All the Things We Never Knew

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Chasing The Chaos of Mental Illness

By Sheila Hamilton

Sheila Hamilton is a reporter in Portland, Oregon. She is the ex-wife of David Krohl, a building contractor and devoted father who suffered from bipolar disorder. Six weeks after his mental illness diagnosis…he committed suicide with not so much a note as to his reasons why and a mountain of debt. Sheila was married 10 years before she realized he was in trouble. However, the signs were always there. In the book, Sheila gives a raw candid account of her life with David and the things she went through after his death. She also gives us a profound lesson on how to pick up the pieces and support a child after she has lost her father.

This book was raw and detailed. My heart broke for Sheila and her daughter, Sophie. It also broke for her husband as he battled denial and self-destruction. The book literally takes readers into the depths of denial, guilt and the pain of watching the person you love maintain the semblance of a normal life in all their mental chaos. The book also provides a plethora of mental illness research, education and resources for families and caregivers affected by mental illness.

I had to resist the urge to judge or criticize Sheila’s choices in caring for her ex-husband. There is no “magic” blueprint on how to deal with a tragedy on this level. She showed strength and courage in the face of calamity. David’s story will resonate on my heart and mind for years to come. It gives readers a real-life testimony of unconditional love and loyalty when you feel like giving up.

I encourage readers and mental health sufferers to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental illness and how it affects everyone around them. Please don’t give up. There is help out there!

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His strength is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9

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