About the Book:

Her mind began to twist, plaguing her with dejection and self-doubt. As she plummeted into despondence, she noticed her wings beating gently into glass. Nudging her back. Keeping her in place. She became claustrophobic and flew around frantically, desperate to escape, but the glass was a seamless cage. She was hopelessly confined, stuck in her own head, fixated on her ubiquitous thoughts of anxiety and despair. What butterfly could survive in a bell jar?

Bipolar. Mood disorder. OCD. These aren’t words one usually associates with a child. Yet Katie found herself clenched in the unforgiving grip of mental illness at the tender age of eight. After receiving her initial diagnosis, she felt lost. Helpless. Scared. But she wasn’t alone in her fear. Her family was experiencing it right alongside her albeit in different ways. This set them all on a path that they never wanted to take—but one that taught them boundless love and compassion for each other and the rest of the world.

That journey—characterized by equal parts brokenness and healing—is described in full technicolor in Bell Jar Butterfly. Raw, real, and resonant, this inspiring memoir, capturing vivid snapshots of Katie’s life over the course of twenty years, seeks to validate the experiences of those living with mental illness while shining a light on the ripple effect on their loved ones. Comprising the unique perspectives of mother, father, older sibling, and younger sibling, this poignant narrative is intended to help any reader feel understood and recognize they’re not alone on their journey.

Between vignettes describing each family member’s experience, Bell Jar Butterfly offers guidance on things like how to maintain a strong marriage, hold on to faith, and use positive coping strategies when a loved one is battling mental illness. Ultimately, readers should turn the last page feeling equipped to effectively support those in their life with mental health challenges while still caring for themselves. Just as it’s a resource for other families navigating the confusing world of raising a child with mental illness, Bell Jar Butterfly is also a beautiful reminder that mental illness is only a part of a whole person who is important, worthy, and capable of great things.

About the Author:

Lauren Green has always been a voracious reader and inspired writer. She wrote her first (not yet published) book titled The Pepperoni Spumoni Junk Food Pizza when she was in the second grade. In 2006, she was published in Anthology of Poetry by Young Americansand The Gates: Opening the World of Words when her poem was selected as a standout piece among the sixth-grade students across Missouri.

Since then, Lauren’s love of literature has only grown, and her desire to pursue a career in that field led her to study English writing and mass communication at Rockhurst University where she graduated number one in her class with dual degrees. During her time at Rockhurst, she was published in the 2014 and 2016 editions of Infectus, and she jumpstarted her career by working for various publishers and content creators starting from the time she was still a student.

After gathering the experience and expertise necessary to strike out on her own, Lauren started her own editing business, WriteWell, where she still serves as the founder and executive editor. With over a decade of professional experience, she has edited over twenty-five trade manuscripts and more than fifty children’s books in her role as director of author services with leading publisher Ballast Books.

As a result of growing up in a household rife with mental illness, as described in Bell Jar Butterfly, Lauren has a deep passion for promoting mental health. She has devoted much of her time to sharing resources related to mental health in her community and teaching classes that help eradicate the stigma and foster empathy and understanding for those living with mental illness.

Lauren lives in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, Jordan; daughter, Annesley; and Australian shepherd, Harper Lee.

Join Our Family