To try to describe this book in a short review would be nearly impossible. At least for me. At times this memoir left me gutted and wondering how on earth this woman managed to survive and write a book detailing her mental illness. She has overcome so much in her life and perhaps that is the message of this book – keep going until you find the answers and the help that you need.
Mental illness is such a mystery to many and for Ruth Poniarski it was what defined her life for countless years. The initial journey into mental illness began when she unsuspectingly ate a PCP laced brownie. From that event her life descended into a type of hell complete with nervous breakdowns and psychotic breaks where she put her own life in danger.
This brutally honest memoir was one that I did not really enjoy reading. Who really could enjoy reading about a woman who was floundering in life due to mental illness? All that Ruth really wanted at times was to be a successful architect and loved by Mr. Right and yet both of these goals eluded her primarily because of her mental illness (finally diagnosed as manic depressive or bipolar) . I have to give her credit for writing this all down with such great attention to detail. I never would be able to write with such clarity about things that happened in my life and she had no problem with detailing all the good, the bad and the ugly that she experienced.
Probably the most touching part of the book for me was her parents and their unrelenting dedication to her and to protecting her and making sure she was okay. Her mother had to back away at times when it became overwhelming but her father was a constant in her ongoing battle for health. What a strong man he must be.
While this was not an easy book to read, I believe that it is one that is an important one for those who have a loved one with mental illness of any kind. It was well written and contained great detail of what the author experienced without making excuses or pulling any punches. The more we can educate ourselves the better we can understand what our loved ones are experiencing. The author’s own words “Never abandon hope in the waking hours of affliction.” will stick with me for a very long time. Her life now as an artist and happily married woman of over 30 years is proof positive that with the right help, a satisfying and fulfilled life can be had.
Thank you to the author and publisher and publicist for a free copy for my honest review.
If you want to purchase a copy of this book for yourself, simply click here . To connect with author and artist Ruth Poniarski please visit her website here to learn more about her life, her art and her book.
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