Monday, 29 December 2014

Surfacing - or, How to Recover from a Nervous Breakdown

Well, everyone, it's a red letter day!  I have just finished my 'recovery book'.  Not for the first time, admittedly, but this time I am going to go ahead and publish it.

I wrote it in a bit of a rush, over about eight hours last night and today.  Well, I re-wrote it really - I've lost track of how many previous drafts I have done.  But I didn't look at any of those - I wrote this off the top of my head, hoping that the important points would drift up to the surface.  So.  Literally.  Surfacing.

The thing is, I really feel as though I want to move on from mental health, in my writing.  I find the subject fascinating, and I'll keep posting on here from time to time and I'll stay in contact with people through social media.  But I want to write about more than mental health and I want to write in a different form, not journalistically.  I'm going to see how much fiction I can churn out, in 2015.  That's my aim.

So, obviously the recovery book is really short, but I've just checked it against some of the earlier drafts and I think it pretty much encapsulates what I want to say.  I am going to price it as low as Amazon lets me, so nobody feels ripped off, and I really hope that it will be useful, and help people and maybe even influence future mental health policy (I've got a few things to say about the misuse of force in the system and how this has arisen because the administration of the criminal justice system has been confused with the treatment of mental (emotional) health.  It might not be anything I haven't said before, but I'm hoping that maybe somebody might read it and take notice.  You have to keep trying).   

I just wanted to get on and publish this book, and I have been attempting to write it for so long.  I have surprised myself with how it has just suddenly appeared.  I kept thinking about the person who commented on this blog that they hoped it would come out soon because they wanted to use it in their recovery.  I felt an obligation to this person and to anyone else who might have been waiting for me to come good on my promise.  And now here is the finished book - not perfect, but it was never going to be perfect. 

I have had the cover of this book ready to go for ages now, since the summer.  It will need changing a little - just the wording of the title, because it was a (very boring) memoir in its last incarnation.  But as soon as that is done it will be ready to go - it should be published in the early New Year, if not before. 

Hurrah!  Job done! 

I'm exhausted now.  I'll post again here, and Twitter and Facebook, when the book is available.


  1. Congratulations. I look forward to reading about your recovery journal. Please let me have the details of how to purchase.

    I share your excitement of imminent publication as my own book - 'Tales from the Madhouse: An insider critique of psychiatric services' - will be published on the 1st February 2015. Let's hope both our efforts are a success.

    Best wishes for 2015.

  2. Just remember always to befriend yourself - especially in areas where you aren't the world's greatest. Loved the book.


  3. Thanks David, I appreciate that. It's a great point. Wish I had read it before I published 'Surfacing' - which I finally did about five minutes ago! Glad you liked the first one.

  4. My biggest reaction to the "Surviving" memoir is to the level of terror and stress that you described from your childhood. That really resonates. Unfortunately it can lead to the self-loathing you write about. But that is where the battle is joined; we have to change this self-loathing about our faults. That's completely counter-productive and destructive. So we reverse the process of self-alienation by correcting the self-hate and rejection, adding the growth elixirs of kindness and compassion, and then revisiting the issues of terror and helplessness that we experienced (and ran from) in childhood ... as an understanding friend to ourselves. That's a new day, a new path ... with a different destination. All the best to all of us in this journey.