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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Donna Taylor’s biography, Show Me Heaven, shares her journey from poverty, homelessness, psychosis, and attempted suicide, to being in control of her life and mental health condition.

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Show Me Heaven

Donna Taylor’s memoir, Show Me Heaven, taps into the growing public interest in and awareness of mental health with her story of overcoming terrible struggles, and surviving against incredible odds.

Not shying from the harrowing truths of living with Bipolar, Donna shares her experiences of psychosis and attempting to take her own life. Rather than to shock or sensationalise, Donna’s aim is to inspire others who have experienced such terrifying delusions and overwhelming lows to believe that whatever is being felt at a particular moment in time, careful management of a mental health condition can deliver transformative change.

At the age of three, Donna Taylor’s idyllic childhood was shattered when her father walked out on the family, plunging Donna and her four siblings into homelessness and poverty. At first they had to sleep in a car, before being housed in a derelict council house in Reading. Life became even tougher for the family when her mother got involved with an alcoholic who sold their belongings to fund his addiction.

As a young woman, determined to escape the violence and misery of her childhood, Donna worked hard to make something of her life. But just as she thought her luck was changing, another cruel twist of fate triggered a psychotic breakdown, plunging her into the strange and frightening world of the psychiatric hospital. After being broken the devastating news that she had bipolar disorder and could be in and out of hospital for the rest of her life, Donna decided to end her life. But, after she was rescued at the last minute, she became determined to overcome her mental health problems and use her difficult life experiences as a tool for helping others.

Deciding to share her life story following the death of her brother in 2017, writing Show Me Heaven was far from an easy exercise. But, with 1.3 million people in the UK suffering from Bipolar and millions more experiencing mental health crises, Donna L Taylor’s memoir eloquently reinforces that what is happening in the here and now does not need to define your life’s story. This is her moving and inspirational true story of surviving poverty, hardship, and mental illness, and finding happiness after a life of suffering.

Donna L Taylor

My book opens with my experiences of childhood poverty and homelessness and goes to detail depression and surviving suicide. Also describing in vivid and arresting detail the experience of psychosis and bipolar disorder – including the incredible highs and moments of startling beauty in amongst the terrifying delusions and crushing lows, my memoir also explains how I have learned to manage my bipolar disorder.

My whole life was touched by poverty, homelessness, and mental illness with the added family pressures of suicide, alcoholism, and drug addiction. I hold a deep desire to help others living in similar circumstances.

I was inspired to write my book Show me Heaven following the death of my dearly beloved eldest brother Mark Taylor during 2017.  Writing my memoir, I found profoundly challenging at times, whilst at the same time provided a therapeutic release of built-up emotions.

I enjoy the simple things in life – spending time with family and friends, listening to music and watching movies. I particularly enjoy travelling overseas to see new cultures.

-Donna L Taylor

Donna L Taylor is a 55-year-old qualified financial adviser, living in Reading, Berkshire with a severe and enduring diagnosis of Bipolar 1 Affective Disorder. Currently she is an employee at the local psychiatric hospital, in which she was once an inpatient.

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