Sweet Freedom: Mending a Heart Broken by Mental Illness tells the story of one woman’s courageous struggle to overcome mental illness and live an independent, productive life filled with friends, love, and hope. After she began experiencing hallucinations and other symptoms as an adolescent, Bonnie Twomey endured peer ridicule, family frustration, and ineffective medical intervention before she was finally diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Putting a name to her demons was just the beginning of Bonnie’s journey. Learning how to thrive while living with mental illness would be an ongoing, two steps forward, one step back process that demanded honest introspection, cutting ties with negative influences, and enduring a healthcare system that too often fails patients.
Sweet Freedom also recounts how Bonnie’s decision to participate in a study that resulted in the groundbreaking The Bonnie Tapes—published interviews with Bonnie’s family members, discussing how her condition impacted the family individually and as a whole—was the turning point that gave Bonnie a new purpose to be a mental health advocate and inspiration for anyone struggling to find their place in the world.