Fighting Madness


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


By Rod Wiley

ISBN: 978-1-84991-936-4
Published: 2012
Pages: 98
Key Themes: Mental Health, Life Change, Drugs, Mental Illness, Recovery


Jim lives a real East End life amongst all the characters and crooks. He leaves the place he knows and loves because of a job gone wrong. He embraces the emerging hippy scene which takes him on a drug- fuelled journey to Morocco into mental illness and eventually to a breakdown. A kindly teacher shows him the way to go inside himself and he finds a new consciousness and way of life.

About the Author

Rodney Wiley was born in Leytonstone, London in 1947. He grew up in the old East End full of colourful characters and criminals. He left school with nothing. His teenage years were spent in the snooker halls and carrying out petty theft. He went to sea during the sixties as a merchant seaman to see the world. When he came home he dropped a tab of LSD and he started living a life revolving around drugs and hanging out with lots of creative people. Met his wife, had a son and moved to Southend. One day he came back from work and fell ill with mental health problems and have had them ever since. It is only in the last few years that he has had a breakthrough from his breakdown, which includes OCD.

Book Extract

I left the pub and strolled back towards my home. The East End smelt good and felt fine. The polluted air filled my lungs and the heavy traffic made a beautiful sound to my ears. I popped into a shop and bought myself a nice, white shirt, and left with the brown-suited fellow trying to sell me more. The old church was still falling down, but it looked good stuck there in the middle of the main road. I remembered as kids how we used to play in the crypt, being ghosts and Count Dracula and then running home to Mum, filthy. Then she would smack me on the ear and send me off to bed.

I came to the bus stop, waited and watched the stall-holders selling fruit, cheap goods and anything that would sell. The stalls lined the street and sometimes an argument would break out between a driver and a stall-holder. A smile broke on my face as I remembered as kids how we used to send them up and it all rung dear to me as I watched the motley face and cockney voices ring though the East End air.

I got on the 69 Bus and gave the Jamaican woman two bob and said, grinning, “It’s good to be back.” She looked at me with an expression that said, “If you say so, sir,” and carried on up the bus. I came to the Green Gate traffic lights, hurried down the stairs and off, to be confronted by old Sid, selling his newspapers by the bog. “Hello, Bob,” he said, “Alright?” His right arm hit me hard on the back. He shoved a paper under my arm and said, from beneath his black raincoat and Andy Capp hat, “Don’t get nicked again, boy, else you might end up going away for a long, long, time.” He hurried me off saying, “Give my love to your mum,” and carried on shouting, “Papers, papers, read all about it,” and to me he looked more like a diamond seller than a newspaper man.

The shop looked good. It stuck out on the corner, like a sore thumb. Most of the houses up the road were really smart, but this old place had dirty walls and the paint was peeling off. Still, what could you expect, me old man in nick, me just out, a brother in Australia and a baby sister still in the cot.

“Hello, Mum!” She closed the shop up, her curlers under her scarf must have been there since I’d been in nick. Her fag hung in her mouth, even when she spoke. She hustled me out to the back and shoved me into an old, fading, brown chair. “So, you’re out, eh, son? You feel alright? I heard from your Dad, you know. He’s got about a year to do. He seems alright, though. Nice shoes you got on, boy, where’d you get them, in the nick?” I looked at the shoes while she carried on talking. She never changes, I thought, couldn’t get a word in edgeways, as usual. Still, it was nice to be home. She made the tea and hurried upstairs to look after my crying sister. The tea tasted good. I poured another.


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