About four weeks until the actual book release, and yet the most amazing gifts have been coming my way in the form of e-mails, on-line reviews, and blog comments from those who have already read it, via pre-order. These reactions warm my heart, and bring tears to my eyes – because they resonate so much with the reasons I felt the story had to be told.
Meanwhile, my Ben has actually asked to hear a bit from the book. First time ever. I think he is starting to accept that it can be of help to others. The road to this acceptance is his journey to take, at his speed. Locally, some people have slipped on occasion and called him “Ben” – which is not his real name – and he laughed about it. Whew. Trying to honor his privacy, and also keep the door open. He did give me permission to write this memoir, as long as it was clearly from my perspective (which it is) – but I’m still releived to see that he still seems supportive of it, even now that it is real: a book you can hold in your hands.
Among the comments:
“It truly is extraordinary. Your writing style is fresh, captivating and riveting. Your vulnerability is inspiring and wonderfully raw. As
someone who has been immersed professionally and personally in the world of mental illness, thank you.”
“I find your book a miracle of persistence, strength and love. It is a great book, in particular, I think, to give a view of what parents go through.”
“I just finished reading this book for a review…. I just wanted to say that I am both incredibly overwhelmed and in awe of your strength and your family’s. I fell in love with Ben through the story; felt the sorrow, the fear, the pain, the anger… I am so blessedly thankful I get to have a chance to share this story with all of our readers.”
“ I couldn’t put your book down because I could relate to your stories and all the stages of acceptance that you went through and are continuing to go through.”
Thanks to all for taking the time to write, and comment.
Another theme is developing as well, as I read your comments — many who have been educated in the fields of psychology are telling me that it has really opened their eyes to early symptoms of mental illness – and that (shock, to me!) there was no requirement to study these signs as part of their curriculim. I have been told by fellow author Susan Inman (After Her Brain Broke) that this is often true in Canada -but I always assumed that here in the U.S. our providers were adequately educated about mental illness.
If you are a therapist, school psychologist, social worker, etc – were you taught about these illnesses? Were you educated as to early symptoms to faciliate early detection, and to help families participate in treatment?
If you are a teacher, professor or college administrator, are courses in the major mental illnesses part of the curriculum in these fields? Why or why not?