By Stephen Drake
Key Themes: OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), stress, prison, autobiography, recovery
‘A Cry for Help’ is the follow-up to Stephen’s very successful ‘A Cry For Help’ and continues his first book’s theme highlighting the constant struggles of living with OCD. Stephen has a terrible fear, amongst others, of harming an elderly lady. Having to continually check that each and every elderly woman he passed in the street or came into everyday contact had not suffered at his hands. ‘A Cry Forever’ tackles how this obsession has altered Stephen’s life, further periods in custody are discussed as are Stephen’s experiences of forming relationships and starting a family hindered by ever-present obsessions. This is an honest and open book which can act as a beacon of hope for those suffering from this wildly misunderstood, yet life-changing illness.
About the Author
Stephen Drake was born in Surrey in 1970 and was diagnosed with OCD in 1989, having spent periods in jail due to the condition. Further custody followed as stress heightened his obsessions. In 2006 Stephen wrote his first book entitled ‘A Cry For Help’ as a way of expressing his problems and changing his wayward course. ‘A Cry For Ever’ followed a year later, having been encouraged by benefits from his first book.
When Charlie stirred, it was almost midday.
“Why the hell am I on the floor?” he moaned.
It only took a split second for reality to strike.
“Colin…… oh fuck,” he muttered.
He clambered to his feet.
“I’ve got to get up sometime, so it might as well be now.”
A piece of crumpled paper, covered in scruffy writing, rested on the chair.
“Didn’t want to wake you. Ring me if you need anything. See you tonight. Linda”
He tossed the note onto the floor and headed for the kitchen.
“It’s gonna be bloody awful without Colin,” he pondered, “the days are just gonna drag on and on.”
He slumped at the kitchen table.
“Longer days, fewer visits, niggling thoughts, feeling depressed. Hope I don’t get any intrusive ideas.”
Charlie made a coffee and rolled a cigarette.
“What if I do get the bastard intrusions,” he pondered, “I don’t deserve to be happy. Colin, one of the nicest people you could meet, was so fucked off that he killed himself. If he didn’t deserve to be happy……. then, who does? Certainly not me.”
The phone shrilled, providing a welcome distraction.
“Hello mate, it’s Ed.”
“What’s happening?” asked Charlie.
“Not much. Feeling totally gutted.”
“Same here,” said Charlie, trying to hide any emotions, “I just can’t believe it. It hasn’t sunk in.Don’t think it ever will.”
They chatted for a while.
“I’d better go,” said Edward, “I’ll try and pop round later. If I can’t, I’ll call you.”
“Okay, mate,” said Charlie, “take care.”
He kept hold of the phone, as if trying to find comfort from the dialling tone, but it didn’t work.
Charlie hadn’t left the house for nearly two days. Even a stroll in the garden seemed daunting.
“I must make an effort to get out and about,” he urged himself, “or I’ll be stuck in this house forever.”
He was only too aware that the longer he stayed inside, the harder it would be.
“That’s it,” he decided, “I’m going to walk to the shop. It ain’t far, so it should be easy. I’m still taking my tablets, so I reckon I’ll be okay.”
As he took his denim jacket from the hook, he felt a familiar unease. Heart rate slightly too rapid and stomach slightly knotted.
He left the house and headed towards the nearest shop. He trudged along, trying to stay calm and focused.
“Was there an old woman? Have I hurt her?”
Charlie was completely shocked by the sudden intrusion.
“Shit. What the f**k!”
He, quickly and intently, studied his surroundings. There was no-one to be seen. He tried not to panic, but the situation was beyond his control. He clasped his hands and stood still, frozen to the spot. His heart pounded and his breathing was shallow and rapid.
“Mustn’t completely lose it,” he thought.
His head spun like a drunkard after a heavy night.
“Oh no,” he moaned, “where the fuck did that come from?
Hell. How will I cope without Colin?”
Utter despair! He dreaded, even feared, the future.
It was at least fifteen minutes before he had the confidence to move.
“F**k the shop,” he decided, “I’m going home.”