Wrestling with my thoughts
Wrestling conjours up a number of images - from muscular types in lycra to Jacob wresting with the Angel in Genesis 32. But for many people who live with mental health problems, wresting is an everyday experience. Sometimes you win, sometimes you pin the thoughts down, somethings you are up against the ropes and the ref is counting down...
In this new book from IVP, Dr Sharon Hastings [a medical doctor who has a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder] writes about her experiences, how the illness has changed her whole life and how her faith is core to how she thinks and lives.
You can watch a short video from Sharon below and further down are some commendations about the book and her biography. You can buy the book from InterVarsity Press here: ivpbooks.com/wrestling-with-my-thoughts
‘Extraordinary… a story of incredible humbling, and one about accepting the life God has for us, no matter if it’s the one we expected or not.’ Ruth van den Broek
‘At times heart-rending, but eventually hopeful… Witness living faith and see why God esteems those weakened through mental ill health.’ Andrew Collins
‘Unflinching honesty… a victory for hope in the midst of darkness.’ Gordon McConville
‘A bravely honest testimony to the goodness of God, the vital support of loving friends, and the resilience and perseverance of a remarkable person.’ Mark Meynell
‘I was inspired, challenged and profoundly moved – and you will be too. Raw and powerful, this book demands to be read.’ Emma Scrivener
‘Wise advice for churches seeking to respond well to those afflicted with severe psychological conditions… Sharon’s intense wrestling has not been in vain.’ Ken Yeow
At the age of six, Sharon Hastings self-published her first book: The Long Train Went Under the Bridge, held together with staples. Writing has always been a big part of her life. She told her teachers that she wanted to be an author when she grew up, and that dream never really left her, even when her love of people and her desire to help them drew her towards a career in medicine.
As a medical student, she wrote for magazines and websites, and notably saw her ‘History of Gastric Surgery in Belfast’ (a collaborative effort with her uncle, a surgeon) published in the Ulster Medical Journal. And when poor health got in the way of practising as a doctor, Sharon attended creative writing classes, which was where she met her husband, Robert, a budding sci-fi author and video maker who has become her primary carer and greatest cheerleader.
Despite her struggle with severe mental illness, Sharon graduated with a degree in Medicine and a Certificate in Counselling from Queen’s University, Belfast, in 2007. She went on to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education and taught anatomy briefly at the university before moving into Constituency Casework roles in the offices of three successive elected representatives.
The schizoaffective disorder which first emerged when she was at medical school affects every aspect of Sharon’s life, but her faith remains central to her journey. Pastoral support is as important to her as the vital ongoing input from mental health professionals, and in Wrestling With My Thoughts, she writes about encountering God in the midst of depression, mania and psychosis.
When she is well, Sharon enjoys life in Newcastle, County Down, with Rob, their two golden retrievers and a loyal one-eyed cat. Her interests include live music, Bible study and walking by the sea. At time of writing, she his working part-time, but considers her ministry through the written word of paramount importance, just as she did when first stapling her ‘books’ together in 1988.
You can buy the book from InterVarsity Press here: ivpbooks.com/wrestling-with-my-thoughts