Book Talk: The Dark Has Its Own Light by Sue Dowell
Many challenges plague being alive. At every point in life, at every turn, there is an obstacle that one needs to overcome. Such is the human condition - jumping through hurdles that life places in the way while solving the puzzle without knowing from the start what the big picture is. However, each person has different obstacles. Each person is given different puzzle pieces to solve. For some, the challenge is to navigate being alive. For others, being alive is an obstacle in itself.
When she was 19, Sue Dowell was hospitalized in a private psychiatric hospital. She was committed to psychiatric care because of her persistent attempts to harm herself. As she is restrained and bound to her bed, Sue began to journey into "what went wrong?". She started to look into how a seemingly average person whose prospects should point out to a pretty average life ended up bound to a hospital bed to restrain her from self-destruction.
During her two years "locked up" in a psychiatric facility, she began the quest to face her depression and trauma, learning to cope with them. More importantly, she has learned something that she has never learned before the ability to love herself.
The accounts from those two years are written to send the message of hope and encouragement. In this well-written and almost poetic story-telling, the author recounts her experiences, her realizations, and her personal journey to not just mental healing, but to a spiritual one as well.
The Dark Has Its Own Light chronicles the author's journey through life's hurdles. It is written because it is a story that is not often told. This is a remarkable story to be shared as every effort to destigmatize mental illness is.
The author has gone into the darkest places of her experiences and puts them into the light in the hopes that the readers may find hope and reassurance that it is possible to come out of such darkness. It also brings to light the very real truth that freedom from the shackles, especially those that are not physical, are fought for every day. The author shares the many lessons that she has learned while institutionalized to the ones that continue to guide her as she continues to cope and thrive in life.
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Sue Dowell is the pen name of Reverend Doctor Kathy Hurt, a Protestant pastor who has served congregations in the Midwest and California, taught in a juvenile detention center, and now provides spiritual direction and blogs on topics of spirituality, prayer, and mental health on two websites, www.kathyhurt.com and www.PrayerWays.net. The Dark Has Its Own Light is an account of Kathy's two-year stay in a private psychiatric hospital and her struggles to overcome depression and trauma. She is presently completing a second book that probes the difficult subject of suicide, drawing on her personal and professional experience to provide an in-depth look at a suicidal mindset and how we might more readily have the necessary conversations to prevent suicide.