It’s sometimes easier to take difficult life advice when we know the person offering it has suffered similarly. Melva Freeman has lived with bipolar disorder, lost friends and alienated family members with her rage, and been hospitalized several times. She has also persisted in getting healthy, strong, and independent, and she wants to help others do the same. Tools For Stability is just what the title sounds like: a collection of resources designed to help those in freefall find solid ground again.
From anger management tips to circle-and-dot faces designed to help identify emotional states, Freeman includes virtually every tip she herself received on her journey. Readers familiar with 12-step recovery programs or the classes required by employment agencies will find old standbys here. Freeman also includes samples of writing she did while in a manic state, to show readers that while it’s a dangerous place to be, it can also foster great creativity.
Tools For Stability is a bit scattershot, but that’s not necessarily a weakness. Freeman shares ideas for finding housing and choosing a compatible roommate, then tells the story of her own housing struggles and their happy resolution. Anyone feeling like they can’t do it will find a counter-argument in her example. Her suggestions are practical—get enough sleep, eat well, exercise—but often forgotten amid more pressing matters. These Tools can help rebuild a life.
While some of the resources listed are specific to Northern California, a thorough index helps readers find suitable alternatives. Tools For Stability is a collection of simple ideas, but having them all in one place makes it a useful resource for those in need.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.