Why Read This?

My New Novel, Rose Coloured Houses is coming soon. If you’d like to be among my first readers, I’m offering Chapter One, free!

Click here to receive Chapter One

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 have written and published 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.

You can purchase the memoir HERE.

131 thoughts on “Why Read This?

  1. What a powerful voice! It’s such a tragedy that you lost your daughter, I can’t even imagine the pain you must be experiencing. I hope that writing brings you and your family healing. Her life will touch so many!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy
    My heart goes out to you. Mental illness is so misunderstood in our society and on the increase every day. I hope you writing this book will give you some peace and will help people to understand that hardship and strain that mental illness causes not only to the individual but to their family as well. I know first hand and wish you peace in your adventure. Bless you for doing this for your daughter.
    Christine Scott Inglis
    Belmore Ontario

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sorry for your loss. I used to work at a school for students with various mental illnesses. They were kids who could not make it in a normal sbh classroom. My favorite student also had bipolar disorder. He was brilliant, an artist, and had big heart he kept hidden beneath his pain. I know the frustration and helplessness and pain you probably had with your daughter and with the system as a whole. I’m glad you are writing this. The stigmas only disappears with awareness. You do your daughter justice.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. No parent should ever have to bury their child… I’m so sorry for your loss. I just wanted to tell you that I think what you are doing is amazing. The stigma surrounding mental illnesses is a terrible one that needs to change. There is no shame in having a mental illness, and if you do have one then you shouldn’t be worried about “what other people might think” and know it’s okay to get the issues addressed.

    I hope that you are able to share your daughter’s story with the world, and more importantly I hope you are able to help others facing a similar situation. You are an admirable woman!

    ❤ and harp strings,
    Kate

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have bipolar and just like Justine I shared my story and was not ashamed; it took me some time to get there. I think you are honoring her by sharing her story bc it can help others too. As far as the blog check out How to Blog a Book. It’s a great book. It talks about the matter of telling too much in your blog and people not wanting to read your book.
    Good luck and Justine sounds like an awesome girl, and now she’s an angel.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes we do have to help end the stigma.
        No I haven’t written a book yet. Everyone who reads any of my writing some published, tells me to write a book. So I decided to start with a blog. The book really helped me with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the title you have chosen for the book is perfect. You had not talked about your daughter’s story because you felt it was hers to tell. What a wonderful tribute it would be for you to write this book. I also have mental illness in my family and understand the challenges and frustrations. Your daughter was blessed to have support and love helping her get through the difficult times. A family support system is such an important factor in someone getting help who has mental illness. I am looking forward to reading your book and more on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words Traci. Sometimes I do wonder if I’m betraying her in some way but I have this sense of knowing I’m doing the right thing. I really want to lift the stigma and educate people about mental illness. I’m happy to know that you think I’m on the right track.

      Like

  7. Dear Kathy,
    I am sorry for your loss.
    Still, I find it very soothing that you have started to bounce back and even started working on telling her story graciously. You want to remove stigma attached with mental illness which is very kind of you. It’s a service to all humanity. I wish you very best in your efforts.

    Anand 🙂

    Like

  8. My mom has bipolar disorder for the last 20 or so years. She has raised me and my brother against incredible challenges in an orthodox household with relatives who thought and still think she is a retard or has a troubled mind. My mom is my best friend and the most incredible person I ever now. She has her faults but so does everyone else. The thing I agree is that mental illness is very much misunderstood in my society at least. People just assume stuff blindly. Thankfully, with proper medication and couple’s therapy for a decade or so my mom and dad are happy. I am very sorry to hear that Justine passed away, I look forward to your book and my sincere condolence to your family, Cathy.

    Like

  9. So sorry for your loss Cathy. My heart goes out to you. I am also sorry for the struggle you have had for so many years to find people who could understand and help. I pray that your book might be able to help others who have the same battles and you can spread love to many through your own tragedy.

    Like

  10. I’m so very sorry to hear about your daughter’so condition then her tragic accident. I have 30 yr old and 27 yr old daughters. The youngest suffers from bouts of depression and anxiety. Your book and blog will be extremely beneficial to parents of children of all ages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Terri. The one thing I have discovered through this is how many other families are going through the same thing.That’s my main reason for writing about it. We felt so alone because no one talked about it. I really hope to help get people talking so families like ours don’t have to keep it secret.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am sorry for your loss, and I am glad to see you channeling it into a positive vein. I wasn’t diagnosed as bipolar until I was in my 40s. I don’t share it with a lot of people, because of how misunderstood the diagnosis is in society.

    Thank you for following my blog, and for commenting on one of my poems from the Writing 201 class. I somehow posted it incorrectly, and when I went to respond to comments, I couldn’t do so. I reposted and now it works fine, but I apologize for not being able to acknowledge your comment. Good luck with your book!

    Like

  12. God bless you and thank you for sharing. You are so courageous to tell your story. I come from a family of mental illness and substance abuse and though I did not have many issues myself, My poor sister was severely ill and tried to stay on her meds most of the time, but it was impossible to have a real relationship with her. I worried about her since our childhood because of all the crazy and dangerous things she would do in her life but she made it to 60 and passed away from cancer of all things last year. I say of all things because she had abused drugs and alcohol her entire life since her early teens. Sadly my youngest son started displaying the same tendencies as he got older. He was such an intelligent, sweet child that did act out now and again but once the teens hit, he started to have more issues leading him to quit a job and disappear for many years. I heard from him when he needed to be bailed out of jail and is now a multi felon who cannot get a job and I don’t know if he could handle one. When my son was missing only one police woman would talk to me regarding this because an adult is not considered missing when they take off on their own, even if they cannot be found by anyone, anywhere. She told me he sounded bipolar and that those kinds of people will never really listen or do what is good for them. I already knew that but was not prepared to see how very ill he was when he was found living in a shack years ago. He refuses all help but is living with some relatives and his wife, who is also bipolar, for now and everyone just takes things one day at a time. They both used to be honor students and never took drugs in their lives. I’m glad they have each other, but in the times they try to live on their own, they end up in trouble. Still I cannot even know the private hell you went through to have a child suffer like this and then lose them like that. After my sister passed, I realized just how much she really must have suffered during her life having cruel disease. Had I known this ran in my family, I found out later of another relative that needed shock therapy, I don’t think I would have risked passing this on to any children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for telling your story. I didn’t know it ran in my family either. There is alcoholism, however and many people with bipolar self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, as you know. It’s very scary having a adult child who has mental illness because you worry but you know they have to live their own lives. I’m sorry you have to live with this every day. In some ways my pain is over although a new pain has replaced it.

      Like

  13. My heart goes out to you for the loss of your child. I appreciate what this blog represents. Thank you for taking the time to follow my blog. My blog is about major depression I had in my twenties and still have some issues today. My hope is that others may be able to relate and in someway I can help them. This I believe is what this blog is about also.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I admire how you channel your sorrow to tell your daughter’s story. Mental illness is so misunderstood and painful to live with. I wish you love and light in your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am so very sorry for your loss. I think it’s amazing what you’re doing here now though, this is really wonderful. I wish you all the luck in the world! Thank you for stopping by and following my blog as well; I suffer from depression and anxiety and for far too many years had no idea about either! Looking back it is very ‘aha’ though. I really love connecting with people who’ve had experience with mental illness and are also trying to get information out there and turn people’s thinking about it around and help with better health care! I’m really glad our blogs ran into each other. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much. I know, it’s been quite a shock to realize how many people are suffering from mental illness, but at the same time it’s really nice to know we’re not alone! We will change this, just one day at a time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  16. It may not be your story you are telling but it is your love for your daughter that speaks and I think you will continue in your book to express the fullness of the life she lived and the truth as you know of her joy, talents, personality, struggles, pain, needs, every part of her journey in the good and the troubled times.
    This is my first visit here but already it is clear to me it is a privilege to read your site and share with you. Thank you so much.
    Ginny xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Cathy Lynn, happy to have found your blog and I appreciate your following my sports blog. When you have a moment please visit lifeattitudes.wordpress.com as I think you would enjoy following that site much more/instead as it deals with real-life, real-world stuff instead of the “fantasy” world sports has become. I am so sorry for your loss but so equally inspired by what you have set out to do since that loss and will be an avid follower and commenter on your site for sure. I know many who will benefit from your efforts. Glad to “meet” you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for following my blog. And thank you for your daughter’s story and your honoring of her in this blog. My sister suffers from bipolar depression. And only this morning, I spent a long time on the phone with our daughter who is concerned that her 17-year-old, our granddaughter, may have bipolar disorder. They are just beginning the process of counseling, treatment, medication, etc. I look forward to reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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