I had a breakdown which entailed hiding under my desk in my room.


Today, we’re talking to writer and poet Alice Tarbuck about writing, breakdowns and anxiety. Alice is speaking as part of our event on Sun 1st April at Edinburgh Science Festival’s Wellbeing Cafe.


On writing about mental health.

I have clinically diagnosed anxiety. I tend to write about it without meaning to perhaps, in poetry. I explicitly write about it in personal/non-fiction essays, and in relation to practices that help me.

On the weird side of life.

I had a breakdown in the final year of my undergraduate, which entailed hiding under my desk in my room, and because I was too anxious to leave, ended up there eating dry cake mix from a packet for a day or two.

On the unknown.

People think that because I am good at things other anxious people struggle with (social situations, public speaking etc), I am not anxious. It just takes different forms.

On what she’s up to.

I have an essay forthcoming from 3 of Cups Press in their On Bodies anthology, on walking and chronic illness. The anthology is full of brilliant contributors, and you can help support it here.