Countdown to the 2 pm book launch.
Pat Parker, a member of Circle of Friends of Duncan United, who volunteered to serve the refreshments
Keith Simmonds, minister of Duncan United Church (left) and David Pink, emcee (right)
Keith Simmonds and Daisy
Jo Deslippe, pianist, Andy Court
Keith welcomed the guests.
Keith welcomed the guests.
I was amazed at all of the people who came. Classmates from university, my church family, friends, neighbours and community members arrived from as far as Nanaimo, Victoria and the Lower Mainland.
The youngest guest was Mason and his family.
Author Reading and Questions
Emcee, David Pink spoke about meeting me years ago when I supported one of his relatives who was coming off benzodiazepines. He asked the audience how many people were impacted by an addiction—either themselves, a family member or someone they knew. Almost everyone put up their hands.
In my introduction to the readings from my book, I told the guests how important May 2017 was to me. It was fifteen years ago to the month that I had taken my last psychiatric drug.
Questions people asked:
- - Was I angry?
- - Did I ever use natural (non-drug) products for my health?
- - What role did art and creativity play in my healing?
- - What was my diagnosis?
- - One guest spoke about how Lithium had helped her over the years.
- - Although I cannot recall all of the questions, I remember answering one question by telling everyone about the crisis I experienced at age two that changed my life. For the full story, you’ll have to read the book!
- - I spoke about the importance of my faith and how I used to take notes during church sermons.
- - I spoke about my ongoing distrust of doctors, nurses and hospitals, and encouraged everyone to ask questions and be proactive in their own health as much as possible.
It was important to me to thank the Cowichan community. The amazing support I received is summed in the Servant Song:
We are pilgrims on a journey. We are brothers on the road. We are here to help each other; Walk the mile and share the load.
The Daisy Project: Escaping Psychiatry and Rediscovering Love is dedicated to Elizabeth Anderson (2008 posthumously and Betty Polster (2015 posthumously). To honour these Quaker women who modelled the way of the Sprit, I presented each of their families with a copy of the book.
Lorna Lawson and Paul Ruszel accepting book on behalf of the Polster family.
Paul Ruszel reading a message from Polster family.
Linda Hill accepting book on behalf of Leslie Anderson.
My faith, which I practised with the Quakers and the United Church, carried me through my years as a psychiatric patient. I presented each of the local groups with a book.
Jim Walker, chair board DUC, also accepted a book (sadly, no photo).
John Scull accepting book on behalf of Cowichan Valley Quakers. Many Cowichan non-profit societies supported me on my journey.
Jane Sterk, executive director Cowichan Women Against Violence, receiving a book.
John Scull, chair of board, Canadian Mental Health Association, Cowichan Valley Branch.
The other groups that supported me were:
- - Community Options Society
- - Cowichan Valley Hospice Society
- - Cowichan Family Life Association
- - Cowichan Family Caregivers Support Society
- - Cowichan Valley Independent Living Resource Centre
Book signing, music and refreshments:
Jo Deslippe, pianist
Paul Ruszel, song writer, singer and guitarist.
Ellen Reynolds, editor and Daisy
Malcolm Crockett and Daisy