Former Lisburn woman launches her autobiography
'Beyond the Edge'
Former Lisburn woman, Hazel Rolston (nee Patterson)
launched her autobiography, 'Beyond the Edge' at the House
of Vic-Ryn, Lisburn last Friday night (28th March). Daughter
of Harold and Meta Patterson, Hazel was born and grew up in
Lisburn, but has lived in Bristol for more than a decade. A
qualified nurse and social worker, she is married to Steve
and they have a daughter Rachel.
Karen Bowden and Louise Clarke led the praise and Karen
opened the evening with prayer. Richard Bailie, Christina
Hampton, Lynette Guiney, Abagail Graham, Laura McDonnnell,
Louise Clarke and Laura Bittle, young people from Railway
Street Presbyterian Church, performed an item of drama.
After welcoming her friends and guests, Hazel was
interviewed by Denise Bailey. They have been friends for
over 20 years and shared a house in Dorset when Hazel was
working as a nurse in Dorchester and Denise as a language
teacher in Yeovil. During the interview Hazel spoke openly
and emotionally about her experiences and give a brief
overview of her autobiography, which tells of her journey
out of post-natal depression and anxiety.
Hazel explained that at the start of her illness, she
visited her local Christian bookshop looking for a book on
post-natal depression, only to be told there was none. This
made her angry with God asking the question 'Am I the only
Christian with this illness?'
Speaking of the difficulty of writing and planning her
autobiography she said that she felt God wanted her to write
the book explaining that it fulfilled a dream within to be a
Recalling the Old Testament story of Job, the most read book
in the Bible, Hazel joked, 'If people wanted to read about
Job, then perhaps they might just want to read my story'.
Asked to explain the title 'Beyond the Edge', Hazel recalled
that one day she was pushed to the edge and how after this
she became severely and mentally ill and felt that she had
fallen off a cliff and was broken.
While writing her autobiography, she found dialogue with God
to be extremely difficult due to heavy sedation. This made
her feel cut off from her faith and when she attended
church; sermons went over her head. Most depressing of all
was that, due to her illness, she was not able to be the
mother she wanted to be to her daughter Rachel and speaking
of the 'darkness' and how she felt cut off from God, she
explained that she went from people pleasing to being angry
with God saying 'He's up there ' why am I down here?'
On joining a mothers' church group called Soul Mates, Hazel
soon discovered that it was not just her that had this
illness and although she felt that God had left the building
deep down she knew that He had not left her and explained
that even in deep depression and severe illness, 'God
remains with us'.
Hazel went on to explain that during her three years of
recovery, she felt the darkness starting to lift and feeling
the need to find something different to do, she decided to
learn sign language, which allowed her to communicate with
some Deaf church members.
Concluding a most interesting interview, Denise said that
she had found inspiration in reading Hazel's autobiography
and spoke of her wish that it would bring blessing and help
to many readers.
During the singing of the closing hymn, Hazel displayed her
sign language skill as with great passion, she signed the
words of 'When I survey the wondrous cross' which tells the
moving words of God's love so amazing and so divine, that
demands my soul, my live, my all - clearly the reason that
prevented Hazel from really going 'Beyond the edge'.