How do I feel?
Actually, I’m not really sure. I’m not particularly excited … maybe it’s a legacy from the emotional investment in writing the book; or simply one of my condition's long-enduring traits.
I suspect there will be an initial sense of relief when I can finally hold the book in my hand; relief that I no longer have to dwell on certain times gone by and try and put long-hidden feelings into words. Honestly, it was just draining at times.
And even though I had plenty of support from everyone at Trigger Press, writing is essentially a solitary pastime; and when I was physically alone with far too many thoughts and memories filling my head, there was more than one occasion when I could quite easily have stopped typing and clicked “delete” instead of “save”.
The two reasons I kept going (contractual obligations notwithstanding) were – and are – both simple and compelling. I had to make sure I completed the book to the best of my ability because it exists as a permanent and tangible “thank you” to everyone who has supported me. From my wife Elaine and parents (to whom the book is lovingly dedicated), and my family and friends, through to all those who gave their time to help me complete the 100 challenges; it is because of all of you that the book means so much.
And secondly, hard as it was to tell my story, the possibility (however remote) that I might make a small positive difference to one person would make the whole process worthwhile, and totally justify the decision to work with Trigger Press.
I do have to say that what Trigger Press is doing is wonderful. They are giving people a voice … a chance to talk about just what it is like to have a mental health condition … to show that it is fine to talk … to ask for help … and that that recovery (in whatever form and to whatever extent) absolutely IS possible. These messages are so important, and I am privileged to be a Trigger Press author, as well as flattered at the faith they have shown in me.
I have also had the chance to meet (either in person, or “virtually”) my fellow authors: Hope, Karen, Terri, Mark, Chris and Lucy (I’ll start your book soon, I promise) – as well as Paula, whose book will be published later next month. They are all inspiring people, with amazing stories. I’m not sure I deserve to be in their company, but I’m glad that I am.
That’s all for now … all eyes are now on the postman.