Hammerite Spider


SKU e-book Category

175 in stock


By Peter Plant

ISBN: 978-1-84991-704-9
Published: 2012
Pages: 38
Key Themes: Mental Health, Alcoholism, Psychiatry, Depression, Self-Harm


Hammerite spider charts the struggles of a young construction worker trying
to get to grips with mental illness. This struggle develops at several levels: his ability to cope with the type of lifestyle considered the norm for building workers – hard work followed by copious amounts of alcohol. But there’s something about Joey that can’t hack this lifestyle, something’s not right and alcohol becomes a prop for something more sinister.

Eventually hospitalised, Joey gradually realises that his struggles have become ever more complex. Traumatised, but moved by what he sees around him, ignored and abused by the people he’d sought help from he develops a hard-nosed level of nihilism towards psychiatry that would mould his character for years to come.

A tale of self-harm, alcohol abuse, major depression and the appalling fate of our suicidal young that Chipmunkapublishing is trying so hard to put an end to.

About the Author

Born in Aston, Birmingham in 1951, Pete left school at 15 with no qualifications and a head, according to his mother, like ‘a porridge pot’. He drifted into the building game firstly as a hod carrier then, after a long period of illness, trained at a local skill centre and became a carpenter. Pete first experienced difficulties in his late teens in the form of anxiety and panic which led to alcohol abuse and eventually severe depression. Hospitalised twice in his twenties he somehow managed to avoid being re-admitted until much later in life where he was diagnosed with manic depressive illness. Unlike far too many Pete survived, sometimes by the skin of his teeth and with the support of a wonderful family and loyal friends. Pete feels strongly that the plight of the young mental health sufferer could be greatly eased if a system of admission to acute wards was founded that would alleviate the intense shock to the system of already fragile minds.

Pete now teaches construction at an upper school near Leicester. Sadly, at 60, he has become largely apathetic and somewhat switched off when meeting mental health personnel. This is partly due to him still harbouring bitterness at his earlier treatment by professionals, partly because he’s heard it all before and partly because he’s deaf in one ear. He does fully acknowledge though that there are many mental health carers and professionals who take great pride in their work and genuinely care.
This is his first publication.

Book Extract

He’d hooked up with his mates again going home for weekends and was drinking as heavily as ever. His anxiety levels had gone through the roof, as had his consumption levels of alcohol and the problem of facing up to the world without substance abuse was even more apparent than when he admitted himself to hospital. He felt isolated in his misery; he could neither explain nor understand what was going on and suicidal ideation began to stalk him again. He had no idea where he fitted in the diagnostic jigsaw of mental health.

Neurotic, psychotic; it all meant the same to him – we’re all fuckin’ barmy! He’d started to miss the Monday morning meetings because he stank of the drink needed to take the bus.

Staff Nurse George had suggested to Joey that occupational therapy might be of some help to him; break the day up a bit, keep his mind engaged. A couple of mornings he’d go to the art department where he rediscovered his artistic flair that had been in evidence at junior school level – the only thing he discovered at senior level was how brutal grown men could be – the head master being a former borstal head who took his de-humanistic approach to comprehensive level.

On other days he’d sit in a workshop wiring up lampshades. He sat at the end of the table checking that the shades had been wired correctly; him being relatively un-insane he got the important job. Here he met Roy. He was a little older than Joey and very peculiar looking. His tightly curled hair to the sides of his head stuck out like a couple of glued on shredded wheat while the top of his head lacked the same profusion of hair giving a look of the red sea parting for Moses. The poor sod had nothing going for him physically. Bulbous eyes protruded like someone had hold of his knackers and his huge beak started its sweep at the bridge of the nose almost hooking round on itself at lip level.


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