Editorial Reviews

“Finding Peace and Purpose Amidst the Tears: My Journey of the Love and Loss of My Son Through His Mental Illness and Addiction by Debbie Gail Zane is a heartrending, brutally honest, and tremendously selfless and compassionate chronicle of the author’s struggle to come to terms with the untimely death of her son Alex after a protracted battle with drug addiction and schizoaffective disorder. As we follow Debbie through her roller-coaster experience, essential concepts such as acceptance, forgiveness, and self-love figure significantly in the narrative, allowing us to experience her journey personally and with devastating but ultimately edifying intimacy.

This book is a powerful testimonial in support of the idea that those among us who suffer from the pain and isolation of incomprehensible loss are not alone. The message is both transformative and freeing and would stand alone as a compelling reason to read the book if not for the sterling quality of Debbie’s impassioned narrative, which scores direct hit upon direct hit emotionally and psychologically without ever indulging in the merest moment the noisome self-pity that mars many similar accounts.

Finding Peace and Purpose Amidst the Tears by Debbie Gail Zane does not offer any miracle solutions, easy fixes, or so much as a hint of much-sought-after resolution in the wake of unspeakable tragedy; rather, it provides the kind of unwavering honesty and courage that, against all odds, comforts and heals. Whether you are experiencing the pain of loss or trying to understand the pain of loved ones facing the journey, this book will surely prove to be a tremendous help and invaluable resource that you will return to time and time again for comfort and guidance.”

  • Rich Follett for Readers’ Favorite


“In her book Finding Peace and Purpose Amidst the Tears, Debbie Gail Zane discusses the heartbreaking reality for caregivers who struggle to help children who suffer from mental illness and/or addiction. The author covers her journey with her son Alex in three parts. The first section recalls Alex’s death and experiences as a teen just before and when he was diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder. The second part details Alex’s drug and alcohol abuse in his young adult years as he resorted to substances to help him cope with his condition. As he dealt with diabetes and other medical conditions, Alex found a haven in religion and reached out to his mother often to let her know he was okay. In the third section, the author shares her grief and healing as she discovers a purpose.

Debbie Gail Zane has written a beautiful tribute to her son that will resonate with caregivers in similar situations. Whether readers are trying to help their suffering children or grieving over their treasured ones, her book will serve as a warm reminder that they are not alone. It’s difficult to watch once happy children and teens suffer from the effects of a mental illness or addiction, and Zane speaks about the grief of losing the hopes and dreams that they may have held for them. The author relives her pain and uncertainty but communicates hope and understanding to anyone in a similar situation. Finding Peace and Purpose Amidst the Tears is a great choice for anyone trying to help someone battle a mental health issue or who has lost a child to addiction.”

  • Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers’ Favorite


“Finding Peace and Purpose Amidst the Tears: My Journey of the Love and Loss of My Son Through His Mental Illness and Addiction by Debbie Gail Zane reflects on a journey that began when her son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Alex started using drugs. Debbie passionately defended her son and supported him through his most trying moments until his eventual death. Debbie painted an accurate image of what it is like to be the parent of a mentally ill son who also struggles with addiction to alcohol and drugs. Debbie maintained a strong relationship with her son through all of it, despite the challenges. Debbie described how at times her life felt completely taken over by Alex’s hospital appointments and his stays at treatment facilities. Debbie’s life changed forever after the call came notifying her about Alex’s death.

Finding Peace and Purpose Amidst the Tears by Debbie Gail Zane is heartbreaking and inspiring. I respect Debbie for her courage in sharing this story so soon after her child passed away to support other parents who are going through a similar situation. The nine years covered in this book are filled with heartache, hardship, persistence, and grief. After reading Debbie’s experience, anyone who questions the seriousness of mental illness or doesn’t think that it is a medical disease will change their opinion. I recommend this moving story to any parent who has lost a child or is battling with their child because of a mental illness or addiction.”

  • Alma Boucher for Readers’ Favorite


“Finding Peace and Purpose Amidst the Tears: My Journey of the Love and Loss of My Son through His Mental Illness and Addiction is a three-part memoir by Debbie Gail Zane that follows the author’s heartbreaking journey with a mentally challenged son, who sadly passed on at a young age.

A telephone call informing the author that her twenty-six-year-old son, Alex, had been found dead gives an introduction to a life of unbearable pain and haze regarding the essence of life for the Virginia-based mother. Just nine years before that, Alex had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder before he quickly fell into drug and alcohol addiction. Numerous hospital visits, treatment center stays, and drug use battles had introduced his mother to a new and unfamiliar world, where constant scares kept arising regarding her son’s survival. Unknown to her, Alex’s death would present life to her from an unlikely pose, where she had to reanalyze everything including her purpose for living. Joining an online writing community would facilitate the writing of this highly inspirational record, where themes of deep anguish, near downfall, incompressible despondency, and startling resolve are plainly illustrated.

As readers will come to agree, the diagnosis of mentally or physically handicapped children is likely to be a traumatic affair for many households. Such an occurrence tends to influence the lives, emotions, and behaviors of family members. Several analyses have ascertained that mothers of such youngsters experience additional strain and elevated levels of apprehension than parents of fit children. As this text reveals with every new chapter, the former always find themselves making greater personal sacrifices that the latter may never live to tell. Regarding that observation, this will be found a valuable read by persons who have a mentally ill child or one lost to addiction. The author’s narration and practical tips are raw, candid, and gripping from start to finish, and will have many readers who want to adore moments with family members more, as well as spending time with those who matter most.

Although the “Finding Peace and Purpose Amidst the Tears: My Journey of the Love and Loss of My Son through His Mental Illness and Addiction” storyline is heartbreaking, Debbie’s resilience, solid love, and unrelenting concern for her son through the challenges are very inspiring. How she regained her joy, peace, and purpose amidst the tears is highly satisfying, and will guide readers who may be in similar situations into a quick recovery of peace, emotional stability, and a focused lifestyle.”

  • Ephantus M for Reader Views