Progress report: published my first book
Posted by Heather
29th Jun 2014

Life is for living. Sometimes you have to take that leap of faith into the unknown and hope for the best. Since I was diagnosed in late 2011 with a Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I honestly felt I had finally hit rock bottom. Up until that point I wasnít living life, I was simply existing, almost on autopilot. Avoiding situations that trigged anxiety attacks. Closing myself of and having little friend.
Life felt like a blur, until one day I woke-up to realise I was in my mid-twenties, most friends I knew had gone on to have a wonderful life. Clubbing, traveling the world and seeing the sites. I felt I was trapped in cycle of anxiety and OCD. It took guts, but I decided to find a way back. Baby steps.
Firstly I started seeing a CBT Therapist. Making goals, like going on bus journeyís further away on my own to overcome the anxiousness I felt being away from home. Then I started volunteering every Friday morning at a local charity shop. And then on to a community radio project.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by emotions of fear or feelings of unworthiness for being at the point I am currently at. Itís the negative feelings that always try to creep back in, when you have an off day or just feeling vulnerable. To be honest I took perhaps one of my biggest leaps recently and that was to follow my dream of writing a book. Before I threw the towel in, just didnít have the confidence to complete it. For a long time I struggled, felt unmotivated and tired. Just feeling I was trying to climb the steepest mounting in the world. It just wasnít going to happen. However I sent my script off to Worthy FM and the station manager made a feature radio play during this yearís Glastonbury festival. To be honest itís been an amazing experience. Friends and family have really got behind me and encouraged me to keep going. I published a small instalment of my book called: The Life of Helen Riley, on Amazon. Parts of the story reflects locked-up emotions I never felt comfortable about expressing before. Itís taken me ages to have the confidence to self-publish and feel proud of achieving one of biggest long held goals. I decided to donate the small fee I make to Cancer Research UK.

With everything going on around me I still get wobbles and recently my OCD has flared up again. I started a small cleaning service and now self-employed. With this comes responsibilities and uncertainties and I think thatís the trigger. Writing is where my heart is and cleaning is to earn a living. I find myself washing cloths more then I need to, and checking doors ect. I think itís the negativity creeping in again. All I can do is fall back on my copying strategies and keep on going.
The past few days have been truly amazing, itís given a great deal of confidence to keep following my dream of becoming a writer. I already have the second instalment drafted touchwood this may lead somewhere good.

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