'When I was fourteen, I got drunk for the first time. Champagne drunk. My mouth was stretched in a smile so wide, that my jaw hurt. The sky had the colours of a bruise When Nick Johnstone got drunk for the first time at the age of fourteen he discovered a cure for the depression and anxiety that had been humming in his head since childhood. Over the next ten years he drank to overcome shyness, to make the world bearable, to get through the days and to get through the nights. He also began to cut himself and he began to lie. Intelligent, sensitive, from a loving family, neither he nor his countless doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors and therapists could understand where his disorders came from. Then, when he was twenty-four he was admitted into hospital. Stripped of his 'cure, Nick Johnstone painfully began the process of recovery. Although love proves to be the strongest 'cure of all, this is a story with no tidy or happy endings . Honest and gripping, by turns stark and lyrical, A HEAD FULL OF BLUE powerfully evokes the often unfathomable psychology and behaviour that drives addiction, examining self-harm as a coping mechanism rather than a taboo. It is an unusual, moving and thought-provoking memoir.

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