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Local Author Finds Healing in Writing About His Traumatic Experience

Friday 9 September 2011, 11:01
By Andrew E J Webster

Andrew Webster, author of 'Paris in Spingtime: An Episode'In the Spring of 2009, local author Andrew Webster elected to stop taking his medication - in the belief that he was well. The consequences were far reaching: in making this decision, he unwittingly 'invited' in the old 'demon' of manic depression or bipolar disorder, an illness of extreme mood swings. And in particular the harrowing experience of mania (elevated mood), and with it, spending sprees'; 'flights of ideas'; paranoia; delusions, and 'punning' with words.

'Paris in Springtime: An Episode', is the author's frank account of experiencing the consequences of that fateful decision. It recounts his travelling to France and jettisoning his house keys and car keys overboard, changing all his clothes for a new French wardrobe (and, hopefully a new French identity), cutting up his passport, driving license and credit cards in the belief that he had somehow transcended the need for such worldly necessities.

He was persecuted in his mind by the certainties of being hounded, initially by the press, then the French police and ultimately by the full force of the Roman Catholic Church - without knowing why. His journey from the Breton port of Roscoff to Paris makes for the most uncomfortable reading in a 'there but for the grace of God go I', sort of way. There follows a descent into destitution and homelessness on the streets of Paris, where he begged for food and received great kindness and generosity. However, the story is not about self-pity, far from it. It is not a bleak tale - it is a story of hope - and a sublime spiritual experience that transcended all the privations that had gone before.

It would perhaps not be fair to reveal the denouement for those who have yet to read 'Paris in Springtime: An Episode', - but suffice it to say that it is receiving reviews for being an uplifting book about hope rather than adversity. A review on Amazon by Kate reads as follows; 'This book arrived from Amazon in the morning and once started I just had to keep going, finishing it that afternoon. I was enthralled. I loved the clever combination of a gripping story with such emotion and displays of human kindness. The author's journey around Paris and the initial feelings of fear in the hospital came alive. Fantastic. Thank you.'

'Paris in Springtime: An Episode', is published by specialist mental health publisher Chipmunka Publishing and is available from Amazon.


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