This blog originally served as a vehicle for Robin and Sharon to co-write their book “Despair to Deliverance: A True Story of Triumph Over Severe Mental Illness.” Readers followed along as they detailed the story of Robin’s significant “meltdown” in 2003 and recovery with the help of Sharon, her psychotherapist. The book has now been completed and published. It is the true story of Robin’s year-long life and death struggle, and her journey from unrelenting despair to a life of stability and meaning.
The recounting of the intense and dramatic experiences of Robin’s life covers the years leading up to her “meltdown,” and the subsequent years of her working to re-build her life. Fifteen years later she is at a place of accepting the loss of her previous career in the mental health field, and of her independence. She has been able to build a fulfilling life of mental stability despite her illness. Reading Robin’s story can help anyone struggling with significant mental illness move from a place of confusion and despair, to accepting themselves and finding a meaningful life and identity separate from the illness they experience.
Reading Robin and Sharon’s book will help people who experience mental illness to:
1. Know they are not alone and feel more hopeful that they can truly heal.
2. Have a better understanding of the process of treatment including psychotherapy, psychotropic medications, hospitalization and even electroconvulsive therapy.
3. Gain insight into how the therapists who treat them experience the process, and the fact that even when they may be feeling “worthless,” they are impacting others in positive ways.
4. Feel empowered to find and stick with treatment, stay alive, and work to accept that mental illness is a part of their lives but not their whole identity.
The book will also be of interest to therapists, family members of people with mental illness, and anyone who wants to feel inspired by a truly amazing experience that positively changed the lives of two people forever.
This blog now serves as a way for readers to keep up with how Robin and Sharon are doing, and to learn about topics related to mental illness, psychotherapy and spirituality. The blog includes posts about the whole process of writing, publishing and now promoting the book, including how the idea of writing the book came about.
It is important to know that, while a draft of much of the book was originally posted on this blog, there are now only excerpts. The book was drastically edited after the original blog posts were published, and includes lots of information that is not included here. So, if you enjoy reading some of the excepts, please buy the book! All profits from the sale of this book will go to Robin.
Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. April, 2018