Gill Mann is a psychotherapist and author. She started working life as a lawyer but finally found the courage to follow her heart and re-train as a therapist – and has never regretted it for a moment. She has worked within the NHS, a university counselling service and in private practice. Longer-term work – with its potential for changing lives – is her passion.
Writing has always been Gill’s other passion but in 2014 it became a lifeline. She learned that her son, Sam had died while travelling overseas. For two years she kept a journal, writing about him and her grieving. She found herself addressing Sam too – there was so much still to say. Another bereaved mother read Gill’s journal, and urged her to publish it, saying it had made her feel much less alone. Gill’s memoir, A Song Inside, was published by Retreat West Books in July 2020.
I was introduced to Gill by another of my podcast guests, Claire Dyer. Reading her book brought up so many questions for me and I wondered how she coped with all the unanswered questions she might have
I think when people hear the word Schizophrenia, they are a little scared by that label, so it was really refreshing to have an open discussion to what it looked like for her as a mother with a son who had that diagnosis
We also discuss her grief journey and readjusting to her world that will forever be changed.
Some key points from our interview:
- How she feels that unbroken is about surviving even though the trauma of losing her son, Sam, has had a huge impact
- How she was determined not to let her trauma build a brittle shell around her to avoid her pain
- How despite her concerns about Sam, it would take a meeting with several family members for her to be listened to and for him to be diagnosed with schizophrenia
- How writing and talking about Sam helps to end the schizophrenia stigma
- How as a mother she struggled with guilt and regret and feels it’s a natural response
- How she had to learn and process her complicated grief through her new changed world
Hosted by Madeleine Black, the show will share stories of all the amazing people Madeleine has met on her own journey as an author/speaker and these stories will heal, motivate, inspire and bring hope when they share their wisdom and knowledge with her.
She really believes in the power that comes when we share our stories, that in fact we are not story tellers but story healers. Tune in to discover what helped them to stay unbroken and together we will discover that none of us are broken beyond repair.
You can find out more about Madeleine, her story and her memoir, Unbroken, from her website: https://madeleineblack.co.uk/
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