Author Spotlights

Volume XVI Elizabeth (Lizzie) Prost, author of Waiting For Winter

Cece chats with Elizabeth Prost, author of Waiting For Winter, a painful yet humourous journey centred on the challenges around mental health, as well as the hopeful road to wellness.

 Volume XVI

Cece chats with Elizabeth Prost, author of Waiting For Winter, a painful yet humourous journey centred on the challenges around mental health, as well as the hopeful road to wellness.

Written by Cece M. Scott

Elizabeth ProstElizabeth (Lizzie) Prost 

“I knew that I was different, that I was not going to have a conventional life, and it certainly unfolded that way. I’ve gone off course several times throughout my life.”

Waiting for Winter opens with Elizabeth – call me Lizzie – sitting in her truck with the motor running and all the doors and windows fastened tightly.

“How long does it take for carbon monoxide poising? Twenty minutes? Half-hour? An hour?” she asks herself.

Lizzie wanted the suffering to end. And when she was rescued from this situation by her partner, Donnie, the darkness, pain and grief inside Lizzie was such that she initiated two more attempts on her life before being taken by ambulance to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, where she underwent psychiatric tests for the next four days.

“Happy f…ing August long weekend to me,” she opines in her book.

Living life on life’s terms was always a bit of a challenge for Lizzie, who was precocious and ‘high strung’ as her mother used to say.  From a young age, she felt both apart from and not a part of those who were around her.

“I remember my first day in Grade 1 looking around thinking, “Is this what I have to work with?” Lizzie says with a laugh.

As a child and right through her teenage years, ice skating became Lizzie’s go-to activity, one that she excelled at.

“When I was born I had skates on my little feet,” she says.

In fact, Lizzie was so good at skating that when she was thirteen-years-old, her parents sent her to Weyburn, a small city fifty kms from her family home in Radville. It was thought that a bigger venue, one that had a rink with artificial ice, would offer Lizzie more prospects for a brighter skating future. And while it was a good opportunity, it was also a time that fostered Lizzie’s sense of aloneness and disconnection. It also sparked her disconnect for the discipline required to compete at the stages she was participating in, at ever higher levels.

“I didn’t like to skate between the lines,” Lizzie says. “And when you try to put a free spirit in a box and they are made to draw something repetitive over and over again, their spirits begin to lose their souls.”

The structure, discipline, and routine turned Lizzie’s love of skating into a duty, but she didn’t want to disappoint her parents or her coach so she didn’t quit, she held out as long as she could.

Which is not to say that Lizzie didn’t have some damn fine, damn momentous moments throughout her skating career. She skated at the Cricket Club in Toronto, and trained on the same surfaces as renowned skaters Toller Cranston, Osborne Coulson, Tracy Wainman, and Rob McConnell. She was a professional figure skater with the Calgary Professional Ice Theatre, and was cast as Daisy Duck in Disney On Ice, with whom she toured throughout the United States and Australia for a period of time.  The chapters in the book on this period of Lizzie’s life are particularly fun as she shares details about her escapades on and off the ice.

“One time, in the middle of our routine at the beginning of the show, my headband fell over my eyes. I couldn’t see much except a few dark images of swirling skaters around me. Daisy, (Lizzie) was in a panic, blindly looking for the outline of the Castle backdrop.”

Along with the humourous retellings of hanging out with the multitude of gay skaters who represented a goodly portion of the Disney On Ice cast, Lizzie also delves deeply into the painful details of her journey with mental health.  

Laced with cut-to-the-quick-emotions, Lizzie shares, in Waiting For Winter, her many episodes of mania which in turn spurred a handful of petty crime incidents.

Trying to establish an even-keel lifestyle, she enrolled in studies at the University of Calgary, taking Kinesiology, Psychology and Physiology.

“But things started to decline while I was there, it just wasn’t meant for me. I stopped sleeping, and within three months I had sunk down so far that I had a complete breakdown.  I think it was triggered by doing what people wanted me to do, not what I wanted to do myself.  My trigger for depression is not being on the right path.”

In 2020, after a journey that included a cocktail of drugs, Lizzie had a seizure as a result of a too-quick withdrawal from the ‘said’ drugs. It was a moment in time, an epiphany of sorts, when Lizzie finally realized that the way she was living had to end.

“The gig was up.,” Lizzie says. “I found myself a good life therapist, one who slowly and painfully helped me remove every thorn that I had inflicted upon myself. Eventually I was able to create a vision of myself.  I knew I was a writer and an artist. And I knew I had to write Waiting For Winter.”

At times hard to read, Lizzie’s journey also offers hope and the resilience that is in each one of us to keep going, just keep going, to advocate for ourselves or our loved ones, and to access the many resources that are available for those who need help.

In fact, Lizzie is working with Bell Let’s Talk and Access Mental Health Alberta, and is also the director for her newly founded, Break Through Not Down Foundation. In conjunction with her foundation, she is working on her next book, Break Through Not Down – A Mental Health Handbook with Illustrations.

In the writing of Waiting For Winter, Lizzie has achieved one of her most poignant life goals.

“I always wanted to be free,” Lizzie says. “And now I feel like I am.”

You can contact Lizzie at

Cece is the feature cover writer for several prestigious publications and is an informed, connected and enthusiastic book blogger at  Her first book, The Love Story, was published in 2019. Her second book will be coming out in the spring of 2021.

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One thought on “Volume XVI Elizabeth (Lizzie) Prost, author of Waiting For Winter

  1. Kathleen says:

    Thank you Cece. I really enjoyed your review of Waiting for Winter.

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