– Excerpts from The Quiet Room by Lori Schiller –
“As I look back on my childhood, one memory plagues me. It is the memory of the afternoon of the dog. I remember that when I was young my family had a medium-sized black mongrel. He was kept chained to a door. One day as I was in the kitchen with him I suddenly grew angry. In a burst of rage, I grabbed a nearby golf club and began beating the dog furiously. After awhile he stopped moving. Dead. To this day I do not know why I did it. But there is one problem with this memory: It isn’t true. It never happened.
“Writing this book has been painful and exhilarating. It was painful to force myself to remember things that I would just as soon forget. But its been exhilarating to see how far I’ve come. Dr. Doller told me once when I was in the hospital that I could never go back. I could never again be the girl I was before that dark night at summer camp. Looking over my life, I know now that I don’t want to go back. I want to go ahead. I look forward to a future fulfilled with accomplishment, learning and the love of my family and friends. Many people helped me get to where I am now. Now it is my turn. Painful as it has been, I’ve written this book hoping that my story can help other people find their own ways out of darkness, I will know that I have not wasted the great gift I have been given: the chance to begin life again.”
I started reading The Quiet Room on Friday Jan.27th, a cold and gloomy winter day. I had to fight the urge to read it all in one sitting. It’s like each movie I’ve watched or book I’ve read has breathed new life and meaning into my own fight for sanity. I was so excited to read something that would take me deep into the world of schizophrenia.
The Quiet Room is written by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett. It gives readers a front-row seat into the life of Lori Schiller and her tumultuous road out of the darkness into recovery. Her story, narrated from first person perspective, takes you into the minds of her family and friends as they dealt with denial and finally acceptance while helping her recovery. Lori didn’t experience her first “voices” episode until she was 17 years old. She came from a loving, close-knit family and was the oldest of three children.
After reading Lori’s story, I am further convinced that mental illness is not always the result of a dysfunctional family or traumatic childhood. Every mental illness follows its own unpredictable path. Lori was going places. She was well on her way to fulfilling all her childhood dreams and making her parents proud. But, I have to wonder did Lori suffer from a classic case of overachievement? Did her obsession with being the best finally push her over the edge? By 1989, at the age of 23, she had been in and out of dozens of psychiatric hospitals and she had tried dozens of stabilizing medications. It wasn’t until she was completely ready to get well did she accept her illness and cooperate with the help she needed.
The Quiet Room is a masterpiece from start to finish! It is a timeless tale of survival, courage and redemption meant to encourage people with even the most severest mental illness cases. If you or someone you know suffers from schizophrenia The Quiet Room is the book for you!
His strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9