madness-a bipolar life by marya hornbacher

“Everything before, pshaw. That was nothing.” (167)

though i may have hated on the toronto edition of the moth that i hid in the basement playing word mole until i snuck out of, i was reading this book whilst experiencing the show curated by this woman that i was experiencing at buddies in bad times earlier this year. there’s a connection.

“Managing mental illness is mostly about acceptance-of the things you can’t do, and the things you must.” (277)

i was moved by this author’s meditation on her eating disorder, and this is the extension of that. i appreciate the advice to say that you’re bipolar or schizophrenic if you need to get into the emergency room faster, as well as this truth about the power dynamics that can arise in a relationship:

“In some ways it is simpler to be married to someone who is all need and no give. It’s an enormous drain. But there is benefit too: you become the hero, the center of someone else’s existence. You are the saint. You have, in this sense, a great deal of power. You tell this person what to do, and she does it. You feed her. You hold her. You are her mother, her father, her husband, her priest.
And you are never required to relate to her on an adult level. There is never anything wrong with you; any problem is caused by her, her illness, her meds not working, her malfunctioning mind. You don’t have to grow. You can settle into your role, running the show, always right.
You relish your role and resent it enormously at the same time.” (222-223)

as much as people wanna complain about their partners, there is always something to gain from their partnerships. we don’t have the right to judge what that is for each other, but we are obliged to question that for ourselves.


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