“I checked myself in to a psychiatric hospital – now, I’m grateful for my breakdown.” To help publicise my new book, I wrote a story for The Daily Telegraph.
I dreaded writing it. I get no joy recalling how miserable I was, and it always leaves me feeling exhausted. But I’ll continue to do it for as long as I’m asked, because I’m haunted by the people who came into psychiatric hospital who had attempted suicide the day before.
This morning I received the welcome text message (pictured above) from somebody who was in the same hospital. This makes it worthwhile.
I hope the article – and the book – give a glimpse of the sunny uplands that may (will!) come after the deep dark hole. I’m grateful to Miranda Levy for commissioning the story and allowing me to be pictured on actual sunny uplands – the top of Hampstead Heath where I drew one of the pictures in the book.
Thanks too to Andrew Crowley for photographing me in the act of painting, rather than just looking like A Glum Man Who Wrote A Story For The Paper About His Breakdown. Here’s a photo of Andrew at work, by me.
Psalms For The City (my book) isn’t actually published yet, but thanks to my terrific publisher it’s already climbed into the top 20 on two charts on Amazon, putting me among spiritual writers such as Eckhart Tolle, M Scott Peck, C.S. Lewis, Richard Rohr and Thich Nhat Hanh; and poets including T.S. Eliot, Khalil Gibran, Rowan Williams, Dante Alighieri, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Geoffrey Chaucer. (!!!)
Today is one of those days when things seem to be going too well, and I feel pleased about that – albeit with familiar background note of high anxiety (it won’t last!).
Thanks for reading.