Live a better, healthier & more sustainable life with the Art of Recovery


Below you will see a selection of lovely comments provided by people that have been helped by The Art of Recovery.

Hi - just wanted to say I purchased your little book last February.

It's so good.  I like it because it's written in a lovely format, good Illustrations, short items, easy to understand, packed with information, brill size, I can keep it in my handbag and refer to it whenever I need to.

I was ill for the first time ever, in 2003 after a severe breakdown. I have been back to my job successfully now for 3 years and am completely well. I have learnt alot from the little book, thankyou.


When I suffered my breakdown I was the head of a maths faculty at a school and an active case worker for a teachers union locally. Of course I had not been well for a long time before the actual breakdown which happened when I had moved to another school.

Now I feel a lot better (Although not completely-I think that will never quite happen) actually understanding what happened to me and the nature of my mental illness has helped incredibly. I know now that when I have the occasional bad day (like today )it will not last and a day at home every now and again helps me through it.

Looking back I have suffered from mental illness for a long time if not always. At age 27 after passing my driving test I was overcome with panic about being stuck in a grid lock. At age 30 I remember feeling that there was no point in anything and empty. In a previous post as head of maths at a previous school I jumped at the first opportunity to remove myself without any thought for my wife and children because of the depression I was suffering brought on by the stress of having no staff and the school being put into special measures.

As I say I realise now that my illness this time was progressive and much worse than any previous occurrence. In the end it was like I had been taken over by an alien and could not get out. Not only was I saying things I would normally kept to myself but actually having opinions that in a well phase I would not.

It is difficult to blame people who were close to you for failing to support me when I did not understand it myself. I remember, also, my own mother exhibiting similar symptoms to me and at the time not understanding. Although I was disappointed that people who I knew and respected felt so hostile to me they lied and did not try to help me earlier. One of the health professionals told me he felt he could help people reaching the latter stages of conditions like mine if they were referred earlier.

Obviously I cannot blame anyone for me becoming ill in the first place clearly stress for me is a big factor and in retrospect I took on too many things coupled with unseen stressful events. Strangely enough I work(ed) with two people who I have seen going through the same cycle as me and I now am able to recognise the symptoms.

Three things finally pushed me over the edge. The complete lack of support from someone who I had always supported and respected and at the time when I needed them washed their hands of me. Secondly, the report from Ofsted which was highly critical of me personally which was followed by excellent results which I knew were coming.

Of course now I understand that the people concerned were not actually dealing with me but my illness.

I am now doing my best to rebuild my career certainly the two schools I have worked at were both keen for me to make my temporary contracts permanent. The way I see it is like this when I was diagnosed with asthma I was able to carry on playing rugby by understanding my condition. Now I understand my potential for mental illness I can try and plan round that as well.

Of course this would have been much easier in an environment I knew with people who I considered friends. If more people understood mental illness perhaps this would have been possible.


I recently purchased a copy of Simon Heyes and Stephen Tate's book 'The Art of Recovery' and yesterday watched the accompanying DVD. 

I would like to say how inspiring I have found these - I love the way the book incorporates literature with some wonderful extracts and quotations.  I love both reading and creative writing so this makes the book feel extra special for me.  I am really struggling with my health at the moment, but hope to attend a local conference in Oxford in June(Becoming Stronger together) - perhaps this, together with the real inspiration you have provided will give me the strength I need to accept myself and my situation and to live in a more creative and positive way.

Thank you.