It’s Word Suicide Prevention Day and readers of this blog will know I’m not normally in favour of ‘special days’ like this. Though it’s vital to highlight this thing, my view is that it should be highlighted 365 days of the year. Because all 365 are special. That’s what I learned.
I speak from the heart, having tried to take my own life. Day Return to Cocoa Yard, which was published co-incidentally in time for this day, contains an autobiographical tale called “Orange Dog”. It’s a candid, frank and brutally honest exploration of how a man feels when all is seemingly lost. And yet the book (and even that story) has some levity, and definitely ends with hope, and that’s the most important thing.
In turning my life around since that dark day some eighteen months ago I am giving a series of talks about how it happened and how the book came to being, and how I sought help, and how I managed to save myself from wanting to jump, and how writing was at the heart of my recovery. Covid rules pending, the first of these will be at Nantwich Bookshop Coffee Lounge in a couple of weeks’ time. And yes I will speak from the heart.
You can see Kevin Godier’s (The Biscuit Factory) very kind review of the book on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3526412907
and buy the book at Waterstones or ebook here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Day-Return-Cocoa-Yard-Anthology-ebook/dp/B08G1ZMV8T/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1599644620&sr=8-1
“Long speeches that made my lips sandbanks, that made my eyes rivers, that even made me laugh with the same gallows humour that carried me through the day I fixed my leather belts together and hanged myself… … If my words can do just one person some good, if they can make him sit up and take notice or if they could resonate with he who faces a similar struggle and make him see that things are not as dark as they seem, then I’m minded to say I am a happy man.” – Malcolm B, from “Orange Dog” the penultimate story in Day Return to Cocoa Yard.