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About Me

My childhood couldn’t have been better and my working life was enjoyable too. I spent 17 years working as a lithographic printer, paying the bills and laughing everyday. In between that I packed a lot into my life and was in and out of bands, playing the London circuit and spending time recording in the studio. It all began to fall apart for me during the last recession in the late eighties and at that time I had to face a batch of life altering circumstances which were out of my control and it was that very situation that pushed me towards my only suicide attempt.

What began as stress and anxiety in 1988 crawled painfully towards clinical depression in 1993 and in 1995 I was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder (type II) and it wasn’t until after my fourth break-down in 1998 that I met two people who literally changed my life over night. The first was an occupational therapist. During a meeting with her one day she asked me to make a few notes of things I thought I could do, a week later I returned list in hand. I read out my first two ideas with some confidence but faltered with my last choice as I thought she’d laugh in my face at such an absurd idea, so very quietly I mentioned that I would like to write a book about my disorder. Putting down the notes I’d given her to read she simply said, “Let’s get you published first.” I couldn’t believe anyone would take me seriously in the condition I was in.

Hilary referred me to a day unit where amongst other activities such as art and jewellery courses and a 24 track digital recording studio was an editorial team called, Equilibrium. It was run by service users and led by a freelance journalist and when my first two hour session ended I tentatively mentioned the idea of my book to the facilitator. This would be the acid test verdict, by comparison Hilary’s comments were a tester, Julia had years of experience behind her, what she said next could affect the next five years of my life. Her concise reply was, “That’s a great idea, strong subject too, have you brought any of your work in with you?” Well slap me with a four pound trout! That was the first time I’d heard my ‘scribbling’s’ described as work. I arrived feeling vastly inadequate and left inspired beyond belief. That was 12.15pm on Friday the 14th of May 1999 and I’ve written everyday since.