Three years ago a number of very difficult years in my life culminated in it all turning completely upside down. Beloved people and pets died. A very long and very hard relationship ended. Health dramas happened, one after the other. Even more crap shite rained down.
All this meant a line was drawn through my faith in the goodness of the world.
If we were living in the land of The Magic Faraway Tree, my world — which had been feeling the ominous winds of change for quite some time — swirled around and around and around, completely out of control.
I was so sad, overwhelmed and at sea that … I started writing a book.
I figured a) it would help me to have an anchor when things were feeling really crap and b) that I am not so special … and that other people were feeling terrible … and perhaps I could find ways to feel a bit better and share those feel-better strategies with others who were struggling.
So that is what I did.
I am incredibly luckily that Murdoch Books thought that this was a book that might help others too. And they said they would like to publish it.
The book is called When Life is Not Peachy and it’s a guide to getting up and getting through when life feels very, very hard.
It’s not a memoir, but rather a very, very practical guide to taking steps out into the world when you are actually really NOT feeling okay.
From someone who has been there.
I had no idea how to move through those hard days. I wished there was one book that would tell me how to deal with not being able to sleep, not knowing what to eat, not knowing how to remain hopeful, being too panicked to get mental health support, whole body sobbing, heart-hurting …
So that is the book I wrote.
It’s all about how to sleep and eat again, how to be brave enough to get professional help, how to find a way back into the world, how to slowly begin to convalesce, how to not cry when you are driving, how to not feel like a terrible messed-up monster, how to begin to make plans, how to continue to live and feel hopeful … and learn to be your (new, forever changed) self.
This is a book that might help people who have suffered a loss, are recovering from trauma, had a big shock, are battling with health challenges …
It’s to help people who have had their lives turned upside down and shaken like buggery, basically.
There are also ideas for friends and family on how to support a person who is going through something really freaking soul-shaking. What to say. What not to say. How to help. What doesn’t help.
Writing this book has done a bit of what I initially dreamt it would do, helping me to — inch by inch —focus on making helpful and hopeful steps into the future.
However the bigger part of this book-writing is — hopefully — helping other people who are feeling really freaking weighed down by the things that have happened in their lives to inch forward too.
That would be a total dream come true.
This is not a triumph over adversity book. It’s more an ‘I hung on and am sort of okay now and just started uni for the first time’ book.
PPS: Thank you to everyone who has supported me through my crappy times and helped me with this book.
More on the helpers very soon but I must immediately say thank you to:
- The gentle, clever and creative Michelle Mackintosh designed this book, which is why it looks so pretty and conjures up shades of peach (yum!) and the flowering gum at the end of myself street. MM also shared some intel on bathing — thanks to her and her (genius and kind) husband Steve Wide’s own restorative experience of Japanese onsen top of mind.
- Clare Bowditch – who herself just released an excellent, relatable, helpful and candid memoir called Your Own Kind of Girl – took time out of her blinking busy schedule as she was just about to launch her own book and do a national tour to read mine and provide the cover quote. Ye GADS. Thank you SO MUCH Clare. #YOUBLOODYCHAMP
- Kerry Athanasiadis — former crafty Brown Owl and actual psychologist – who helped me to write about getting professional help when things are really, really shit and you are too scared to.
- Gil Stannard – total champ, warrior and naturopath – who provided some advice for peaky pals which is included in the book.