From Amazon: Cathy Lynn Brooks spent her career working with children with special needs, but despite her professional experience, it was still heartbreaking for her to witness the challenges faced by her daughter, Justine. Justine always reminded Cathy of Annie Oakley. She was fierce and protective of the vulnerable, but she was also plagued by her own troubles. At a young age, Justine was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. As Justine grew up, she often made bad choices due to the traumas of her past and her mental illness. Through it all, Cathy never stopped loving her daughter. In this revealing and powerful book, Cathy takes you back to the early days of Justine’s childhood and the events that led to her diagnosis. Cathy watched her daughter try time and again to change her life, amazed and awed by Justine’s persistence, courage, and compassion. Cathy hopes that her daughter’s journey to a place of healing and peace will inspire others struggling with mental illness or caring for a family member with the same issues. She shows families that, while there are many obstacles on the road to better mental health, there are amazing joys waiting for you as well! This debut memoir, Not My Story To Tell is a great addition to the works of Mitch Albom and Jeannette Walls. If you liked ‘Beautiful Boy’ by David Sheff, you’ll love Not My Story To Tell.
My Review: This is a devastating book about a child with mental health issues and her sudden death at age 29. I know child loss, I’ve lost two boys, but this book isn’t about me or my losses. Having retired from working as a registered nurse, I have full empathy for this author. Mental illness is different in each person, and must be treated that way, individually, and correctly. Sadly, it’s universal worldwide in that those with mental health issues fall to the side. Read this book. Learn about mental illness in a child and as an adults. Read the accomplishments and the sorrows.