Coming to Terms: A Mother’s Story


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175 in stock


By Arlene Hindle

ISBN: 978-1-84991-225-9
Published: 2010
Pages: 139
Key Themes: autobiography, bipolar disorder, manic depression, family, relationships


An account of the pain inflicted on sufferers of manic depression (Bipolar Disorder), their family and those around them.
‘Peter was with us for 6 weeks. At first it was like having a stranger in the house. He was so quiet. But we gave him his space to do as he pleased ………. he was a lost soul and all we could do was wait patiently and hope that the Prozac would eventually take effect.’

‘………. we were somewhat taken aback when Peter phoned at the beginning of May to tell us that he had ‘popped the question’ and that they were getting engaged. He had known her for just six weeks.’

‘The letters were unpaid bills, final demands to the tune of hundreds of pounds, so our fears over Peter’s inability to manage his financial affairs were fully realised as we sat at our table that day. Sarah looked across at Peter in a state of incredulous disbelief.’

‘Dr Darwood was sitting, almost silhouetted, his back to the window, behind an enormous desk piled high with papers and patients’ notes. I took a deep breath and then said ‘I have come to see you because my husband and I are very seriously concerned about Peter. He is not getting any better and this has gone on for far too long.’’

‘The night Peter came home drunk was the first of many.’

‘………. then park at our village pub where he would begin his binge drinking. The pub was just a couple of hundred yards from our home and he would walk home from there.’

‘The psychiatrist said ‘Young man, you look like an out of work undertaker. When I have finished with you, you will be playing football and chasing the girls again.’

‘Peter was discharged and back home with us at the end of the 3rd week in January. We had hoped that he might have been easier to live with but were disappointed for the only real difference we could see was that he was no longer drinking.’

‘The first thing I noticed was the raw red scald over his eye.’

About the Author

Arlene Hindle has written an account of the harrowing road her son, Peter, her husband and she travelled on the road leading to Peter’s eventual diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, his treatment and gradual recovery to a stable condition.

She decided to write the story for a number of reasons. Firstly to raise awareness in the family as the complaint can be genetic. Secondly to encourage others to persevere through any visible signs of the illness and the difficulties that can ensue, for Bipolar Disorder can, in most cases be managed successfully. Thirdly, in the hope that writing the story would be an emotional release for her.

Arlene is a retired nurse and lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. She enjoys reading, walking in the Dales and occasionally writes for the Harrogate, Tapes for Blind.

Book Extract


Peter, our eldest son, was diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder in 1995.

The harrowing road Peter, my husband and I travelled and the events leading up to his diagnosis are as clear in my mind as though it all happened yesterday.

I had often toyed with the idea of writing Peter’s story, but could never decide when, where or how to begin. Somehow there had to be a trigger.

I had made many notes and felt that they should be compiled into a written story for three reasons.

Firstly to raise awareness of the disorder for our family, as Bipolar Disorder can prove to be genetic. Secondly, to encourage others to persevere through any visible signs of the illness occurring and finally, in the hope that the writing of the story would be an emotional release for me.

Nothing ever materialised until seven years ago.

Through a friend, I received an invitation to join a writing group being formed by a Barbara Roberts. The group was to be called ‘Lifelines’ and its purpose was for members to study and record parts of their family histories for grandchildren and future generations.

Joining seven others, the group was established under Barbara’s leadership. A gifted writer, her expertise and encouragement was an inspiration to us all. We valued her greatly, hanging on to every word as she read us many of her own memoirs.

Membership of the group was the trigger. When Barbara first read my notes she said ‘You must write this. Even the bones of the story make good reading.’ And so I began.

Sadly Barbara died a year ago, but she is sorely missed and lives on through Lifelines.

This book is dedicated to her and the members of the Lifelines group. For without their help and encouragement, it would never have been written.

2 reviews for Coming to Terms: A Mother’s Story

  1. Arlene Hindle (verified owner)

    Once started quite unable to put the book down. Read in one sitting. Just had to know how Peter’s story finished.

  2. elizabeth haggard (verified owner)

    This book is written as a straighforward narrative of what happened to Peter before and after his diagnosis and what it was like for his family. Although it is simply written it is a very powerful read, and I found I had to keep reading to find out what happened because the author made me really care about the people, not by being sentimental but just by telling the story as it happened. It’s not a book which gives you answers, but it does give you encouragement to keep going, keep trying, keep doing the best you can. It’s my first e=book and my first Chipmunka book, and a success on both counts.

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