I moved to London in the summer of 2006. By this time, I had extensive notes and ideas for writing. The thought of showing these to other people was never at the forefront of my mind at this stage.
I had just come out of a difficult time in my life, panic and anxiety and subsequent depression was peppered with an increasing feeling of alienation and an inability to cope with what was fast becoming a more severe form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Having gone down many self help routes 10 years previously, and thinking that maybe I was “fixed”, this dramatic downfall in my mental state caused me concern, yet was a significant catalyst. I began to read, what I now consider the “other side” of self help. Heller, Bauby, Haddon…. I could engage and empathise with these characters.
I had undertaken an intensive course of CBT six months previously that had drained and revitalized me in equal measure. The techniques I learnt from this, and with a new set of authors at my disposal, I began the pain staking task of developing my ideas further.
I had to write about what I know. I wanted to help others who had gone through, or were going through what I had done. I spent 8 months attempting to develop a way in which I could tell my story in an entertaining way that would also teach, but not preach.
After leaving an office job in January 2007, I found myself unable to sleep, and on a particularly rushed journey to Devon, I pulled over at a service station and began to write the first chapter.
When I left Devon a week later, I had written the first draft of the first and second chapters. The next 8 weeks were spent writing and drinking coffee. I don’t remember sleeping, I don’t remember seeing friends.
Snippets were then put online on a myspace page. The positive response pushed me further. After approaching agents and failing to secure interest, I made a decision to print independently. I wanted this out there.