This was meant to be a funny post. But I’m sitting at my computer typing. And you know s*** gets serious when Georgia writes a blog post on her computer and not her phone.

I was talking with a dear friend yesterday about the subject of vulnerability. My friend is social, outgoing, affectionate and I especially admire her for her ability to dive into life head first with curiosity and an open heart. We were talking about relationships, and she was curious about my current approach to them.

Well, *Georgia clasps hands together* … let me tell you a little about what this dorky schizophrenic has thought about the world of relationships (and vulnerability) in her 28 years on this planet.

Basically, I’ve never been in one. I struggled with things like reading social cues and taking initiative before I got ill – and after I got ill, the focus was mainly on recovery, not finding a partner. This has given me pleeeeeeenty of time to think about the subject.

As I’ve written about before, I’ve had crushes. I’ve been on dates. I’ve been rejected (ouch). I’ve rejected others (double ouch). I’ve been confused, curious, interested, quiet, pensive, hurt, sensitive and, at times, felt like I wasn’t good enough.

I’ve been on dating apps, tried them out, deactivated them again. As I told my friend yesterday, sometimes I’m invested – other times I’m not. It really all depends on what time of the day you find me in. But, basically, I’m super-happy with my life and don’t ‘need’ a partner to fill any gaps.

This is not to say it wouldn’t be nice. But nice is different from necessary.

Hollywood rom-coms would make you believe that being in a relationship is the ultimate ‘thing’; my friend described how society seems to believe that being single is an ‘undesirable’ state to be in.

But it’s not.

Being single is the epitome of freedom. You can pretty much do whatever you want, whenever you want, and you don’t have to take someone else’s feelings or opinions into consideration. Of course, we all have commitments, we all have people we care about and a willingness to help others; I’m not saying that one should be completely indifferent to other people. I’m just saying that, on the one hand, there’s something gloriously peaceful and uncomplicated about just being in a relationship with yourself.

On the other hand, relationships ARE (can be!) wonderful. Even having never been in one, I can see how being in a loving, healthy relationship is a precious gift. And yes, I’ve wanted it for myself, too.

But not at all costs.

Especially after my illness, I’ve had to be super-focused on myself – and my recovery. Schizophrenia has taken years of my life away – years that most young people spend socialising, flirting, studying and working … you get my drift. So, in many ways, I have an ‘excuse’ as to why it’s ‘never worked out’ for me.

On the subject of vulnerability, however …

When I was a child, I cried a lot. I was sensitive. I had no problem showing what I was feeling, even if it was ‘negative’. I’m still sensitive, but in a less ‘raw’ way. As we grow up, we mature and find other ways to cope with – and, sometimes, hide – our feelings.

I have often pondered what the best thing to do is; wear your heart on your sleeve and risk getting rejected, teased or hurt? Keep your cool and risk losing someone you were too afraid to express yourself honestly towards?

I’ve always picked the latter.

What about you?


What ten songs would you pick for the soundtrack of your life?

I’m in a music mood, so here are mine!


Aly & AJ – Walking On Sunshine

The ultimate happy song. I love it. It perfectly captures that feeling of elation and excitement for the future. (I know Katrina and the Waves did the original, but Aly & AJ’s is the version I remember from my childhood.)


Avril Lavigne – Nobody’s Fool

The whole first verse is my favourite. The musical form of “Do no harm, take no s**t”. My first “artist album” was Let Go by Avril, who I just thought was the coolest person ever. She expressed feelings and experiences I didn’t even know I had yet, while remaining cool and edgy in her style. To little Georgia, for whom the world was pink and fluffy, Avril was an awesome mix of sensitive, trendy, and insanely talented. Still is.


Coldplay – Talk

Where life is changeable, music is constant. When life is cruel and chaotic, music stays the same – it’s always right there where you left it and there’s no risk of it ever leaving. When things seem too much to bear, Coldplay understands. I felt like everyone was talking to me in a language I didn’t speak, and this song got me through the toughest times I never wish to revisit. Plus, it reminds me of my best friend, who listened to “Talk” with me on a school trip to Prague.


Linkin Park – Numb

For a pop addict like me, Linkin Park was positively hardcore. I really enjoy watching music videos, and this one spoke to me on some level when I was struggling. Quiet, arty girl who’s being bullied at school? Ticks all the boxes. Thank you, and rest in peace, Chester Bennington.


Madison Beer – Stained Glass

I think the lyrics are really clever in this one. It’s all about sensitivity and how harsh words can damage us, but with layered metaphors centred around the fragility, colours and fractures of “stained glass”. I went to see Madison Beer in concert and enjoyed every minute – unless you’re a staunch metalhead (and if you haven’t already), give her music a listen.


Natasha Bedingfield – These Words

Whew … that got deep! So, here’s an upbeat, fun song that brilliantly describes the struggle of the writer. I listened to it a lot in my childhood.


Nickelback – Savin’ Me

I have yet to watch a music video that I’ve found as interesting as this one. Clever, well-executed, and sad (I wouldn’t recommend watching it if you’ve just lost a loved one), its concept is just … well, clever. Thought-provoking and original. I do love the lyrics too.


Robbie Williams – Feel

This song reminds me to live up to my full potential. Don’t let all the life running through your veins go to waste …


Sia – Elastic Heart

Again, the music video is a masterpiece, but I also listened to this song on repeat for a long time to get me through a dip in my health. Sia powerfully captures the essence of “you won’t f***ing break me” in 4 minutes and 16 seconds. It’s strong, relatable, vulnerable and moving, all in one little song. Have you listened to it?


Spice Girls – Viva Forever

Okay, another music video that I LOVE! Growing up in London, with the Spice Girls as a big part of a little blue-eyed girl’s everyday life, I HAD to have them on the list. This is my favourite song by them, and brings back all the feels and memories of childhood.

So … which Spice Girl were you? I was Baby 👱🏻‍♀️


Taylor Swift – Love Story

No Georgia playlist would be complete without T-Swizzle, so of course, I had to pick the first one I ever listened to, Love Story. It’s been a love story about her music ever since 😉

Did my (eleven) choices surprise you? What would yours be?

About communication and self-expression when you have schizophrenia (and depression)

There’s a saying that goes “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak”. I have always loved this quote. When words failed me, I could always express myself through my clothes. When I was a teenager, I felt like a walking contradiction; super-quiet, but always dressed in bright colours. I didn’t own one piece of black clothing, and even my braces had multicoloured bands.

I read another quote recently: “If a composer could say what he had to say in words, he would not bother trying to say it in music”. A slightly different take on the subject. It got me thinking; thinking about my own struggles and difficulties with communication. In a way, my schizophrenia diagnosis in 2012 came as a relief; now I finally had answers to why I’d struggled socially all my life. I started my first blog in 2016 as a way to express myself – through writing, I could say everything I needed to say, in a controlled and personal manner without interruptions or misunderstandings. I hoped it would clarify things, both for others and for myself – which it certainly has.

However, writing has not been my only therapy (aside from the regular sessions with my psychiatrist). I have also used art as a means to communicate who I am.

When I was younger, I drew manga girls in different outfits. When I was even younger, I drew animals. Now, I draw and paint portraits – to order, when I’m able to cope with it. Schizophrenia doesn’t like to make things easy, and even my artistic side suffered during the worst period of the illness; I couldn’t bring myself to pick up a pencil. This was particularly devastating when I couldn’t rely on my mouth to articulate everything on my mind; I felt like I’d lost myself.

The portrait I entered in the competition. “Jay Pee”, 2020-21, acrylic on canvas.

I recently entered a portrait competition. This was a HUGE hurdle to overcome for me, despite being something I’d wanted to do for a while. My ambivalence (a crippling by-product of schizophrenia) means that, even when I have a strong desire to achieve something, my brain goes into overdrive finding all the reasons why I shouldn’t try. In the past, this would be accompanied by aggressively critical voices (the kind only I can hear) and, as a result, nothing would come of my aspirations. I’m not saying it’s much different now – I still have to design my life around my illness – but I’m hoping that, with effort, I can keep pushing the limits at my own pace and not let the darkness win.

As it so happens, I received a diagnosis of depression not long ago. I may have to grapple with my own mind for a while yet, but at least I have my creative outlets.

In any case, it definitely won’t stop me wearing bright colours.

A Little Poem (by Georgia Brask)

Sometimes, in life, the hand you’re dealt is mightily unfair
Could write a trilogy of books and still have prose to spare
How could the higher power be so merciless to me?
I’ve always seen myself as good; I wouldn’t hurt a flea
Zoning out is how it started—my mind would disappear
Overrun by voices, the kind that only I could hear
Paranoia creeping in and making life chaotic
How was I to know that this was called being psychotic?
Rightly, I soon was sectioned to a psychiatric ward
Each day a mix of medicine, care and feeling rather bored
Now, it’s been almost nine years since my time in that safe space
I’m further, strong and happier; the problems that I face
Are by no means easier, I’ve just learned to get better …
… and if you’d like to know my fight, read each line’s first letter.