Monday, May 6, 2013
Review:Brain on Fire:My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
This book scared the daylights out of me.
There are so many parts of the breakdown here that read like regular parts of life.
I quickly come to a realization that this is the reason to surround ourselves with friends who know us(well). People who can constantly act as that check in life that asks "Are you okay?"
Sure we can ask ourselves that question as much as we want but it really helps to have someone around who can tell us that we are alright. Even so, it takes a true friend to not try to sugar coat things thinking that we might be having a bad day or over dramatic meltdown as opposed to an entire breakdown.
How and when do we define the line that has to be crossed before we realize that something proactive has to be done to get to the bottom of the overwhelming feeling of hopeless helplessness that's gripped us from out of nowhere?
In reading this I suddenly wondered how anyone can abuse drugs to an extent that they might experience something similar to what happened here. Yet it's so obvious that some people actually do just that, when one of the doctors makes that assumption right from the start.
This book has altered the way I look at some things. I've never really had much recollection of my life before the age of five. The few memories I have had, which or only two that I recall, are now very suspect when coming to a more full understanding of how the memory works. Not to mention the rest of the parts that I do remember and that my siblings like to suggest I've remembered incorrectly.
I look at how fragile the mind is in respect to Susannah's experience and it makes me want to wear a crash helmet everywhere I go. That won't help much though when dealing with what happened here.
Reading this has been a true eye opener.
And just for the record Susannah:
You may have changed from this experience, but what you wrote here and how it touched me says that when you wrote this you were operating at 100 percent.
Mind boggling scary with some light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone needs to read this.