In a society still working to normalize discussions about mental health, a new book takes an honest look at complex trauma and recovery. Borderline Shine will hit bookstores February 15.
“I’m hoping that this book will change people’s perceptions of mental health,” said author Connie Greshner. “It’s about breaking the secrecy around trauma and advocating for a compassionate, non-judgemental response for people struggling with mental health concerns.”
Borderline Shine begins when Greshner’s father murders her mother, follows her through Catholic boarding school in Kansas, returning to central Alberta to live with her eldest brother’s family, and through various rebellions and struggles as she finds her way onto a path of recovery and stability.
“I’ve wanted to write my story for a long time, because I think it’s important to bring an authentic and experienced voice to discussions about trauma and mental health,” said Greshner. “I hope to connect with people who are struggling, address the ongoing pervasive stigma we still have about mental health concerns, and lend support, understanding and compassion to people who have experienced trauma.”
Greshner lived briefly in Powell River, following her best friend from junior school high here for her grade 12 year.
“I graduated from Max Cameron Senior Secondary School, then moved to Vancouver for college,” she said. “Even though I was born and grew up in Alberta, I have always been drawn to the west coast. I thrive in this environment, and Powell River had beauty and culture, which was part of its lure.”
Now a mental health therapist on Vancouver Island, Greshner hopes her book reaches more people than just those who have experienced trauma.
“There are three audiences that will benefit from reading Borderline Shine,” she said. “The first is, of course, those struggling with mental health and trauma. The story will show them they are not alone and that there is hope for creating the life they want to live.
“But I also believe the story will be useful for mental health professionals. I think it’s helpful for professionals to have a firsthand account of what it is like to live through big feelings and emotions, struggles and the beliefs that continually sabotage a person with a traumatic past. And I also hope the general public will find it interesting to read.”
This is Greshner’s first published work, which will have a book launch event at The Crooked Spoon Café in Campbell River on February 15.
“When I start to get nervous about putting myself out there, I go back to the reason I wrote it,” said Greshner. “I want to advocate for people who are suffering, and that inspires me and keeps me going. I want to underline a message of hope for my readers, both those struggling and those supporting them.”
Borderline Shine by Connie Greshner is available for online pre-orders from Amazon and Chapters/Indigo, or, after February 15, directly from Dundurn Press at dundurn.com/books/Borderline-Shine.
To find out more about Greshner, go to conniegreshner.com.