By Lauren Spiro
A Daughter’s Journey From Grief and Madness to Forgiveness and Peace
This courageously personal memoir describes Lauren Spiroâ€™s journey from unbearable emotional pain following her fatherâ€™s murder, down into psychosis, through the depths of our dysfunctional mental health system, and finally to a place of transcendent healing and peace where she knows that we are all connected much more deeply than we understand. This book has been a way of sharing meaning found in madness and honoring the vision of a sixteen year old that has lead to her lifeâ€™s work.
The Dialogues of Discovery book tour is a testament to the power of dialogue to transform consciousness and an invitation to explore topics touched on in the book, such as; How do you redefine who you are? How do you fill the emptiness in your soul? How do you come to know who you were born to be? How do you find liberation for yourself and others? How do you access and trust your own innate wisdom?
Ms Spiro is passionate about developing our capacity for compassion, appreciating the vast intelligence and creativity of the human mind, and co-creating pathways so everyone may come home.
Lauren Spiroâ€™s magical book conjures creativity from tragedy, visions from madness, and leadership from despair. I was especially inspired by her courage to challenge racism in the context of a terrible crime. This heartfelt account of Laurenâ€™s life will inspire everyone to reach higher.
~ Will Hall, host of Madness Radio and author of The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs
In this moving, beautifully written memoir, Lauren Spiro tells of unfathomable loss, the madness of a psychiatric system that would diagnose her with â€œchronic schizophreniaâ€ at age 16, and her ultimate recovery from both of those childhood traumas. In her poetry and prose, we see too that wordsâ€”the language that can bring us understanding and compassionâ€”can have a healing power of their own.
~ Robert Whitaker, award-winning author, Anatomy of an Epidemic
In vivid prose and poetry, Lauren Spiro has painted for us a picture of her spiritual journey, a journey that took her from unbearable emotional pain, down into psychosis, through the depths of our dysfunctional mental health system, and finally to a place of transcendent healing and peace. This is a story of hope and love, the story of how a daughter, so devastated by her fatherâ€™s senseless murder, was rescued by his cherished spirit awakening in her adult life. The message is clear: healing of the mind and heart is always possible, love needs to be the guiding star in recovery, and we are all connected, much more deeply than we understand.â€
~ Dr. Mark Foster, Family Physician
A beautiful story of liberation and growth, Living for Two eloquently expresses the path to forgiveness and offers the reader tools and inspiration to get there. Interspersed with dream-like color paintings and poetry, Laurenâ€™s story blends her personal life history with accounts of the larger movement for mental health liberation. A revealing story that will help other survivors of loss and trauma find hope and possibilities.
~ Cassandra Nudel, Editor, Firewalkers: Madness, Beauty & Mystery
Laurenâ€™s story embodies the strength and resiliency of persons who have experienced trauma. With refreshing insight she graciously shares her journey and the tools and resources that have been the wind beneath her wings.
~ Nikki Migas, MPA, Managing Director, CARF International
Lauren takes us on a journey where culture and cosmology enter different doors of the same house. Living for Two is a love story that celebrates the fragility of humankind and the resiliency of one very brave and wise little girl.
~ Cardum S. Harmon, author, Mandala Project: Transfiguration of Ordinary Souls
Lauren Spiroâ€™s Living for Two provides a compelling account of the struggle to map the unfathomable territories that lie at extremes of human experience. Her recovery and transformation after senseless violence, profound loss, spiritual emergency and extreme mental states exemplify hope, resilience and post-traumatic growth. People in recovery, psychology and social work students, helping professionals, children of violence, and others will find this small volume worthwhile.
~ Priscilla Ridgeway, PhD, co-author, Pathways to Recovery
Lauren invites the reader to accompany her through experiences of devastating personal loss and abuse, and being further harmed by the mental health system. Laurenâ€™s creativity, reflected in her prose, poetry, and painting, evoke insight and empathy in the reader. Living for Two takes its place in the literature of personal challenge and recovery, and the ensuing social activism they engender.
~ Jonathan Finkelstein, PhD Associate Dean, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
A powerful story of a young womanâ€™s experiences with trauma and her courage to reclaim a path of recovery and healing. This memoir should be read by all who work in the mental health field.
~ Kevin Ann Huckshorn PhD, RN, State Director, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Delaware
Laurenâ€™s story is as courageous as it is tender in her exploration of how our deepest losses shape the soul, how fear and misunderstanding can too easily silence it, and how love can give our souls voice again, no matter how long they have been silent. Laurenâ€™s memoir invites us to consider whether there is any wound love cannot heal. A question we must answer with our own lives and hearts.
~ Jennifer Maurer, Managing Director, Mother Bear: Families for Mental Health
Powerfully written, this personal journey from loss and sadness to reclamation and healing is soul-redemptive and emotionally stirring. Thank you Lauren for being real, vulnerable, and sharing your story which will ultimately empower others to share theirs.
~ Amikaeyla, Singer / Songwriter / Executive Director, ICAHSI, The International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute