by Lorie Lewis Ham
This week we have a review of Forever Different, Christine Anderson’s story of her struggle with bipolar disorder. We also have an interesting interview with Christine. At the end of this post are details on how to win a copy of this book, and a link to purchase it.
Forever Different by Christine Anderson
Review by Lorie Lewis Ham
Forever Different is the true story of Christine Anderson’s struggle with bipolar disorder. Even without mental health issues, Christine’s life has never been easy, but this story shows her struggles and her triumphs with brutal honesty.
Orphaned at the age of nine and raised by her older brother, Christine struggled not only with the depression one would expect from such tragedy, but she always seemed to know there was something more wrong with her. Through the years, she struggled with finding her path in life, dealing with her illness and accepting it, and some really bad relationships and choices. Officially diagnosed in 1987, Christine went on to deny the truth for several years before accepting her diagnosis and getting the help she needed. She takes us on a journey from the innocence of childhood, to her quickly growing up due to the death of her parents, to her adult criminal lifestyle, which led to a subsequent 70 month federal prison sentence for securities fraud.
Christine gives us the honest raw truth about her struggles with the extreme highs and lows of Bipolar I Disorder. But this isn’t just a story of tragedy and struggle, it’s the story of her triumphs as well. Christine attended Pace University for her undergraduate studies and received her MBA in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 1991. Since coming to terms with her diagnosis, she now travels extensively sharing her story and dedicates her life to educating others about bipolar disorder, and to animal rescue.
I highly recommend this book to anyone. If you are bipolar it can give you hope, if you know someone with bipolar disorder it can give you insight, and for everyone else this is a disease that we should all be educated about. You will laugh, cry and at times be shocked, by this interesting story. Bottom line it is an interesting and moving story.
Interview with Christine Anderson-
KRL: When did you finally sit down and start writing this book?
Christine: I began writing the book in March 2013.
KRL: How long did it take?
Christine:It took four months to write.
KRL: Was it difficult reliving some of it?
Christine: Some of my childhood memories, yes. The loss of my mother was the most difficult chapter to write; then the second most difficult chapter to write was the year I went to prison.
Christine: I found the IBPF in a group on Facebook. Someone mentioned them in a comment, and I looked them up and sent a FB, and asked them if they would be interested in my book. They put me in touch with Debbie Brown and a relationship was born.
KRL: How and when did you become involved with International Bipolar Foundation? And in what ways are you involved with them now?
I became involved with them in September 2014, and I have joined them in a volunteer capacity on their marketing committee; and I also donate a portion of the proceeds from the book to them.
KRL: How did your family and friends react to the book?
Christine: My family was shocked. They didn’t really understand what was wrong with me, and most of them found out through the book that I was bipolar.
KRL: How has your life been since the book?
Christine: I am happy that the book has opened doors for me to be able to help people who are in denial, accept that they have bipolar disorder, and get help.
KRL: What are you doing now?
KRL: How are you doing now?
Christine: I am stable, although I have bad days; I work hard at staying sane. I take my meds and go to therapy and make sure I am doing all that I can to stay even.
KRL: Did you have a purpose in writing this book beyond just sharing your story?
Christine: I was hoping that I would be able to reach people that suspect they have bipolar disorder, or know they have it, and are untreated get help.
KRL: I see that you started your own publishing company. Can you tell us how that came about and if you are, or will be publishing books by other authors?
Christine: When I wrote the book I self-published. I couldn’t find an affordable publisher that would take a newbie, and with my marketing background I figured out what worked and what didn’t; and I said “What if I do this for other people and make it a business?” And so in October 2013 I found[ed] the company, and I currently have 30 authors under my banner. You can see their work at www.publishwithcfa.com.
KRL: Are you still involved with animal rescue? If so, in what ways?
Christine: I am involved in animal rescue. In fact, on New Year’s Eve I rescued a Chihuahua from the kill shelter. We have her at home with us and named her Gina; she is staying with us. I try to rescue and re-home one animal per month, and I make monthly donations to the ASPCA and am considered a Guardian.
KRL: Do you feel that animals help you emotionally?
Christine: Definitely. Just the presence is therapeutic; there is nothing more satisfying for the soul than unconditional love.
KRL: Do you have another book in the works?
Christine: I do. It’s called The Critter Crusade: Why I Dedicate my Life to Animal Rescue, a memoir of sorts of all the animals that I have rescued that have touched my life over the years.
KRL: Anything else you would like to share?
Christine: Fight stigma! Spay and neuter! Do your part!
To enter to win a copy of Forever Different simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Forever,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 28, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Use this link to purchase a copy of the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore:
Check out KRL’s Mental Health section for more mental health related articles. Also, be watching for an every other month column from Christine.