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Below is an extract from my semi-autobiographical book ‘Lying Down.’

SHOPPING2George Harrison once said, “The word can be a hard place to get by in sometimes.” He was. If right your perceived world is one of anxiety, apprehension and fear then you’re in for a rough ride. I should know. At countless periods in my life I lived in that world.

As a child I had a propensity towards making mountains out of molehills. Seemingly routine events I would catasptrophise for no good reason and I would enter a state of panic that remained unseen to most.

An overly fertile imagination and propensity for boredom only served to fuel these anxious states. The benefit of hindsight is a great thing indeed. My passion was for writing. You name it, I would write about it. Anything from writing about books that I had read to poetry to a sporting event that I had seen.

My bedroom walls looked like miniature museum archives lined with manilla folders containing my work. Each folder was carefully labelled with each entry dated and initialled. Almost every spare minute that I had out of school was spent writing. I also kept diaries. These diaries are the cornerstone of this very book.

I liked share my stories with family members and friends. One friend in particular, Tom Billing, had a fertile imagination and keen sense of humour enjoyed my stories and was always keen to read my stories.

Toms’ family left the area during my first year of high school rekindle our friendship over twenty years later at one of the most telling periods of my life. We remain lifelong friends.

My grandparents also enjoyed reading my stories. Both of my grandfathers worked hard when they were young. One was a coal miner the other delivered potatoes. They worked in a time before any great mechanisation and were both bowed by hard work. They were reflective men and I enjoyed stories of their work and of their childhood and would base some of my own stories on them.

My childhood was sprinkled with episodes of fear. A fear of failure and fear of rejection that would sometimes leave me almost paralysed. If I perceived a situation as being potentially fearful I would retreat to my room, lie on my bed and focus my thoughts on whatever I was writing about at the time or what I could potentially write about.

This trait remains with me today. It may not be the ideal way to deal with stress but it’s better than a world of drunken angst and confusion. A world that I would later live in for some time.

For more details about ‘Lying Down’ click here.

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