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Panicked thoughts. Vivid nightmares. Racing heart. Unrelenting dread. Beryl Crosher-Segers was diagnosed with an anxiety and panic disorder as an adult, but she had been experiencing debilitating panic attacks since childhood. Witnessing the drowning death of her four-year-old brother Owen was the beginning of a lifetime of nightmares. Growing up during the oppressive system, apartheid, in South Africa, increased her anxiety as she struggled with her self worth.
It was in writing her debut book, A Darker Shade of Pale: A Memoir of Apartheid South Africa, that she unravelled.
In Behind My Smile: The True Story of an Author, a Broken Spirit and a Healer Beryl dissects her struggles with grief; a grief born of the devastating losses of her father and siblings, and loss of place in the country of her birth. After a lifelong battle with self-acceptance Beryl found the keys to overcoming the stigma of mental breakdown and its sweeping effects. She describes the steps she took to climb back from debilitating fear and what she saw as failure in her quest for mental health. The book offers a candid and absorbing account of Beryl’s healing journey. She shares details of the intensive work of clinical psychologist and energy medicine practitioner, Dr Geoff Lyons. This healing encouraged Beryl to explore her belief in the power of her heritage, the gifts available from contact with her ancestors and traditional healing methods. Having found a true healer, Beryl was able to see the richness of a life free of all manner of oppression — political, psychological, material. This story is essential reading for anyone who knows what it means to hover on the edge, and found a way to dive back into life.
A Darker Shade of Pale: a memoir of apartheid South Africa
Release date 17 April 2018
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Future Writing Projects
I am excited to be working on a couple of writing projects including Tales of the Illawarra Line, a book detailing my train travels on Sydney rail over a period of 28 years and a children’s book Mia and Grace and The Magic Ballet Shoes.
Tales of the Illawarra Line
Release date 2020.
The Colour of Broken Dreams