Author and LGBTQ+ advocate, Robert P. Graves, releases his memoir I, Rob Graves during Mental Health Awareness Month. The memoir discusses the journey of the author as he grew up as a gay man during the height of the AIDS epidemic, overcame struggles with his mental health and addiction, and healed through acceptance and forgiveness.

“When I was nine years old and in the fourth grade, I had my first thought of self-harm. I shared with my mother my plan to kill myself. She hugged me, told me it would be okay, and sent me back to the kitchen to finish my homework.”

Robert Graves has spent his life dealing with chronic clinical depression and bipolar disorder. I, Rob Graves offers a candid and poignant story about his life as a gay man suffering from these mental health issues and a genetic disposition for substance abuse-which morphed into an anonymous sex addiction during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Graves chronicles his personal story, illustrating the dangers of misdiagnosis and treatment noncompliance, but rather than teach or preach any specific cure, his memoir lets the reader decide whether the life choices described are right or wrong for their own life path. He shares the journey he took to come to terms with his homosexuality and overcome tremendous health odds-through years of therapy, medication management, and learning the arts of forgiveness and acceptance-to find success and peace with himself and thrive in the present. He aims to provide an inspirational example of breaking the cycle of mental health stigmas and addiction, both in the gay community and the community at large.

The conversation around mental health is slowly changing, but there is still a stigma present around the topic. To assist in changing societal norms, Graves is here to share his story in hopes of fighting the stigma around mental health not only in the LGTBQ+ community, but around the world. In his new book, Graves shares his personal experiences of working through trauma, mental health struggles, and addiction to help readers find their voice, overcome the past, and thrive in the present. I, Rob Graves  focuses on breaking the cycle of childhood trauma, taboo or shameful topics, and the stigma around mental health by encouraging forgiveness and acceptance.

I, Rob Graves tells his personal story that illustrates the dangers of misdiagnosis and treatment noncompliance, as the reader follows Robert P. Graves, a gay man growing up in Buffalo, New York. Throughout the story, Graves shares the path he took in coming to terms with his homosexuality and overcoming tremendous health odds. Graves seeks to air “all his dirty laundry” – his journey through years of therapy, overcoming a sex addiction, coping with his sexuality, managing his depression and bipolar disorder, and medication management. Robert shares how he learned the imperative arts of forgiveness and acceptance to find success and peace with himself in a word that was unkind to him. Sharing his story fuels the movement of ending the stigma around mental health and sexuality and removing stereotypical labels.

Available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Robert Graves is a successful white-collar professional by day working as a project manager for a large multi-national health care equipment company. Robert is an openly gay man living in Buffalo, NY.  Robert’s first diagnosis, chronic clinical depression, came when he was 16, even though he had been battling depression since the age of nine when he had his first episode of self-harm ideology. As he was coming out, his depression morphed into bipolar depression disorder, which went untreated and undiagnosed until he was 44.  The untreated mania manifested as an anonymous sex addiction that lasted over 20 years, enduring through the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Only after finally addressing his sex addiction with his therapist did his bipolar disorder come to light, and his treatment with pharmacology help him end his addiction.  With the help of ongoing therapy and careful medication management, Robert has evolved to lead a relatively quiet life in his forties, where he enjoys boating, gardening, and volunteering in the community with various organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association.  Through his many years of therapy, he learned to forgive others and accept his family and friends for who they are.  Now he has turned the focus inward, forgiving himself for the reckless decisions through all those years and finally accepting himself as he is: a successful, healthy, gay man living with bipolar depression.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.