Don’t Give Up Before the Miracle is the true story of Joni R.’s painful life of alcoholism and undiagnosed bipolar manic depression. It is a story filled with adventure, romance, despair, and tragedy, but it leads to hope fulfillment, peace, and happiness. As a young flight attendant living in Manhattan’s madcap world of sex and alcohol, Joni joined the wild perpetual party. Alcohol relieved her insecurities— the memories and the shame of her alcoholic parents and the totally ridiculous chaos of her childhood. A life of travel was glamorous, but it was the perfect environment for her developing alcoholism and mental illness. Its hectic pace masked the dramatic roller coaster of mood swings and manic depression, which only intensified when her mother committed suicide. During her adventures traveling the world, Joni stumbled from one disaster to another, indulging in a string of marriages and affairs, thinking they would solve her emotional turmoil. She was in and out of hospitals, both medical and psychiatric, as she fought her twin demons—alcohol and manic-depressive bipolar disorder. Doctors failed to diagnose her bipolar illness until she was in her mid-thirties. Despite a life that sometimes seemed hopeless, Joni finally managed to pull her life together in her forties. Her message to readers is that others can also accomplish that miracle; help is available in many ways, and an addict can beat the odds and live a better life.
Jon Susan Rhodes is now a found soul after surviving the tumultuous life that results from bipolar illness and alcoholism. She is happily married and travels extensively throughout the world. She and her husband live in Florida and sail to the Bahamas whenever possible.