Why I wrote the book has a simple answer; why I published it is much more complex. I wrote this book about fifteen years ago while going through a very difficult time in my life. My mother died; my wife decided it was time for a divorce; I could no longer do the job I loved, and I was forced to go on long term disability. I was diagnosed as having a sever Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) along with Clinical Depression and Generalized Anxiety. During that time I entered into an eighteen week, five days a week, five hours a day outpatients program at the Psych ward at the University Hospital. I journaled my thoughts and feelings in poetry. After I recovered, I decided to put it in book form with short prose for the story outline and gave it as gifts to a few people who had been important in my life. And there it sat.
So why publish it now? A few months ago while attending a salon (place for people to share, creative thoughts, music, and art), I decided to share a few poems from the old book. Some of the people who were going through depression insisted that these thoughts and poems needed to be shared. So I rewrote it, tied up all the loose ends, published it on Kindle and Amazon, and gave it to a few people for content edits. One of the people asked if she could share it with her daughter who was also going through a hard time with depression and possibly also had Borderline Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, the book was not able to reach her in time, and she died from a fentanyl-laced drug overdose. I realized then that I had a voice to offer in the whole discussion on mental wellness. I had something that could reach people going through the same emotions, and help others understand the loneliness and hopelessness of BPD and depression. On the advice from another one of my content editors, I rewrote parts of the book emphasizing the nature of anxiety, depression and BPD. And there it sat.
I had a problem marketing and sharing it. I still did not know what to do with it as I still have old issues from the past that I had successfully buried by spiritual practices such as meditation and by mindfully staying in the moment. I had moved to Vancouver Island in the Comox Valley where I was surrounded by peace and beauty. Did I really have to risk all this and rehash old forgotten thoughts and feelings? And did I really want to relive and expose my thoughts and emotions for public scrutiny? And even if I did, where would I find the drive and energy to make it all happen. And there it sat.
While attending a writer’s workshop I met a dynamic woman who was to help solve that problem for me. I hired her as my marketing agent and we embarked on this present journey. I have had one reading so far and it convinced me that I am on the right track. People in the audience were not that much interested in poetry as such, but they came to hear the story, and to share in the feelings of what it is like to have BPD. I later shared some deep personal thoughts with three mother’s whose young adult children were in the throes of BPD, anger, hopelessness, and drug abuse. I also talked to two young men who were in the process of coping with BPD. Now I am hooked. I find I have been reconnected to my roots as an educational psychologist and public speaker. I hate the marketing still but I do not have to worry about that. All I have to do is show up for readings and presentations.
Making a difference feels good.
Lawrence J.W. Cooper