I love sad memoirs. I could read them one after another. I'm not a sad person; I'm just drawn to stories of people who face hardship. I love to learn about the human experience and hopefully take little pieces of them with me so that when I also face struggles, I'm just a little bit better equipped to get through them. These stories layer themselves inside me, softening the way I understand the world, and while I can't claim to comprehend their experiences, I can at the very least use them to frame my attempts.
My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mark and Giulia had a fairytale romance and marriage. Seemingly out of the blue, Giulia suffers a psychotic break characterized by religions delusions and suicidal ideations that lands her in a psychiatric ward for nearly a month. Mark's account of Giulia's initial breakdown, diagnoses, and subsequent hospital stays is heartbreaking and honest. Mark talks about how it impacts Giulia's job, family, personality, and their marriage. Mark also talks candidly about his own selfishness and how Giulia's mental health impacts his ability to lead a normal life. Giulia's hospital stays affect his ability to work, his own mental health, and his ability to lead a productive, fulfilling life. Not only does Giulia suffer, but their marriage and love for each other is constantly put to the test. I found this book to be incredibly sad, but it also gave me perspectives on mental health that I didn't full understand before. I particularly liked when Mark was inspired to create a plan with Giulia when she was feeling well so that they each had limits and wants clearly outlined before the psychosis took away Giulia's ability to make those calls on her own. This book certainly gave me pause to think more about those suffering within the shell of psychosis and how terrifying and helpless everyone around them must feel.
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