Why Read This?

My daughter, Justine was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when she was a teenager. We had had some very scary and shocking displays of recklessness. Justine was our first child and we thought it was rebellious teenaged behaviour. We soon realized something far more serious was going on. In the search for help we felt helpless and dismissed by the health care system until we finally were given the name of a caring counsellor and found the right medication. It took years of going on and off various prescriptions to find one that worked. It was a terrifying time.

I had always hoped Justine might speak about some of her experiences but now it’s up to me. Justine was killed in a car accident last year. I want to tell her story in the hope that other families will not have to go through the same loneliness and frustration we felt trying to find someone who understood and cared. Lifting the stigma about mental illness is the first step and I do think it is getting much better.

I’m writing a book about her life so she will never be forgotten. She lived a lot of life in her 29 years. Most people don’t know much about it because it was her story, not mine, to talk about. That’s why I have called my book, “Not My Story To Tell”.

Please feel free to comment and share any blogs you think might be of interest to your readers. I would especially like to connect with readers who have bipolar disorder or other mental health issues or professionals who might benefit from hearing Justine’s story. Understanding is the first step to stopping the stigma surrounding mental illness.

116 thoughts on “Why Read This?

  1. Thanks for following my blog. Our only daughter, now 40, was diagnosed with PTSD and receives regular counselling. She is epileptic so can be very fragile at times. Keep smiling and honouring Justine. Sending a virtual hug!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cathy, I am so sorry for your terrible loss, I can’t imagine what you’ve been through. My husband is bi-polar and my eldest daughter shows symptoms but denies it. You are doing a wonderful thing, I’m so glad to have made your acquaintance. Thank you so much for your support of our work 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve said this to so many readers….I can’t believe how many people know or have family members suffering from mental health issues. As soon as I mention it, people respond like you did. My _______ has bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD ……This is why I’m writing. We need to get this disease out in the open like cancer, diabetes and other illnesses. It’s been in the shadows far too long.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for following my blog, Cathy. So very much appreciated. You’re absolutely right, the first step is destigmatising mental illness. I am now retired, having worked in the field for 30 years, but remain passionate about putting mental health out there where it belongs, with all other health related conditions, side by side. With equal support and funding. I’m so sorry for your loss. But you are honouring the life and love for your daughter in what you are doing now. Wish you all the very best.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi Soul Gifts and Cathy. I agree it is so so important. I feel particularly strongly about it in the case of personality disorders, bipolar and other conditions that so often co-occur likea eating disorders and drug addiction. I guess because they’re personal to me and my loved ones’ experiences. I think the breath of the impact of these kind of illnesses across your whole life is not sufficiently recognised and too often the frightening parts of the conditions are hidden away. For example I find a huge stigma around talking about self harm and suicidal thoughts and seeking help, or socially “not okay” experiences and emotions. I think you’re doing wonderful work. I really hope as I continue on in my recovery I may be able to talk about my experiences and build on them to somehow help other sufferers and their loved ones and maybe also professionals. Of course if need to train to be able to.
    Sending prayers for you both xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hello Cathy,

    I read about Justine, I am sorry for your loss.
    I come from a family that has a history of mental illness. From maternal side, my uncle was schizophrenic, one cousin committed suicide few years ago and another one is suffering from depression. From my paternal side, there are few cases of depression and sociopaths. I understand that they are the ones who need more love and care. I grew up around these people and though I am still young, I have learnt a lot from experiences – Not all are same, some need more care and support than others, and we should always be there for them.
    Happy to follow your blog, Cathy.

    Rekha

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for following my blog. It helps a lot!
    I just now read this and I’m so sorry for your loss.
    I’m always glad to see people like you, who put work into helping others.
    I don’t have any stories to tell about mental illness, but I’d like to deliver my most sincere thanks to you.
    Sharing these stories surely helps a lot of people and I admire all the effort you put into this.
    Thank you for writing this blog, sharing these stories and helping other people!

    Sincerely,
    Noah

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for popping into the site. Hopefully you get some music to listen too and flicks to watch. Forgive CB for his twisted takes, he can’t help himself. (On your front, helping others is never a bad thing especially coming from someone who has lived through a challenging situation. Take care) CB

    Liked by 1 person

      1. CLB but CB for short. I had a look at some of your site. Along with pulling at CB’s heart strings, your paintings have something going on. Very good work CLB. I usually stick with the music thing but i will drop in from time to time now I know you’re there. Later.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, Cathy, Truly here. I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through–especially your loss in the wake of Justine enduring so much before leaving this world. It is a testament to your generosity of spirit and resilience that you are using your gifts to help others–while honouring your precious Justine. Thanks for connecting with me…I am “following” you too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cathy, I love what you’ve done for Justine. I have dealt with some of these issues as well, but I am not able to tell now, as you so beautifully put it. What an honor for beautiful Justine to be remembered with such courage and honesty. I understand a small part of what you’ve been through, and I can’t think of anything more emotionally devastating. I love thinking of Justine as your muse, however, smiling every time you think of her. I think writing is a sacred process. May it aid your healing as it has mine. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cathy, I am so sorry for your loss. As a mom, I simply can’t imagine…you will be in my prayers as you carry on honoring her memory in your writing. Thank you the follow, It is always so nice to connect with people around and read about their lives and works to help others.
    Enjoy your trip to Prince Edward Island! I’ve wanted to go since watching Anne of Green Gable years ago with my mom!! God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

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