65. Praecox 


I have been reading a delightful book over the last months entitled ‘Letters of Note’. Enclosed within its pages are intense peeks into life that transcend time, fame, personality, sexually, gender, religion and even sanity. The above letter, yes it is a letter, was written by Emma Hauck in 1909, whilst she was admitted to the Wiesloch Asylum; where she died 11 years later. Suffering from dementia praecox (now known as schizophrenia), her letters hold only one sentence repeated thousands of times. 

They read: 

‘Sweetheart come’ 

The consensus amongst the doctors was that these were directed to her absent husband Mark, who never received the letters. She died alone and sadly without closure. 

However, her life is not one lived in vain if we learn from it, and we must. 

None of us can fully protect ourselves from mental health issues and with time, situational developments and in old age we are all physiologically proned to develop significant mental health issues. Therefore it is paramount that we do not take our ability to exist free of this anguish for granted. We are deeply lucky to not have yet developed life-crushing mental illness. 

In my past, I have suffered from intense bouts of anxiety, depression and had severe panic attacks. Yet I have passed through this and come out stronger. I survived. 

Sadly, Not all do. 

Every day we have good health is a gift, for ultimately our health is all we have. 

(Photo – Eli Woodbine, 2016) 


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