Opening page: ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery

With much angst, I’m launching the opening page to

ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery, companion sequel to

ME & HER: a Memoir of Madness.

(READ First #20 pages here).

ME & HIM reveals shattering NEW revelations in the saga of student and parent abuse upon me, teacher Karen Tyrrell, my incarceration into a psychiatric hospital and my pro-active steps to recovery.

Posting this page is a gut-wrenching decision: once again exposing my personal life history for the world to see.
I’m psyching myself to be brave with these new disclosures not only about myself but about those I love the most.

With my eyes snapped shut, I suck in a deep breath and pray.
Hoping you’ll understand my motivations.

So here’s the BRAND NEW opening to ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery, my self-help book.  Please let me know what you think.

 On a brilliant blue sky day, my husband Steve finally revealed the awful truth to me.

‘You better rewrite that memoir of yours. What I’m going to tell you now will change everything.’

On that fateful day, my life as I knew it fell apart.

Unknown to me, my life story as depicted in my memoir, ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness was flawed with self-lies, half-truths and self-deceptions.  My family, friends and those closest to me were part of a conspiracy to protect me from the truth.

Shocking new information had now come to light. ME & HER was written in a ‘fool’s paradise’. What I had innocently believed for seven years was untrue.

This revelation shook my world and my previous perceptions.
I had to make a decision whether I should rewrite my memoir based on these new revelations. But the problem was that I hadn’t resolved those issues or forgiven myself or those involved.

I wrangled with the choice of adding new exposé memoir chapters to my companion self-help book A Guide to Recovery which I had already commenced.

Worse, I grappled with a personal quandary to disclose this new confidential information about me, and my family, placing myself on the line once again as my personal life is aired in public. I suffered the pangs of angst, worrying about how the world will perceive me, and my life.

I struggled with one dilemma after another on whether to self-sacrifice my private life. Would my new memoir chapters advance deeper understanding of mental illness, and answer questions as to why someone would become so severely ill?

Could I hold my head up high and say ‘Yes, I did the right thing’?

After much deliberation, I chose to add those new highly intimate memoir chapters to my companion sequel. I renamed my book ME & HIM: A Guide to Recovery.

I guess you’re wondering who’s the HIM in the ME & HIM equation. The HIM is my number one supporter, my husband Steve Tyrrell, who weathered my bipolar storms, which battered our lives more like cyclones.

Steve was always there for me as my guardian and watchdog, always looking out for my physical, mental and emotional health. He stayed by my side through one crisis after another.

But Steve was also the keeper of secrets.


What did you think of my opening page?                                  

Is the first page gripping enough to pique your interest?

Do you want to read more?

PLEASE let me know 🙂

Did I do the right thing in publishing ME & HIM?

PS. This blog was edited. KT.

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45 comments to Opening page: ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery

  • Maria

    I enjoyed reading your first page. I so carnt wait to read the book Me And Him i really enjoyed your first book .Best book ive read for along time . Busting ready to read your second book . xx

  • Very attention-grabbing in my opinion. Anyone who enjoyed or was impressed by Me & Her will want to read the follow-up. Not only has it more secrets to impart but lot of clear and easy-to-follow advice.

  • Thanks Maria, I’ve grappled with posting this page today. I had to double-check with those concerned that it was OK to disclose my story. I appreciate your support. Karen x

  • Thanks Sally for these awesome words of support. That means so much to me coming from you as my Editor and as a friend. Karen x 🙂

  • Kathryn Butler

    I will definately want to read Me and Him… you’ve surely piqued my curiosity. I’m halfway thru Me and Her and enjoying your honest writing but it is dredging up a lot of suppressed memories of my experiences… should be finished reading it shortly as it is a real page turner, wishing you all the success in the world Karen to you and your family. Your carer’s perspective of your illness is a brilliant strategy .. of how they support you and all the blocks put in front of them while battling the system … can’t wait 🙂

  • Thanks Kathryn, I appreciate your support & enthusiasm as a Reader of ME & HER and with an understanding of the issues and the system … Karen 🙂

  • As always Karen, I appreciate your honest writing and absolutely loved the first page. OMG, can’t wait to read “Me and Him”…The title is “perfect”…:-)

  • Thanks Ani, I knew you would like it. Today was stressful, I’ve worked myself up into a headache and gut-ache over all this “revealing” to the world. Just praying for positive outcomes … Karen 🙂

  • Art Antonious

    You have my total support behind you Karen as I can appreciate your apprehension and concerns disclosing secrets. “ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery” sounds honest and very intriguing indeed!

  • hey Art Antonious, Today I was testing the waters with those involved to see how they’d react. Working out if I could go through with publishing it. The story reveals an on-going problem, still raw and close to my heart. I’m praying for strength to make the right decision 🙂

  • Karen, you may not want to hear this but it needs to be said, in my view.

    I think it’s a HUGE mistake to disclose that you realised close to publication that your original memoir was filled with ‘lies, untruths and deception.’ This tells the reader that you deliberately went ahead and published an untruthful memoir. The cynics out there would view that as a money-making exercise, even if you didn’t make a lot of money from the original publication. Big publishers have done it a lot and unfortunately, paid the price for it in the end. This could also seriouly affect your credibility as an author and publisher and lead to a backlash within your own following that you’ve worked hard to build up. Do you understand where I’m coming from?

    We’ve all read media reports about stories that have been published as one thing only to emerge later as being something else and readers, in particular, have felt robbed and disheartened for believing in those stories. You don’t want your work tarred with this same horrible brush, particularly as you have successfully promoted the original memoir in Australia and internationally as being ‘your journey’ through mental illness.

    If the lies, untruths and deception are not about your mental illness but something else, you need to be very careful about how you badge this in your publicity.

    Also, as I have previously mentioned to you, let your fans and readers describe your work as ‘gutsy’ – not you, the writer. We could all describe our own work as being this and that, but it may not be the way others view it. You need to let the readers and fans promote it for you in their own words.

    I hope this is helpful feedback.


  • Hey Sharon,
    Everything in ME & HER is true, told from the POV of HER, a MAD woman. And ME, a recovering person.
    Its taken from December until now to resolve all the confronting issues in ME & HIM.
    And they are still ongoing!!!

    When you read ME & HIM you’ll understand why I disclosed my very personal revelations this way.
    My four Beta readers, and my editor understand and absolutely support the way I’ve presented ME & HIM.
    I have no regrets with what I have written,

    My only worry is about those family members concerned!

    Good luck with your writing.

  • Dear Karen,
    This is my second attempt(hate the captcha codes!!) For what it’s worth, I agree in some part with Sharon’s savvy and honest observations. However, I personally, am totally intrigued with the concept of the sequal. I do not think the publication or validity of your first memoir is in vain nor will jeopardise the your second or your strong readership. I found this first page to be meatier and more meaningful than that of your first publication. It was gripping from the start. Dimity

  • Thanks Dimity,
    I appreciate your honest response to my first page.

    ME & HIM addresses many of the VIP issues neglected in ME & HER.
    Mainly because I didn’t have the insight to understand my mental illness from another perspective, my husband and carer … Karen 🙂

  • Thanks Sharon for drawing attention to how ME & HIM may be perceived. I’ve made changes to the first page of ME & HIM which I’ll send to the editor before formatting and printing … Karen 🙂

  • Karen, I think your second book is as important as the first – perhaps even more so. There is an element of self-delusion in bipolar disorder that needs to be recognised and dealt with. You are a brave soul and I applaud you for it. I also applaud your husband Steve (as I applaud my own husband) for having had the strength to stand by his wife and being the mirror that encouraged you to see yourself from all sides and in all lights (so to speak).

    I would perhaps write: ‘self-lies, untruths and self-deceptions’ but my choice doesn’t have to be yours :0)

    Your first page is gripping and I can’t wait to read Me & Him.

    Much love and encouragement always. xx

  • Anne Richards

    Hi Karen,

    Enjoyed reading the first page of your new book Me and Him.

    I certainly intrigued me and I look forward to reading the rest of the book.



  • Thanks Gabrielle, I love your insightful suggestions. I’ve been grappling with those VERY words seeking out the best ones which would communicate the essence of ME & HIM. Its not too late to change. The print formats haven’t been finalized yet. I’m so glad I’ve posted this page and you gave me this feedback. Much LOVE!! … Karen 🙂

  • Hi Anne,
    Thanks so much for reading page #1 and offering your feedback and support for ME & HIM…Love & light: Karen 🙂

  • Hi Karen
    I must confess I am still going through your first book also. I have been going through a lot of things myself so need to be in the right space to pick up the book again. I can understand where you are coming from as I guess the first book is written from your perspective. The excerpt from this second book is very good. It is ingtruiging and I am sure that people who have read and enjoyed the first book will want to read the second also. I am hoping all is ok with your family – You are a courageous woman and I am sure that writing these books is helping with working your way through a lot of things as it probably helps other people. From what I gather from the reading done so far the first book is your truth at the time. I wish you every success and if you found things were different to how you thought they were I can understand how you felt compelled to write the sequel.

  • Michele Fowler

    Hi Karen

    I feel that Me and Him is a story that NEEDS to be told. As we’ve discussed before, it’s not just the person with bipolar who suffers, it’s everyone who surrounds them, particularly family. My mother once said of me “it’s like walking on eggshells”. She never knows when I’m going to flare or when I’m going to just want to crawl away and hide in my room all day. I have a feeling Me and Him is going to open the eyes of a lot of people, as they read about the story from the OTHER side – the carers, the families and the friends of bipolar sufferers like us.

  • Hi Moanna, Thanks for persevering with ME & HER. I know its an emotional journey to read it.
    ME & HIM is the insightful truth as the real-life ME & HIM characters see it now, revealing repercussions not envisaged in ME & HER.
    I know you’ll LOVE it … Love & Light, Karen 🙂

  • Hi Michele,
    Thanks for supporting ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery and the wider positive message ME & HIM has to offer… Love & Light. Karen 🙂

  • Graham Clements

    Hi Karen,

    I like Sharon have my concerns, particularly with sentences like “The story behind ME & HER was wrong”. That implies the whole memoir was wrong. I hope it wasn’t. I hope that in your attempts to get readers enthusiastic about your sequel, you don’t trash the original. If parts of the original memoir were flawed, say parts of it were – not that the memoir was flawed. And hint at why. People might think, the way the first page is written, that you have made the whole thing up. I also tend to agree with Sharon that it is for readers to say if the memoir was gutsy. I think the opening page has to be more specific, I myself would be very disappointed if the second book refutes most of what was written in the first book, which the opening page of the second very much hints at.

  • Thanks Graham, for offering your advice.
    I understand what you’re saying and totally agree with it. ME & HIM provides a shattering truth about a VIP thread in the book and reveals a wider perspective to my illness. The second memoir DOESN’T refute the first memoir at all. But is a complementary companion self-help book written from a different perspective.
    I’ll take a closer look at my opening page to see what else I need to change. I’m glad I’ve posted this page in a forum where I can clarify before publishing … Much appreciated, Karen 🙂

  • Jan Mills

    Dear Karen,
    Yes, you can hold your head up high and say you’ve done the right thing. The lies, half-truths and deception in your first book were, as stated, ‘unknown to you’. I don’t think any reader will consider the ‘truth as you knew it’ to be upheld as lies. I think it shows how honest a person you are. You certainly are’nt going down this road for the money or a Sunday stroll. It has been and still is, hard yakka for you and your family.
    I’ve read through the opening page a few times and consider it to be real and relevant.
    Jan x

  • Thanks Jan, I really appreciate you coming along here to vouch for the credibility of my recovery stories both in ME & HER and ME & HIM. You have read both memoirs and know how they fit together as a whole. Love & light, Karen 🙂

  • Paul Winkler

    I wish you great success with *both* of these stories (or all three, as the case may be; I’m not quite clear on that.)

    I found the one page very intriguing, but the comments before mine were the main thing that fascinated me! I’d be quite interested in reading your original book, and the new one too. Perhaps the latter would help cast some light on what my own family went through the times when I’ve been sick as well (I also have bipolar.)

    Good luck!

  • Congratulations Karen on a new book! I knew it was in the pipeline but I didnt know what it was about….It’s such a powerful thing when we discover a new perspective, isnt’ it? Particularly when it’s about such an emotional and raw subject. I think this new book is an extension of your recovery, and you could advertise it as such. How intriguing to be exploring one’s mind one year later (first book) and then a few years later which much soul searching (second book)?

  • Hi Paul,
    Thanks for supporting my two Recovery memoirs.
    ME & HER shows my journey into and out of Bipolar from the ME & HER point of view.
    ME & HIM shows an up-to-date perspective of the carer and family with the trauma they experienced. I also share my pro-active guide to recovery. Hope we can keep in contact and you can let me know what you think of my two memoirs …
    You can read The first #20 pages of ME & HER Free here … Love & light Karen 🙂

  • Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks so much for reading and supporting the opening page to ME & HIM : A Guide to Recovery/
    You will discover these shocking new insights and perspectives as I learned of them.
    And the profound impact they had on my understanding of mental illness … Karen 🙂

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  • Every story has a “point of view”. Your first page leaves me eager to learn the “secrets” and how you came to learn what you are now willing to share. I’m certain your sharing will help somebody heal.

  • Thanks Maxine for reading the opening page to ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery. I’m praying that my tell-all memoir will help others … Karen 🙂

  • Hi Karen,

    Had me interested to see what this book would reveal from a new prospective… Good luck.

  • Thanks Ros, for reading my opening page to ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery. I’m very interested to hear what you think of the whole book… Launching in #2 weeks .. Karen 🙂

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