Sharp by David Fitzpatrick
Sharp is the story of a young man who began his life with a loving family and great promise for the future. But in his early twenties, David Fitzpatrick became so consumed by mental illness it sent him into a frenzy of cutting himself with razor blades. In this shocking and often moving book, he vividly describes the rush this act gave him, the fleeting euphoric high that seemed to fill the spaces in the rest of his life. It started a difficult battle from which he would later emerge triumphant and spiritually renewed. Fitzpatrick’s youth seemed ideal. He was athletic, handsome, and intelligent. However, he lived in fear of an older brother who taunted and belittled him; and in college, his roommates teased and humiliated him, further damaging what sense of self-esteem he still carried with him. As he shares these experiences, Fitzpatrick also recounts the lessons learned from the broken people he encountered during his journey—knowledge that led to his own emotional resurrection. Sharp also demonstrates the awakening of a writer’s instinctive voice. With prose that is tough and gritty, profound and insightful, Fitzpatrick takes us inside his head while he manically cuts himself, but these episodes are presented with a dignity and insight that has never been seen before. His writing also possesses a lightness of touch that brings humor to a subject that doesn’t naturally provide it. Above all else, Sharp is a tale of hope, a soul-baring quest of a lost man who returns to himself, overcomes his demons, and reclaims his life. It is destined to become a classic memoir.
First off I'm going to tell you that I suffer from depression. I have for years and it's an ongoing struggle. I choose to medicate myself in ways other than using an anti-depressant and so does Matt. Except I'm much better at it than he is.
I've read quite a few memoirs and I really like memoirs- I love getting a glimpse into someone else's life and seeing how I can relate to them. David is a really terrific writer and this story flows from his young adult self to his fully adult self and you get to see the complete wave of mental illness play out. To be honest, I felt absolutely terrible for him. From obvious bullying in college to his struggle with mental illness and all that includes is enough to make a normal person feel down on life. And even in the lowest moments of his life, he still kept plugging along. Ultimately he slowly climbs out of it and it's an incredibly story of how a person can fall so low and still come back. It's obviously not easy, not at all, but he did it. And it's really a great story of hope. It really is one of the best memoirs I have ever read because it really pulls it all together.
I absolutely recommend this book for anyone who struggles with mental illness because it really is a great piece of writing that they can use to get themselves through it.