Friday, October 16, 2009

Author Guest Post - Stella Mazzucchelli (and a Giveaway - closed)

* Congrats to lucky winner - Nancy*

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Silk Flowers Never Die is an important and intensely personal memoir, powerfully showing with humanity and humor, the difficulties that exist for any family trying to cope with schizophrenia and mental distress. In a compelling story that reveals how much stranger than fiction fact is, Stella Mazzucchelli describes her determination to preserve her son from the worst effects of mental illness, while his young wife is dying of cancer.

Sharing My Story by Stella Mazzucchelli

The advantages and challenges of sharing my story is that I am dealing with emotions and weaknesses that are wide spread such as mental illness, cancer and alcohol abuse.

My book has given me the thumbs up to reveal to the world that my son has schizophrenia without beating around the bush when asked 'What does your son do for a living?' Like a race horse bursting through the starting gate I now feel free to pronounce the word schizophrenia without hesitation. I almost have to refrain a smile while waiting a reaction which usually is hidden shock, followed by admiration for my honesty and then curiosity.

The first question I am asked by those who are fortunate enough not to have had first hand experience, is 'What are the symptoms?' They obviously have no idea except what they have heard through the media which is very likely to do with some massacre or other. Being their only source of information, they live with the impression that all schizophrenics might rip there throat at the drop of a hat. The words come gushing out as I preach a condensed lecture on the subject, not stopping until I have managed to wipe away the fear and witness an expression of compassion on their faces. I can assure you that it is not an easy task to undo the image of violence so ingrained in their vision and reassure them that most people who are suffering from mental issues are very talented and sensitive human beings. The only problem of course is that due to the 'stigma' we rarely hear about them, they are forced into a dark corner, silenced and alone.

The people who have lived with a loved one who is a sufferer, I always detect a sigh of relief as though a burden has lifted because they can open up and discuss their experience without having to whisper.

Alcohol dominated my life for many years. It caused me to make mistakes and choices that cause my hair to stand on end just recalling them. Through my writing I wanted to reach out to those people who feel that without the aid of this mind degenerating substance they are unable to confront life. I wanted them to realize that life without alcohol is possible. There is strength in each of us which might be buried so profoundly beneath layers of insecurity that we flap around like blind people ignoring its existence. If we just took time to stand still and search within ourselves we might grasp the root of our torment and crippled ego. Only then, can we start to raise our head and begin to move forward in a positive direction. We have to leave behind the role of 'victim' and start a new one, take off the tinted glasses and see the world for what it is, because it can be very beautiful if we only gave it a chance.

Cancer is a very difficult subject to offer any sort of comfort or advice. It has become even scarier as it no longer only targets the elderly, but is hitting the younger generation without mercy. We do our best to eat healthy, exercise and avoid all cancer-provoking substances and yet I was told by my Practitioner that the number one killer is 'stress'. Can we live without stress? I made a point of treating small problems with the minimum of anxiety and the larger ones with a cool mind avoiding unnecessary panic. Not an easy task, but we can only try.

Thank you for that honestly, dear author. I can only imagine what it took to pen those emotions and experiences to paper.

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A copy of this book will go to one lucky reader. 

To Enter
  • In a comment tell me - what are your thoughts about the stigma attached to mental illness?
  • Please list your email address within your comment so that you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

Deadline   Midnight CST of November 16, 2009.

Eligibility  US & Canada only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!
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52 comments :

  1. There is definately a stigma attached to mental illness. I think this stigma prevents some people from getting the help they need because the don't want to be labelled by society as "mentally ill". I had a schizophrenic aunt. She was a very thoughtful, caring person who unfortunately had a disease of the mind.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I follow on Google reader.
    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am an e-mail subscriber.
    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, stigma for sure...but I see some people coming around. There are more people with mental illnesses than we think. I have bipolar but you wouldn't know it because my med's are my saviour and how I live my life...Healthy choices. But my immediate family..stay away from me...cause they're scared...thank God for friends.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

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  5. I follow on google freind.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I subscribe by email for updates. Thanks.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mental illness is extremely hard to cope with. In addition, there is a stigma attached to it. As though it weren't hard enough. I'm certain this dissuades many people from seeking the help they need.


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I subscribe via email.


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Having to deal with this issue in my family so
    much, I could use some inspiration from this
    book, I would really like to win it.
    I am having email problems so I am leaving
    2 of them.
    I follow by email and google reader.
    cenya2 at hotmail dot com
    mrjrroy96 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. There is a stigma attached to it. Although more people are becoming aware of it, I don't think people are accepting of it. It deters people from getting the help they need and they are ashamed to admit their illness.
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  11. email subscriber
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I follow your blog.
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. soo sad. forgive me about the tear

    the life maybe cruel.. but we cant cruel to everyone.. Alcohol is only temporary cure.. after using it.. you will have more pain..

    http://akbdiary.com/?p=801

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Please include me!
    +1 I follow @callmeabookworm on twitter (@dcf_beth)

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  16. +1 I'm a follower of this blog.
    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  17. +1 I received A book blogger emails.

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  18. I subscribe on Google reader.

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  19. I follow on Twitter. Here's my tweet:


    http://twitter.com/frugalmomto4/status/5047408233

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm interested in reading this. It seems lately that once a person is diagnosed, they get a lot more empathy from others; it's prior to diagnosis that there is a lot of ostracism etc.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. There is a huge stigma attached to mental illness, it can prevent you from several things if others know you may have an illness.
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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  23. Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary Email Updates
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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  24. Add A Book Blogger's Diary Button
    http://copperllamastudio.blogspot.com/
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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  25. a fan of A Book Blogger's Diary on Facebook
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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  26. I think there are many cases of mild mental illness that aren't treated or cared for because they are mild and therefore unoticable. It's a sad, and scary, thing.

    You are in my blogroll and I follow your blog!
    http://sexywomenread.blogspot.com

    kaylajohnson3969@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  27. I believe there is still a stigma.

    +1 I subscribe through email

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I tweeted on 10-27.
    http://twitter.com/frugalmomto4/status/5206851028

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  29. Here's my tweet for 10-28:
    http://twitter.com/frugalmomto4/status/5231132513

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  30. Although a large percentage of the population suffers from depression, there is still much stigma attached to any form of mental illness. "They" say people should be open about this, but watch out if you are. You are treated differently. walkerd@primus.ca

    ReplyDelete
  31. There will always be a stigma attached to mental illness because it is not understood. Everyone thinks that it can't happen to them, yet it can and it is not something you control. I don't believe we do enough to help this sector of the population.

    nhall99-swp at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I tweeted.
    http://twitter.com/frugalmomto4/status/5372940522

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I tweeted for 11-3.
    http://twitter.com/frugalmomto4/status/5392720699

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  35. tweet: http://twitter.com/frugalmomto4/status/5496485526

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  36. tweet for 11-9: http://twitter.com/frugalmomto4/status/5574087763

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  37. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsNovember 10, 2009 at 6:21 AM

    Having had a mentally ill Aunt who wouldn't seek treatment I understand this topic well. Often times the person does not see the degree to which their psychosis affects others and they refuse the help offered. It is hard if a family dearly loves this person as they both want them to get help but also want to shield them from hurt. At least that is what occurred in my family.

    rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsNovember 10, 2009 at 6:22 AM

    Old Facebook Fan (rose manning)

    rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsNovember 10, 2009 at 6:23 AM

    Feed subscriber on google reader (old)

    rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsNovember 10, 2009 at 6:24 AM

    Technorati Favorite (rubymoon)


    rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsNovember 10, 2009 at 6:25 AM

    Follower (old)


    rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think that stigma is attached to mental illness as like it has been said above me in the comments~too many people don't understand the different forms of mental illnesses.

    deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I follow you with Google

    Deb K

    deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am a email subscriber

    deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I am a facebook fan

    Deb S

    deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I subscribe to your feed

    deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I tweeted: http://twitter.com/frugalmomto4/status/5694031035

    corley@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  48. I left a comment on your Author Barbora Knobova talks about Happiness Post.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I left a post on your Author Guest Post - Fiona Ingram Post. Thanks.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. This giveaway is closed and the winner notified. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  51. You've a very nice blog. My friends referred it to me. Looks like everybody knows about, just me, until now. I'm going to read your other posts,too. Take care. Keep sharing.

    ReplyDelete