Been there, seen it, done it, got the T-shirt. I first wanted to write a book when I was in my early teens but as soon as I sat down to start I discovered that I really didn’t have enough experience of life to do it. What’s it like to; be in love, be betrayed, be rich, be poor, get married, get divorced? I really didn’t have a clue. So, I set aside my writing ambitions and decided to concentrate on living life to the full, to gain those valuable life experiences first.
Well I got my wish. I travelled the world, ran my own business, married a beautiful wife ten years my junior and had two wonderful children. Unfortunately though, life is a bit like a roller coaster ride, you have to take the downs as well as the ups. So, for a little balance, I also became an alcoholic, suffered severe depression, made attempts on my own life and became bankrupt as well.
So I as sit here now, in my dingy little room in a hostel for the homeless smoking re-cycled cigarette butts, there’s no excuse any more. Been there, seen it, done it, got the T-shirt so now it’s time to write the book!
Even in todays ‘enlightened world’, when people think of an alcoholic or mental health patient, they tend to pigeon hole. Alcoholics are either the shabbily dressed old men sitting in a group in the churchyard drinking cider from bottles wrapped in brown paper bags at nine o’clock in the morning or they are well known celebrities like Paul Gascoigne or Ozzy Osborne, in and out of expensive rehab clinics until their liver finally gives up on them. Likewise with mental patients, they are either the window licking gaggle of people, which we try our best not to look at, on their monthly trip out to the pub in the minibus or they are celebrities like Frank Bruno, Spike Milligan or Peter Sellers.
What we don’t like to think about though is that by far the majority of alcoholics and mental health patients are just ‘ordinary’ people like you and, yes, like me. These issues are not the sole preserve of the rich and famous or the down and out, they can affect anybody; you, your children your spouse, your parents, anybody. It really is the elephant in the room.
So here it comes; my story. The adventures of an ordinary boy from an ordinary middle class family who happens to also be an alcoholic and a mental patient as well.