Class of 1982 alumna Nicky Dingwall-Main (née Barthorp) has published a memoir to much acclaim.
Writing as Nicola Vivian, Nicky attended FHS during the 1980s and is a writer, artist and healer. Nicky champions emotional education for both children and adults and now lives between London and Provence. 'My Will' is available to buy on Amazon and at larger book shops. The press release from Zuleika Books & Publishing is below:
Clear-sighted and compelling, My Will is a memoir which examines addiction in all its forms whether love, alcoholism, anorexia, co-dependence or drugs.
Nicola Vivian takes the reader on an evocative, sometimes painful journey, offering a portrait of unconditional love and forgiveness. It is a vivid and brave account of the author’s relationship with her adored, alcoholic father and her emotional response to her boyfriend’s fatal heroin overdose when she was just twenty-four.
To understand the roots of addiction, Nicola delves deep into her own psyche to shine a light on how poor mental health – whether it be loneliness, a sense of worthlessness or irrational anxiety – can be the springboard for addictive behaviour.
The story opens in 1988 with a moving account of the author’s devastating grief following the death of her beloved Will. In her despair, Vivian turned to writing. This book is the result of her thirty year quest to unravel her emotional history, too often defined by addiction, and to find a way out of its web.
Throughout she manages to confront uncomfortable issues with tenderness and compassion, and at no point is there a sense of self-pity. Indeed, with unflinching resolve she turns an analytical eye on her own part in the stories she unravels, casting the odd wry glance, while seeking solace in nature and spirituality.
In My Will love and torment are laid bare but with writing that carries the reader effortlessly to the end.
‘A roller-coaster ride which kept me gripped: not only does Vivian find her own value as a writer of rare lyricism, fluency, and wisdom, but we her readers find our value too. Unputdownable.’ Rachel Kelly, writer, mental campaigner and author of Sunday Times bestseller “Black Rainbow: how words healed me - my journey through depression”.
“A heart-warming, original, beautifully told tale of our times.” Anne Robinson
‘A great journey but so harrowing.’ Ruby Wax