Review & Interview: Beautiful Wreck – Sex, Lies & Suicide

Isn’t that a great title? I’d pick that book up regardless of its bipolar content. 

I felt as if death wouldn’t be a shock because I had already died and was only shambling through the motions of living and relating to others, as if I were a robot or a zombie. (Stephanie Schroeder)

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This is not your conventional bipolar memoir; if you want a book with solid linear progression, featuring bipolar every step of the way. If you want to get to know an interesting woman who can make you laugh and who doesn’t blame it all on the bipolar, read this one. And halle-freaking-lujah it’s written by somebody I can relate to in more depth than previous memoirs, a lesbian. (okay, there’s ‘Marbles’, but there’s not a lot of actual reading in that.) There aren’t many places you’ll find the words bipolar and butch cock together and believe me, that fact made me grin. The author’s creative writing career began with erotica and her skill and ease with the genre shows in this book. Having said that, if you’re expecting something lasciviously detailed to jerk off to, this isn’t it. Unless you’re maybe, you know, the speedster type.

It’s a damn fine read and it was the tone and quality of the writing that hooked me – my only niggles are some shifts in tense that threw me a bit, but then, I’m an editor and therefore nitpicky as hell. The presence of domestic violence (by the loathsome Lauren) may upset some, but it’s expressed fairly briefly and in a matter of fact style. In fact, the entire book is matter of fact – even the parts that will make my heterofriends’ eyes bulge a bit, avoid cheap sensationalism (but don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty hot). Her voice is strong throughout and hindsight has clearly taught more than its fair share of lessons. Suicide is (obviously) one of the book’s major themes and the journeys to and away from her attempts are well illustrated by journal entries from the time – and her suicide notes.

If any of you read it, please get your asses back here afterwards so we can talk about it some more. In the meantime, there’s an extract here, and have a look at the Q&A with author Stephanie Schroeder below.

Continue reading Review & Interview: Beautiful Wreck – Sex, Lies & Suicide

swing low: a life – miriam toews

At the age of seventeen, he was diagnosed as suffering from the mental illness known then as manic depression and today as bipolar disorder. His method of self-defence, along with the large amounts of medication he was prescribed, was silence.

Trigger: suicide.

Continue reading swing low: a life – miriam toews

two years & four months in a lunatic asylum – rev. h. chase

We (society) trivialise and disrespect the history of asylums and their patients horribly, by turning them into a freak show for cheap thrills. Happily there are organisations like Asylum Projects that so stuff that do stuff that is both cool and compassionate.

The Reverend Hiram Chase did not enjoy his time at the New York State Asylum in Utica.

Continue reading two years & four months in a lunatic asylum – rev. h. chase

the center cannot hold – elyn saks

When you have cancer, people send flowers; when you lose your mind, they don’t.
Continue reading the center cannot hold – elyn saks

linkdump: a book, a sad thing, a calendar

Happy new year, are you still bipolar? I’m sorry … Don’t forget to take your meds, k? It’s 2015 by the Gregorian calendar and here isn’t the news …

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Blog for the International Bipolar Foundation by volunteering here.

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Bipolar Disorder for Dummies – I’m not going to review it, beyond saying that if you haven’t already come across it (and I reckon most of you have), you should. You should probably hand it around the way we used to with joints. Har har. It’s informative and accessible. It’s kinda like an owner’s manual or one of those down wit da kidz textbooks.

It sounds rather desirable here (read it in a Barry White voice):

Continue reading linkdump: a book, a sad thing, a calendar