Sherry Goes Sane: Living A Life With Schizo-Affective Disorder available now!
The book is available as a trade paperback and as a Kindle ebook.
A former high school cheerleader, Sherry Joiner has been dealt her share of misfortune in life. In addition to brutal childhood abuse at the hands of her alcoholic parents, she has also faced the suicide of her mother and watched her brother slowly die of AIDS. For decades she has lived with schizoaffective disorder, characterized by stressful and distorted thoughts, and as a result, has been through her fair share of suicide attempts and hospitalizations. Many individuals in her situation might be tempted to simply give up, but with the help of her long-time psychiatrist, Sherry works diligently to heal her wounds and reclaim her life from the ravages of her illness.
Sherry Goes Sane is the story of her extensive journey, narrated from her point of view and written with vivid honesty. From the most traumatic moments of her life to the most triumphant, this gripping memoir provides an unforgettable glimpse into the mind of a person with schizoaffective disorder, as well as the process of recovering from an unusually painful childhood. Those who have experienced trauma in their lives or dealt with troubling thoughts will relate to Sherry’s raw, unfiltered prose, detailing the memories she has worked so hard to overcome.
Sherry’s story begins to turn around when she seeks the help of a psychiatrist, Dr. Smith. A major character in her memoir and in her life, the doctor works with Sherry to find the correct methods and medications that can help her to put her past behind her, quiet her intrusive thoughts, and become more successful in her day-to-day life. This transition is what turns the story from a tragic tale of mental illness into an uplifting success story of strength beyond all odds.
With proper medical treatment that includes prescribed medications, Sherry begins to accept her disease. She goes on to work as a preschool teacher of children with ADHD, autism, and bipolar disorder, and has a long career as a certified nurse’s aide working with individuals who have cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other end-stage illnesses. She has a clear passion for assisting those with special needs. Working closely with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, she has given lectures at hospitals, psych wards, and universities about her personal experiences, and as an advocate for those who, like her, suffer from mental illness. She has also been published in the national NAMI Voice Newsletter, with an article about finding peace and happiness in the psych ward.
As much as this powerful memoir is meant to inform, it is also meant to inspire. In her story, Sherry shares many of the thought-provoking quotes, song lyrics, and philosophies that have helped her to heal over the years, in hopes that other individuals who suffer from mental illness might find them helpful as well. She serves as a positive example of someone who has overcome some of the greatest possible odds to live a fulfilling, happy, and overall stable life, even when mental illness threatened to hold her back forever.