When twenty-three-year-old school teacher and journalism grad Marilyn Shelton experiences severe insomnia, she rushes to obtain prescription relief. Under the mood altering effects of the prescribed drugs, she is hospitalized, misdiagnosed and told she will need to take addictive medications for the rest of her life just to maintain any semblance of sanity. Fearing the repercussions of going against medical advice, she at first follows these instructions to the tee. But after being mistreated at the hospital, she begins to question the wisdom of authority, especially after witnessing the abuses inflicted upon her by the psychiatric system. After being discharged, defying conventional wisdom, she begins to reconstruct her life and to find her identity, trying out many different roles and occupations in the process and meeting many characters along the way. Shockingly, after discontinuing her psychiatric drugs, she realizes that she remains well and that her state of health may not be a coincidence. It is then that she begins to undergo therapy to resolve the issues that led her to turn to drugs in the first place and to find more natural means of coping with her sleeplessness. In this coming of age story in the era of Prozac, Shelton proves just what happens when you don't follow your doctor's advice.
Marilyn Shelton is a freelance writer and former staff reporter for the Utah Statesman. In 2013, she won a Vindy Award for her fiction short. Walking through Darkness: a Memoir of Recovery is her first book.