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Please turn your trauma
into strength?

Here's my life in 5 minutes

1968 - Born in Lancashire, England.

1976 - (8) Suffers physical maternal abandonment.

1976 - His behavioural problems at junior school lead teachers to isolate him in class and outside of it.

1979 - (11) Starts smoking cigarettes.

1982 - (14) Hospitalised in Belgium for acute alcoholic poisoning.

1984 - Enters sixth form.

1985 - Begins smoking cannabis regularly.

1986 - (18) Just before university he inadvertently consumes ~150 magic mushrooms: an "heroic dose" by any measure.

1989 - (21) Graduates with a 3rd in chemistry.

1989 - Cannabis causes panics, and he diverts to classical piano study.

1990 - He quits his job after a year of anxiety and mounting paranoia.

1992 - Bullying causes Michael to resign again. In 20 years, his CPN explains how not all the bullying had been real, as the derogatory remarks in the 3rd person, e.g., "he's a yes man", had never been spoken. 

1992 - (24) He's admitted to a mental hospital with schizophrenia, changing to "psychotic depression".

1992 - On benefits, he volunteers in the Social Therapy department of Winwick hospital.

1993 - He risks that income to study an MSc in computing, then gets a grant!

1994 - (26) Starts seeing Clare who's much older than him and on the course.

1994 - He graduates then wins a commercial programming job. After three days of debilitating mistrust and anxiety, he quits it.

1995 - Clare gets him weekend work piano tuning in a Dickensian like mill, using an electronic gadget.

1995 - He annoys the brilliant albeit elderly piano teacher who works there. As Michael had idolises him, his overly harsh tirade is psychologically annihilating, and puts Michael back in hospital.

1997 - He gets a job, exactly where he did his MSc!

1997 - (29) He passes Grade 8 piano playing with merit!

1998 - Clare once did some Scientology, but many years on, Michael thinks she's still into it, and it makes him ill. A third and hopefully final hospital visit, results in lifelong Lithium therapy.

1999 - Influenced by C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" and Clare's weekly organ playing at Mass, he becomes a Roman Catholic.

2000 - Idle at work for a decade, his tentative attempts at writing poetry along with much risperidone, become mainstays.

2006 - Clare is in hospital for 7 months fighting septicemia. She wins, but is now permanently wheelchair bound and hearing aid reliant; the latter being due to Amikacin treatment.

2006 - They get married soon after she is discharged to home.

2010 - Redundancy puts Michael into the DWP's ESA Support group. Rich in time, his poetry and English skills greatly improve.

2010 - As a prolific writer, he begins to have poetry published.

2012 - (44) Clare dies. Alone, unemployed, and with little confidence, he's caring for both Lucy, his incontinent elderly dog, and himself, on £500 a month.

2013 - After losing Lucy, he begins walking RSPCA dogs, voluntarily.

2014 - (46) Despite doing a little volunteering, a psychologist suggests he should tackle his avoidance, by trying the local "Monday Night Group" of creative writers. His poetry wins their respect immediately.

2014 - Michelle "winks" at him on, due in part to his dog walking, and ironically, her having five cats!! They rapidly and regularly meet.

2014 - As they're trying for a baby, it's easier still for Michael to proposes. He does so after just three months total.

2015 - (47) In as long again they're wed. Michelle shares some 12-week baby scan pictures on the big day. At 20 weeks it's a tragedy. Rose Megan, their only child, has severe spina bifida. After talking to the leading expert, Rose is born still.

2015 - On the way to Christmas Eve carol singing, Michael is assaulted over a disputed parking bay.

2016 - The assailants are known to the police, so the CPS choose to prosecute. The attack traumatised Michael, but he faces their defense barrister, who wins. The very next day, a routine scan shows Michelle's had a missed miscarriage. It's the first of three such sad events. Michael is experiencing adult night terrors every night.

2018 - After a couple of years, his bursting out of sleep whilst screaming at the top of his voice, subsides. As Michelle is also bipolar, that irony helps her cope with him.

2023 - (55) Life doesn't let up: Michael survives a heart attack and cardiac arrest, not least due to Michelle's cool headed driving to the hospital.

2023 - He is still writing and playing the piano; taking it one day at a time.

A statement

After my heart attack, and when I was alone, I would occasionally just start crying to myself. Going back to the actual day it happened, I was wired up in resus for three hours. Some people die in resus. I had an eleven second cardiac arrest. Apparently, twenty seconds makes you pass out. I learned a very profound truth. It was that I had no regrets, as to how I'd lived my life, and what I'd done. However, for the first time in my life, and at 55, I began to worry how those I loved would cope without me. Stupidly, I'd been in hospital previously for overdoses. This was really different: as if a god could have taken me, had "he" wanted to, but "he" knew I wasn't ready, due to my wife and my dog.

Parallel Lines




Actual CEO



Sometimes CEO



Delusional CEO

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