Fatal Error

What happens when your brain throws an exception you don’t have a handler for?

At the edge of sanity there’s no safety net. No harness or lifejacket. There’s no wall to get through. Instead there’s a chasm; an abyss with no bottom and a tightrope stretched across.

You firmly believe that there’s no turning back. You also firmly believe the tightrope is the only way across. But you know, really and truly know, that you can’t walk the tightrope.

So your brain throws a fatal error exception and you break down. You melt, you splinter, you split. You lose your footing. Desperately hanging on to the edge of the abyss you know now that walking the tightrope is something you have to learn fast.

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Fatal Error is the true story of how sanity exceptions have affected my life and those of people around me. It’s a story of walking the tightrope.

Not everyone makes it across. Some people survive. Some people fall.

I wrote the book because had I, or other people, known that there were a million tightropes all next to each other, we might have reached out and held hands.

“Exception vision” makes you hyper-focused on your tightrope. On the tiny pinhole-sized area of vision right in front of you. And that makes you believe you’re on your own. It takes sweat and courage to tear your eyes away, wipe the tears, and look around.

It’s much easier if someone calls out to you.

This book is for tightrope survivors to find solace in hindsight and the courage to look back at the abyss and call out at the tightrope walkers.

This book is for tightrope walkers who believe there’s no way across the abyss or who can’t see the other walkers right next to them.

This book is for employers who want to create a safety net for their organisation.

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Do you want to share your story? Email me to organise a confidential and private conversation.

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W(ho)TF is this?

My name is Richard. I work in software as a designer, marketer, and product leader. You can find me on LinkedIn or via email.

I’ve had the good fortune to work for world-class software companies (like Automattic and Redgate) who’ve created world-class products and, more importantly, world-class cultures.

I have struggled with mental health — both knowingly and unknowingly — for a number of years. I’ve experienced mental breakdown both personally and in others. I’ve seen the worst and the best.

People who meet me would never tell.