I’ve lost my ‘hard on’ for mental health… THERE, I SAID IT! I can’t get it up for the brain right now… it’s a no-show.
This is far from ideal considering… well it’s my job. (To clarify, I’ve lost my hard-on for writing about it – mental health education will forever be a piece of my heart).
The book came out six weeks ago & to date, I’ve shied away from typing any more wellbeing-related words.
This topic is something I’ve been reluctant to talk about until now because I greatly appreciate how lucky I am.
I have not one, but two books published. That’s incredible. The gamble of being a writer is working hard without ever knowing if you’ll be published.
Writing book two
It took almost two years to complete F**K I THINK I’M DYING , during which I unearthed some very painful memories AND experienced my second breakdown, (a source of trauma that I’m still dealing with). Not that I’d take any of it back, truly. I learned so much during this period and by writing the book, I hope to help others avoid being overwhelmed by the same sh**. There’s nothing worse than being confused by your disorder.
It was a privilege to work on something that I’m so passionate about.
BUT, I’d be lying if I said that the experience didn’t ‘take from me.’ Not just the writing process, but the whole PR side of things. Publishing is a volatile industry and with so many stories fighting to be heard, plus a pandemic… the road was always going to be bumpy. For example; you work for hours on an article, only to be told at the last minute that it’s been dropped for something else. You’re repeatedly asked the same very basic questions by journalists or asked about personal tragedies & things that have caused you pain. You feel disgusted that you actively pitched ‘clickbait story ideas’ knowing this is what the media want. (Why talk about the positives when I could divulge how many times I’ve considered taking my own life?) You constantly compare yourself to other authors and the coverage they receive, (especially the ones from a place of great privilege).. and hate yourself for the feelings of jealously that follow.
In contrast, the highs of publicity are cosmic and I felt lucky that anyone would be interested in my book, let alone several. The world of media wasn’t going to change just to make me feel more comfortable, so it’s something that all authors learn to manage the best they can.
I just didn’t expect to be so tired at a time when I should’ve been celebrating… & I mean bone achingly exhausted, so much so that I got absolutely hammered at my own book launch because I couldn’t cope with any more intense feelings, (good or bad). I craved stability.
So, I decided to take a break, two weeks to be exact…. to remind myself why I started writing in the first place. It’s coming back, I can feel it. Don’t give up on me just yet.
A friend of mine told me that the world is going through a ‘state of fatigue’ right now. We’ve been bombarded with mountains of information and experienced rapid change. It’s bound to have an impact on a global level.
Maybe taking some time out isn’t such a bad idea for all of us?
Until then, just keep swimming.
My new book F**k I THINK I’M DYING: How I Learned to Live with Panic – is available now.