Author Q+A: Marilyn Shelton of “Walking through Darkness: a Memoir of Recovery”

What inspired you on this book?

I wanted to write this book for people undergoing similar circumstances in their dealings with the psychiatric system based on my own bad experiences with it. I thought I could save them the trouble if the sort of things that happened to me, happened to them and they were able to learn from my negative associations. I think that there is a lot of room for reform and improvement in the current psychiatric system because it is not as beneficial to patients as it could be, and can many times be more damaging than helpful.

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Why did you want to become a writer?

I have a natural need to communicate and to express my ideas in words. Art is an expressive outlet and I consider writing my favorite art form. Other people write songs and others paint. Writing is my forte. If I don’t express myself in writing, I feel as if I’m under pressure with a need to let the words out. I like writing because it can reach the masses and for someone who loves to communicate, I can communicate with a large audience.

What was the hardest part of creating this book?

It is a very personal book. I was worried I would reveal too many of my secrets.

What do you hope people gain from reading it?

I hope they realize they are not alone and that there are many different ways to recover, not just one. No one knows you better than you know yourself, remember that.

When you were a kid, what were your favorite books?

Charlotte’s Web and the Berenstein Bears series.

What is your advice to people who are not excited about reading?

Find a topic that interests you and dive in. You could be surprised by what you learn.

Why should we buy your book?

You should by my book if you are looking for a true success story of someone who recovered from a sleep and mood disorder without traditional psychiatric medications, despite being told that it was the only way to get better.

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