Book Reviews and Psych Blues

Wow. I just finished off Marya Hornbacher’s 2nd memoir, “Madness: A Bipolar Life”  last night and thought it was worth reviewing.  Firstly, I met her through a series of other books, and found her first memoir, Wasted, only a month ago-which was all about her serious anorexia and bulemia that haunted her from childhood through her 20’s.

Madness takes place right after Wasted was published. Evidently, becoming a rich, famous memoirist does nothing for your inner psychiatric ailments, because she went full-blown into mania and depression.

This resonates with me.

She has a passage about going completely crazy with “crazy Sean”, driving out into the dessert and leaving life behind her (including a university teaching position), to get completely shitfaced, paranoid, delusional, lost in the desert, stuck in rancid motels…

It reminded me of a time when I disssapearred for a while. If only I had written a memoir beforehand…But the energy was the same. Just completely going off the map and going on a complete alcohol binge. Maybe I will discuss that in detail another time…”Just ask me about the Pit”. #HarvardSquare

She gets admitted to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

I can relate.

She goes to a mental hospital.

She goes to a partial day program.

Jazz-hands. Relate.



She goes back, and back, and back, and back, and back.

For a thin book, the amount of hospitalizations she recounts is just unbelievable. It just takes a turn from relatable, to OH MY GOD, I AM SO SO SO DEVASTATED FOR YOU.

She gets sober.

I can relate.

She gets the horrible depressions that urge her to “Drink herself manic”.

I can relate.

The more I read, the more I realized how lucky I am.

I don’t have to take mood stabilizers. I don’t take anticonvulsants. I have remained sober for over a year…thank god for Wellbutrin for not being a “fat drug”…Those kinds of things. But most of all, I finished the book in shock and grief, for Marya is possibly NOT better. She was so so so sick. The amount of ECT she had, the amount of hospitalizations she had, and the fact that her first book precipitated, well, Madness, just devastated me in a way  thats hard to explain.

The incurableness of mental illness is its biggest struggle.




  1. My Life Through Manga · January 17, 2016

    I’ve read ‘Wasted’ from cover to cover so many times – and always wanted to read ‘Madness’. Would you recommend it? It doesn’t sound like a fun read (but then again neither was Wasted), is the writing just as good?


    • parentified · January 17, 2016

      It makes Wasted seem like a walk in the park. If you’ve read Wasted that often, you should definitely read it. I feel so sorry for Marya-if you read Madness, you won’t believe how Entire Years of her post-Wasted-Success she spent in mental hospitals.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My Life Through Manga · January 17, 2016

        Wow, but she’s written so many other books and seem to have her life together – really makes you wonder… I’ll definitely try and get hold of a copy.


      • parentified · January 17, 2016

        Really? I know she has at least one fiction book, which she writes about in Madness, basically saying she was obliterated the whole time she wrote it…But i didn’t think she had much more.


      • My Life Through Manga · January 18, 2016

        I meant after Madness, she’s written a couple more books, so I thought she’s more or less recovered now – or at least making active steps to recovery.


      • parentified · January 18, 2016

        I guess you’re right! She is very quiet on Twitter and doesn’t promote Anything. I had no idea she wrote more. I see that she went on to divorce her second hub…their relationship was so so so tragic.


      • parentified · January 18, 2016

        Sorry-I could talk about her all day


  2. fonzandcancer · February 16, 2016

    Thanks so much for following I really do appreciate it – Fonz

    Liked by 1 person

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