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James has a mission. At the age of 36, he found something that gave real purpose to his life – to educate young people about the dangers of drugs which can trigger mental illness.Tentatively he sat down and began to write:When I opened my eyes it was morning, but not your average start to the day.

The distinctive voices of four friends I had not seen for months were talking to me inside my head.He had taken himself back to the day he was admitted to Rozelle Hospital in Sydney when he was just 18.Putting into words the experience of his drug-taking, mental illness and the long journey to reconstruct his life took James two years.‘I found it very cathartic,’ he says. ‘I wouldn’t be able to remember it all now because I dealt with it by writing the book.’He describes the process as healing not only for himself, but also for his mother, Victoria, with whom he lives in Sydney.

She read everything he wrote each day. ‘It was horrendous,’ she recalls with a shudder. ‘It brought everything back.’James relates his story with raw honesty and great courage.

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