Madeline Sharples

Madeline Sharples

Madeline Sharples studied journalism in high school and college and wrote for the high school newspaper, but only started to fulfill her dream to work as a creative writer and journalist late in life. In the meantime, she worked most of her professional life as a technical writer and editor, grant writer, and proposal manager. She sold real estate for ten years while her boys were growing up, and instead of creative writing, she took creative detours into drawing and painting, sewing, quilting, and needlepoint. Her memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide, was released in hardback in 2011. Dream of Things publishers has recently released paperback and eBook editions. It tells the steps she took in living with the loss of her oldest son, first and foremost that she chose to live and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother, and writer. She hopes that her story will inspire others to find ways to survive their own tragic experiences. She also co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994), co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 and 2, and wrote the poems for two photography books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer). Her poems have also appeared online and in print magazines. Madeline’s articles appear regularly in the Huffington Post, Naturally Savvy, PsychAlive, and Aging Bodies. She also posts at her blogs, Choices and at Red Room. She is currently writing an historical fiction book, but her main mission is raising awareness, educating, and erasing the stigma of mental illness and suicide, through her writing and volunteer work, in the hopes of saving lives.

Articles:

Open to  hope

Could Writing Help the Boston Survivors?

The bombings in Boston have left me in tears. Every time I hear the news, see the photos of those who died or were wounded, I want to curl up […]

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Open to  hope

Does the Stigma of Mental Illness Still Exist?

A few months ago, my cousin came to our house to review and discuss the family history my husband had been writing. After reviewing the material, he made one request […]

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Open to  hope

How Working Outside My Hope Helped Me Survive

When my older son Paul died by suicide in 1999 after a seven-year battle with bipolar disorder, I had to find ways to keep myself busy and productive or else […]

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Open to  hope

Using Memoir Writing to Deal with Grief

Even before my son Paul died, I started writing about him and his bipolar disorder. I kept a journal to get out the frustrations of dealing with his episodes and […]

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Open to  hope

After Son’s Death, Mom Creates Room of Her Own

Early on in my grieving process, I felt that my house was my safest place, and I couldn’t wait to get back to it after being out in crowds. Other […]

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Open to  hope

How Friends Can Help after a Suicide

So many people get stuck when it comes to comforting someone who is grieving. They don’t know what to say. They don’t know what to do. So they send flowers, […]

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