This is it…

It’s time for another emotional roller-coaster. This one has car crash written all over it. It’s why I’m not gonna be driving for a while I don’t think.

Well this happened…

On Tuesday I signed a publishing agreement.

Seriously.

My bullshit will be in print. Actual print!

This was an incredible achievement.

But it didn’t feel like one at the time. In fact no sooner had I used DocuSign or whatever online program it was to put my signature on the paper did I start having panic attacks.

Not just small ones mind you.

These were serious.

I couldn’t string sentences together. I couldn’t form coherent thought. I managed to pull myself together to walk to an NHS practice in the city centre and was then promptly turned away even though I was in visible physical distress.

I called my surgery and they talked me down.

I was there again.

It was fleeting.

But it was there.

I made it home from the centre of Leeds and was still in a state of panic and anxiety. I was in tears. I couldn’t stop crying no matter what I did. My mum rushed and stayed with me for a couple of hours. I’m sorry for putting her through this.

Eventually the panic subsided and I just crashed. I went to bed at 6pm and didn’t do anything else yesterday.

I was exhausted.

Yet I didn’t sleep.

I went to my doctor’s surgery this morning. It was a short wait but the doctor I saw was incredible. He asked all the standard questions;

Are you thinking about self harm?

No.

Are you thinking darker thoughts?

Yes.

Have you planned how you would enact your darker thoughts?

To the nth degree.

Have you done anything else planning to enact your darker thoughts?

I wrote a will.

So basically, yep, I’m good to go!

They have to ask these questions though. It’s about helping. The problem I have is I actually understand a lot about this process and what needs to be asked etc because it’s been part of my life for so long. I answer all these questions and laugh at the end of them because it’s both true and terrifying!

We eventually settled on changing my medication initially and then having repeat meetings to see how things develop.

My mum is so worried she’s looking at residential therapy places and alternative therapies.

It’s a scary world for me right now.

What happened?…

Well, I signed a publishing agreement.

I never thought it would happen.

But signing it and agreeing to publish ‘Life is a Four-Letter Word’, market it and everything else that goes along with making such a book a reality, it made me realise that this is my reality now.

Let it sink in.

This is my reality now.

Why is that important?

Well I had no one to celebrate signing this agreement with. There was no one there. This book encapsulates everything up until the finalisation of my divorce (which was another time I considered ending my life!). This book is the final full stop of that chapter of my life.

Now I’ve learned a lot along the journey. I’m a completely different man now than I once was. I wouldn’t change what has happened, where I’ve come from or where I am today.

It was just the realisation that this is where I’m at.

It’s exactly where I need to be.

Whilst it is lonely and often without much structure, this is where I am. I need to get comfortable with that.

The bigger problem is every time I dive back into the book and re-read those tears on the page, I feel it all again.

Maybe this is my form of self harm.

So why keep doing it?…

I’ve had a few people ask me why am I doing this if it keeps hurting me so much and if it really is as painful as it looks when I’m talking about it.

I’m doing it for other people.

When I received the development editor’s comments back I saw this;

I had forgotten I’d written it if I’m honest.

It’s still true.

So when I was asked why it’s a really simple response;

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.

Star Trek is great, but this quote has always resonated with me.

Firstly it appealed to me from a very mathematical and logical viewpoint. It makes sense logistically.

Now it means something different to me.

It means that if I can keep helping more and more people by telling my story and sharing my experiences then any pain I feel along the way is worth it.

It will be hard for me.

It will.

But knowing what I’m doing is inspiring people and helping them will keep me going.

This book isn’t for me.

It’s for all of you readers!

What now?…

This is one of those spontaneous posts where I haven’t really put much thought into it at all.

Now I’ll continue on my journey to become a published author. It’ll be exciting!

I’ll also continue to seek the help I need to keep me stable through this process.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing more about the publishing journey as it progresses.

Thanks

Andy Salkeld

Just another guy