Insanity: A Love Story Kindle Edition
|Length: 133 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Perhaps it is because of this evocative sense of language that I wanted more. After describing what happened to her (and the discovery that she was actually bipolar), McCarter includes a stunning short piece of fiction that she wrote while in the hospital (and I kept pulling out my literary lens to try and interpret!). I think it's great, though, when you read a book and want "more" -- it was almost like I was trying to use her language and her experiences to better understand a period in my life that I haven't figured out. So it's exactly this type of reading that helps all of us -- no matter our experiences with mental illness -- to reach new depths of self understanding.
Bless you, Melissa.
McCarter does not bash the mental health system, although she does wonder why the many psychiatrists she saw before her first hospitalization relied on writing prescriptions rather than using therapeutic techniques to uncover her mental illness. She shows great insight and self-knowledge as she tells us that being stabilized on the appropriate medications was like "learning to walk again after years in a body cast." She had to learn a new way of living, a way that isn't controlled by her moods. She acknowledges that her creativity was perhaps spurred by her mania, and she has to come to terms with maintaining a creative life while maintaining predictability.
She calls herself "a work in progress." She also openly claims "the creativity, the uniqueness, the certain way of processing the world made possible" by being bipolar.
She shows that it is possible to live and thrive with this diagnosis, despite a major setback in 2003 when her infant daughter died of SIDS.
McCarter offers a rare gift by opening her life, her world, her reality. This act took a great deal of courage, especially in light of her many statements about the shame and stigma of mental illness. Thank, you, Melissa, for using your talent as a writer, and offering the gift of you to us.
Living with bipolar disorder, the author takes us on a journey through a turbulent life which has led to a stay in a psychiatric hospital. The book begins with a brief explanation of her life before her time in the hospital. A life characterized by changing moments of clarity and confusion. A life riddled with a number of delusions, including one that takes her to the psychiatric hospital, as she follows her parents there on the belief that she is being taken to an actual hospital to cure her of an impending "fatal heart attack".
I really enjoyed the descriptions of the fellow patients in the hospital. The angry, the sedated and the downright dark individuals who inhabit the building, rounded off with the story of one man who believes he is a CIA assassin and sporadically leaves the hospital to commit his headhunting crimes.
Life has not been kind to Melissa and has thrown a number of setbacks her way, but she shines through and lays it out in beautiful prose for everyone to see. It's not an easy thing to do and yet I'm glad she did. This is a really good book and a great insight into dealing with mental illness.