About The Book
An intimate and compelling account of growing up in mental health services, while becoming a mother.
All My Worldly Joy started out as the story of my experience of birth trauma and my admission to a psychiatric mother and baby unit together with my six-week-old son. But as I wrote this story, I realised that its meaning came from another, larger narrative.
I’d struggled socially and emotionally since childhood. I was funnelled into mental health services early and spent almost twenty years there. I tried every medication going and everyone had different views about what my problem was. I spent time in hospital and became more and more desperate - even more so after my son was born. The stakes were so much higher once he was here: I didn’t want his life to look like mine. And as it turned out, his arrival was the beginning of a chain of events that would change everything.
In this book, I retrace my steps through all of this - teenage years with a bipolar diagnosis, the decision to have a child after being diagnosed with a lifelong mental illness, the concept of ‘personality disorder’ and what it means; the ways in which trauma shapes us and directs us, and how we learn to trust ourselves as parents and as people. It sounds incredibly heavy, but there’s a lot of humour in there too, and it’s ultimately hopeful - a story of self-discovery, of purpose, and of profound love.
Join Laura for a get-together in London to talk about motherhood and mental health
Laura will send you a copy of one of her favourite books on motherhood and/or mental health
Laura will give a talk or host a workshop at your event or group. You or your organisation will be thanked in the acknow...
Your name or organisation's name in the dedication
a 30 minute chat online with laura where you can ask her questions about her book, share your own journey and get to kno...
Updates From The Author
Dear friends, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and new year. It felt odd not to send a festive update, but Unbound have got a shiny new website and the functions for emailing supporter updates ar...15.01.2024
Well, folks, I'm excited and staggered and thrilled and more than a little bit daunted to announce that All My Worldly Joy is 99% funded! It doesn't get much closer than that. I'd like to say a huge t...06.05.2023
Dear everyone, We have had stinky covid again. I finally tested negative on Sunday and crossed that threshold from the parallel world of the sick and self-isolating. Outdoors is very good, isn't it? I...14.03.2023
Hello everyone, It feels odd to say happy new year, since it's been January for about five months now, but nonetheless I hope you all managed to catch a break over Christmas and have lots of nice thin...24.01.2023
Dear everyone, Since the crowdfunder campaign was relaunched about three weeks ago, we've jumped up almost ten per cent. This is incredible, especially if you consider how long it took to get the prev...21.12.2022
Hello dears, Just wanted to check in as it's been a week since the crowdfunder relaunch, and what a week! We've jumped up from 82% to 87% (two hardbacks off 88%... not that I'm obsessively refreshing ...02.12.2022
Hello, it's me again! Thanks so much for all the comments and messages about the cover.... I'm thrilled that you all seem to love it as much as I do. The eagle-eyed amongst you might have spotted that...25.11.2022
Hello dear supporters, This update is only visible to yourselves, and you'll see why in a moment. I have some news! In fact, I have two items of news: Firstly, the crowdfund campaign for All My Worldl...18.11.2022
Hi folks, I’m a bit nervous about this one, conscious of the (self-imposed) pressure to appear writerly and extremely talented at all times, to maintain excitement for the book that is coming, and of ...20.06.2022
Hello dears, Long time, no update - and I actually have some progress news to impart. The crowdfunder is at 80% and the actual book-writing more like 90%. The webpages here now feel horribly out-of-da...08.05.2022
Hi everyone - - and welcome and thank you so much to all the new supporters. The eagle-eyed might notice we’ve had a bit of a jump in the funding since last month and are rapidly approaching 79%! The ...17.12.2021
Hi everyone, I've been thinking of you all a lot lately and wanted to check in. I couldn't really write this book without thinking of you - the people who will read it, and the people who are helping ...08.11.2021
Dear everyone, I'm always really pleasantly surprised when I hear that someone's read one of these updates. I know, if this landed in my inbox, I would intend to read it later and probably not get rou...24.07.2021
Dear everyone, It's been a little while since my last update so I thought I would let you know how things are ticking along. Firstly we are now 72% funded - nearly 73%, in fact - so almost three-quart...13.03.2021
Hi everyone, Hope you're all doing OK - or as OK as is feasible right now. I wanted to check in to wish you a merry Christmas (or as merry as is feasible right now!) and to thank you for your patience...18.12.2020
Bit of a random one - and I don't even know if the good people at Unbound HQ will be able to approve this and get it out to you in time - but just in case: I'm expecting to be on at 5pm or a bit after...11.11.2020
Dear everyone, It feels like ages since I last wrote - apologies. I'm still not well, after having covid in March. Good days and bad, really. It's been a tough year, as I know it has for most of us. I...22.09.2020
Hello, loves. Fair warning that this is more of a life update than a book update. There is not much book update to tell you on account of the contents of the life update! From here, the book and the l...18.06.2020
Hello everyone, After confidently asserting in my last update that I was on the mend after CoViD and picking things up again, I've had a bit of a setback. This seems to be how it goes. Snakes and ladd...09.05.2020
I'm sorry for the radio silence; everything has happened. I've been thinking of you all often and wondering how you are. Do get in touch, if you'd like, and let me know how you're doing amidst all thi...28.04.2020
Let's talk about intrusive thoughts. Research suggests that most of us get them - those thoughts and images that pop up unbidden. For lots of us, they can be distressing and/or involve things that we ...03.03.2020
Dear everyone, You might remember that the title of this book - 'All My Worldly Joy' comes from a letter to Henry VII from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort. I think of her sometimes - 12 years old, ...19.02.2020
Dearest 317 supporters, It feels like the 317th of January - how is it still January? - and I just wanted to check in, really, and say that I haven't forgotten you. Thanks for being the invisible chee...18.01.2020
Dear everybody, First of all, I've been meaning to write the last couple of weeks and tell you - in case you haven't seen already - that the perinatal peer support principles are here and ready to use...17.12.2019
Dear everyone, Today marks one year since everything shifted - both for my life and for this book. That evening, my husband packed his bags and got into a taxi and then the house was quiet and I was a...13.11.2019
Hi everyone, I just wanted to touch base with you all, as it's been a little while, and to share a couple of bits of news and an invitation. We passed 300 supporters (yay!) and are now 56% funded. Thi...16.10.2019
Some friends and I decided a while ago that co-production is like teenage sex: hardly anyone is doing it - most don't even know how to do it - but everyone thinks that everyone else is doing it, and s...02.07.2019
Hi everyone, just a quickie from me - as it's currently late on Sunday night and I need to be on a train to London early tomorrow morning for 'I is for Insult - Questioning "Borderline Personality Dis...16.06.2019
I've been singing Livin' on a Prayer all day. My singing, as Arthur once succintly described it, is "a bad noise". But - it's true - we are HALF WAY THERE. We hit 50% over the weekend. This is so, so ...02.06.2019
Many of you will have been following the recent controversy around the NCT and infant feeding. The NCT president, Seana Talbot, resigned a couple of weeks ago, stating that she felt the charity was mo...05.05.2019
Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you all know about UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week, which is happening right now! It's run by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership, and AnotherMot...29.04.2019
If you’ve ever been referred to a psychiatrist, chances are you’ll have received a letter after every appointment. This letter is not addressed to you: it’s from the psychiatrist to the GP - about you...07.04.2019
Dear everyone, I wanted to share with you this shiny new video from Netmums, who interviewed me over Skype about birth trauma and maternal mental health. I explain about postnatal PTSD, talk about my ...23.03.2019
Dear everyone, This is a little off-topic but bear with me. I suspect the maternal mental health / feminist parenting overlap is a significant one. And I want to talk to you about vulvas. It’s been ni...03.03.2019
Dear everyone, Birthdays after birth trauma are funny things. They’re times of joy and celebration of a much-loved child, and yet they’re also ‘crappiversaries’ – a concise if rather twee name for the...17.02.2019
Dear everyone, Hope you all had merry Christmases and happy new years. I’ve not been particularly in the mood for festivities this year, if I’m honest, but I’m looking hopefully to 2019. I am just pic...04.01.2019
Dear everyone, Back in the day, it was all about webforums. I frequented numerous of these online establishments – despite, of course, the fact that I was deeply trendy and had many, many friends in t...17.12.2018
Dearest everyone, First of all, thank you for your beautiful, heartfelt, overwhelming responses to my last update. I’m sorry that few of you got more back from me than variations on “Thank you x” - I ...26.11.2018
Dear everyone, I'm learning that a book is two stories: the story within the book, and the story of writing the book. The two merge and fuse and blend in all sorts of unexpected ways. I'm currently re...19.11.2018
Dearest everybody, Last week was quite a big one for AMWJ. We surpassed both 150 supporters and 25% funding, and, at the time of writing, we’re currently cruising a cool 28%… I was also interviewed by...25.10.2018
Friends, Yesterday two rather brilliant book-things happened: we smashed 20% - and 21%, in fact – and I finished the first draft of the first chapter. This chapter has been a bit of a tricky one: basi...29.09.2018
Morning folks, I guess this is less of a book-writing update and more of a not-book-writing update… Truth is I’ve been feeling somewhat flattened the last week or so. Part of this is that my husband, ...17.09.2018
Dearest everybody, So today we reached 15% and we are rapidly approaching 100 supporters. Tremendous. The Positive Birth Movement also very kindly featured me on their blog. Thank you and welcome on b...07.09.2018
Dearest everybody, We’re at 10%! Ten may not sound like a lot of per cent but this is a big project and I'm awed and thrilled that we've reached it so soon. Thus far 62 glorious individual humans have...23.08.2018
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