I kept a diary from the age of 14 and always thought I’d write a book. I had read a brutally honest book about bulimia (Wasted by Marya Hornebacher) and wanted to do the same for bipolar disorder and anorexia – absolute fly on the wall honesty to prove I am not ashamed of my mental illnesses and to help sufferers out there.
How did you feel about being published?
F***ing fantastic. I almost certainly can’t have children because of the medicine I have to take so it is my way of leaving a legacy and as such my books are my children, each one special and beautiful in it’s own way. I can go on creating.
What has the reaction to your books been?
Very positive. My first book was a very academic style of memoir but it sold well. What mattered to me were the messages I got from readers since I left my email address and website address in the book. I can honestly say I got no negative comments and many positive, “thank you for having the bravery to write this book” messages. I even had emails saying my book had saved readers’ lives. For me that makes it all worth it.
What do you do to relax?
I am an administrator on the Stephen Fry forums which keeps me busy – it’s important I keep my mind occupied. I listen to music. I’m working hard to lose the weight I’ve gained on newer antipsychotic medication so I can take up my real passion again – skiing. What is vital for my day to day mental health is sleep and minimal stress. Without those two things I can guarantee I will become manic or depressed, usually in that order.
What are you currently up to?
Writing book 3.
What does your work with The Bipolar Foundation involve?
I already answered this just for you in some detail.
What would a perfect mental health service look like to you?
More doctors, more nurses, more beds, more money going into research especially areas that don’t get funding easily i.e. mental health – all of that would be a good start
Author of DARK CLOUDS GATHER – a bipolar memoir.
(A True Story about surviving Mood Disorders, Eating Disorders, Attempted Suicide, and Self-Harm).
Author/Editor of TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD
(True stories from people who have Mood Disorders).