TRURO - Over time, Charlene Reid came to deal with her dissociative identity disorder, and she's even bringing the issue to the forefront with a new book.
‘A Paper Bag for Anna' is a Christian fiction book, based on one widow's faith in God and the strength of family to get her through the loss of her husband.
"But it's also about mental disability - dissociative identity disorder," said Reid, who moved to Hantsport from Truro five years ago.
"In the introduction, I share that I have this disorder, so the book is loosely based on my life, but nobody would recognize me in it because I'm not a widow."
Three years ago, Reid lost her brother, an experience that hit her hard.
"I thought, ‘we only have this one life and the things that we've gone through, some things make sense and some things don't make sense.'"
She thought there may be people out there suffering and going through the same sort of ordeal, and she's hoping the book may inspire or encourage them.
"I want to inspire people to see that there's hope, even in the most desperate of situations," she said. "This book shows how faith and family are so important."
In ‘A Paper Bag for Anna,' the main character's husband knows she has the disorder - DID, which used to be known as multiple personality disorder. The husband gets diagnosed with cancer and before he passes away, he makes plans to give clues to his wife about her struggle.
Reid started the book with a rough outline back in 2007, which she then had her mentor from a lay pastor program read.
"She encouraged me to write it," Reid said. "My inspiration came from God in church while listening to my pastor. The pastor was saying God has a plan for each of us and at the time I was still struggling with my own disorder.
"It wasn't something I felt I could just share with people. Over time I came to accept and deal with it, but it didn't just affect me - it affected everyone around me."
The book was edited five years ago, but just published this year.
"I finally felt like, ‘OK, I'm ready.' You have to come to terms with the disorder and embrace it. You need to not worry about what others think," she said.
While the book is available through both Reid and the publishing company online, it will soon be available locally when The Lily Pad opens Friday at 783 Prince St. In September when the store celebrates with a grand opening, Reid is planning to be on site for a signing.
Before then, however, anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the book can do so by contacting Reid at (902) 352-2152, (902) 223-9320, or firstname.lastname@example.org. By purchasing a book for $20 through Reid (cost includes taxes), $2 will go to Archway Counselling, which has helped Reid with her disorder. Each book purchased through Reid will also come with a signature.
For those wishing to purchase it online, visit www.xulonpress.com and search for Charlene Arseneau Reid.
For more information on the book or what the Reid family is up to in Hantsport, visit www.cornerstoneministries-ns.com.