group. Finally, I've checked out your web page. MM is much more than I thought it to be. Having to "come out of the closet" to the public and your family must have been quite a challenge! It's great that there are people out there that are non-judgemental towards the mentally ill. My wife is like that, really supportive, for which I am very thankful. I am working [in the mental health system] but have not "come out" to them about my illness. I am worried that they will not understand and anyway I don't see it as their business. I'm just lucky that I can function properly and hold down a job.
Anyways, it's a great feat that you have put together MM and have been able to be so open about your illness. You're an inspiration to me.
Subject: Movie Monday
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 18:49:02
Just writing to say Congratulations to Bruce, Family, and helpers on your fifth anniversary with Movie Monday! Quite an achievement! Last weeks showing of "Cannery Row" was most enjoyable. Movie Monday provides an excellent service to the patients and the community, keep up the good work!
Subject: Your movie night is great!
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 98 22:32:17
What a wonderful idea having a movie night for patients and the community, also.
I visited the Eric Martin Pavillion last month and many in-patients are in desperate need of something entertaining to do. What you have done is fantastic.
My mother is presently an inpatient at Eric Martin and I will try to encourage her to go to the next movie night. Is there one every Monday?? Keep up the great work; I'm sure MANY people really appreciate it.
letter received Mar. 5/98
At the MDA* meeting,v you asked how Movie Monday was helpful to me. Immensely is a word that comes to mind. The last (seventh at the EMP) time I was hospitalized, I was so manic I went psychotic and paranoid, and I was unable to leave certain sections of 3B** and felt that the staff and some of the patients were plotting against me, and had they been holding Bowie knives I could not have felt more threatened.
I'd been to two or three movies before that night, and despite the noise and darkness, I felt it to be a safe place, with no nurses, security guards or police of which I was very scared at the time. I'm no Trekkie but that night I decided to go despite my fear and panic attacks and after a gut-wrenching 30 min. I found myself relaxed and enjoying myself, even laughing, which was something that seemed such a remote impossibility I have periods I would have sneered at the thought.
The atmosphere that you provide of safety and of camaraderie especially between patients really helped me. Did you know that this atmosphere exists? When the movie was over I dreaded having to go back to the ward but it was easier and my delusion that they were all out to get me had reduced to the point where I could recognize the feelings were false.
This is the most dramatic show of Movie Monday helping me. The other times I went when hospitalized were not as dramatic but important nonetheless. Sometimes it feels as if that clock is ticking backwards, time goes so slowly. Movie Monday provides a welcome relief from the stagnation - and we have something new to talk about. As far as the few (3 times so far) I've gone to Movie Monday from living alone in the community, I find it gives me a great sense of acceptance of who I am as a person, a Manic-Depressive, and I don't feel as marginalized.
Thank you for your fight to get Movie Monday the way it is today and for your continuing struggle for funding. I was thinking of writing about my 3 of my friends whom Movie Monday has helped but I don't have their permission but they exist. On our behalf, thank you again.
I'm good with visual art and poster-making if you need that kind of help, Bruce. You've helped me, I'd be glad to help you.
* Mood Disorders Association support group
** a ward in Victoria's psychiatric hospital