18: Giles Addison – On Living With Bipolar Schizoaffective Disorder

Giles Addison, a freelance writer, mental health advocate and a friend who is a truly luminous being has a chat about living with bipolar schizoaffective disorder. The challenges and the hope.

Photo Credit: Adam Khadaroo

Hello everyone and welcome to the first episode in the second year of Padded Cell. I am Anthony Oluoch. These past 12 months have been quite eventful and difficult and exhausting with everything that’s going on in the world right now. I do hope that wherever you are, you are safe, you are hanging in there, and if it does gets too rough, you are able to reach out to someone and talk. It is really important to be able to do that. Talk. And listen. And check in on your friends and loved ones. So, today I will dealing with a something that about 1 in 200 people develop at some point in their lives. Schizoaffective Disorder. Giles Addison, a freelance writer, mental health advocate and a friend who is a truly luminous being will have a chat about living with the condition. Before our chat though, I would like to share something he wrote that resonated with me so much that I got some of it permanently inked on my skin 


Oh to be superhuman! Less wishful thinking and more of an acceptance of myself given my current state. With only a few hours light slumber grabbed over the past days do I feel weak?  

Far from it, the feeble nature of mere mortal seems forgotten as I charge forth into the day. For it dances out before me, beckoning me to delight in its abundant majestic wonder. Concepts, visions, dreams, they arise like flames from the circle of the sun, glowing ever brighter, almost blinding you with their brilliance. I am on fire! Beauty exists everywhere, it drives me to ecstasy, compels me to seduce, to pursue passion and sensuality. I find the interesting side of any ordinary, the world around me fascinates and enchants. Purchases are compelling, beyond reason. Confidence and assurance are my comrades. Nothing, but nothing can stop me for you I am at supremacy, celebrant in my own stance as idol and demi-god. 

I am unstoppable, a force of immeasurable power that can achieve greatness within the blink of an eye. How I relish in the rapture of this reasoning that exists beyond the rationale!  

I am the golden legionnaire, gilded to gleam under the Autumn sun as I charge to the fore. I am the galleon of the Kings, forging my path through uncharted waters.  

I am once again the Phoenix, trailing a spectrum of colour across the skies. I am the fundamental forces, I am the subatomic nucleus.  

I am the dominance of gravity, over immeasurable distances and infinite range. I am the electromagnetic interaction of every atom.  

I am the fire and the ice and the silence and the scream that binds it all together.  

I am the four winds and the five oceans combined, the mountains and valleys reverberate my name.  

I am the moon, the sun and the stars. I am the almighty. Nothing can stop me, not even myself. Now watch me bend the world to my whim.

Anthony Oluoch

I am a lawyer, a brother, a son, a friend, a neighbor, a confidant, a student of life and I am Kenyan. Became a human rights activist so suddenly sometimes I ask myself if this really is something I wanted. But I have come to embrace it. I have come to realize that I like what I do. That on some level, what I do makes life easier for someone and hopefully, eventually, for myself…Probably the best way to describe me is in the words of Winston Churchill, I am a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

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