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Through the Mind's Eye: A Journey of Self-Discovery Kindle Edition
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He tells us a little of his back story, but I would have liked to know more…he mentions that he didn’t grow up in an abusive family, yet later it seems they were not a close family, so that leaves me wondering why. I feel there’s a lot more beneath he surface that we don’t see, and it made it hard for me to connect with him and his experiences.
There were many things I could relate to in his story, and I feel he genuinely wants to help others along their path too. He’s the first to say everyone’s path is unique, but reading of other’s journeys can be inspiring or heartening. I believe this is a very worthwhile book for anyone struggling with addiction of any kind. I recommend it.
I enjoyed the story as well, it's a personal narrative sharing his thoughts and experiences with an alcohol addiction (very serious, he was on a path to early death before getting help) and recovery. It has a nice, honest feel to the sharing.
He focuses much of the book on the psychological aspects of his experiences (hence the title "Through the Mind's Eye") and talks about how he feels his addiction, and possibly the illness itself, is a 'personality disorder'. At first that made me a bit sad. Personality disorders exist in the realm of psychiatry and psychology but in general seem to me to be a bit victimizing outside of someone who has severe mental health issues.
Meaning - we are all a little screwed up, the majority of people on the planet could probably fit into one of the DSM's categories for personality disorders. But then I read more of the book and saw how he was just trying to understand more of the dynamics of his self, his personal experiences and the 'why' of his becoming addicted to alcohol in the first place.
Then it made more sense. I have no idea of the validity of it. He shares his experiences with depression and that did make a lot of sense. That when he stopped drinking he needed to deal with some of the underlying issues that the drug use was covering up to some extent.
He talks about medication and depression, etc. and that info wasn't completely accurate - though I know it was what he has been told and is the commonly accepted narrative i.e. that someone's brain is off, they have a chemical imbalance and wonderful scientists have created medications that treat this condition.
It's all based on a lie - a very big lie that's been very hard to get out of mainstream consciousness: There is not a single study that has identified any 'imbalance' in a mentally ill person's brain. Yes they have learned a lot about neurotransmitters, etc. but antidepressants treat nothing identifiable. They are a bandaid - and very harmful with long-term use.
And - why I'm commenting on this - addictive. Giving someone who has some genetic or other vulnerability to abuse substances or become addicted to substances a medication that can create dependency and then severe health consequences (kids dead from these meds, folks unable to work, disability from side effects, etc) is not good medical care.
But that is only a small part of this excellent sharing and I can't imagine anyone who has lived with addcition or been affected by someone elses or just wants to know more, not enjoying reading it.
As an aid for those fighting addiction, it provides an example of courage – courage to admit the problem, to look closely at oneself and at addiction, and to seek professional support. It seems a formula quite likely to help. But the author further demonstrates fortitude by giving his personal thoughts and insights from that process. His self-discovery, for example, linked his concern for others (to the exclusion of himself) and perfectionism to his battles with depression and alcohol abuse. Will it be the same factors for others? Probably not, but his writing shows the guts it will take to succeed.
While addiction is prevalent, estimates putting it as high as one in ten, is this a book for someone without an addictive personality, family, or a close friend? Perhaps not. It is written as a stream of consciousness, making it feel unfocused and meandering. Even by the second sentence of the preface, the reader is introduced to the style: “…upon the realization of what a “preface” actually was, the true meaning and the reasoning behind it did make a fair amount of sense.” Then, he writes a preface. Is the book a feel-good memoir? Again, not really. Willson mentions his life difficulties, but the writing style doesn’t evoke emotion; it’s facts with the reader needing to imagine the situation. Is it an authoritative treatise on addiction? This answer here is definitely no, a point the author makes several times. Theory and research aren’t represented. One man’s thoughts on the recovery process are.
Overall, the book is exactly what the author said it was – a document undertaken for therapy that might help another in a similar situation.