Whoa. If you have anyone near and dear to you with a mental illness? You need this.
Mind Without A Home - Kristina Morgan
Experience the inner world of a woman with schizophrenia in this brutally honest, lyrical memoir. Kristina Morgan takes us inside her head to experience the chaos of the schizophrenic mind. With the intimacy of private journal-like entries and the language of a poet, she carries us from her childhood to her teen years when hallucinations began to hijack her mind and into adulthood where she began abusing alcohol to temper the punishing voices that only she could here. This is no formulaic tale of tragedy and triumph: We feel Kristina’s hope as she pursues an education, career and builds friendships—and her devastation as the insistent voices convince her to throw it all away. Woven through the pages of her life are stories of recovery from alcoholism and her journey to live a fulfilling life.
I'm going to be honest and tell you right up front, judge me all you want, but certain types of mental illness scares the pants off of me. And by that I mean, I could never work with people with a mental disability because I could not handle it. I don't work well on the fly, I get scared and I don't know how to reason. It's terrible and I hate it. I should also say right now, I'm not one of those people who would turn the other way or refuse to be in a place with people with any kind of disability, I'm not that kind of jerk. I just don't understand it and fear comes from someone not understanding.
This book? Made me understand it far better.
The book is a bit jumpy, in that it jumps from one time period to the next, then back, then forward, etc. And that's OK because I feel like if you have schizophrenia, this seems like a logical way things happen. The author lives with schizophrenia is so incredibly open, honest, and endearing that you can't help but just want to hug her. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be in her position and feel like either something is wrong with your or something is drastically wrong with the world. How incredibly terrifying would that be? Then when you look at the people around the person with schizophrenia, you get it. Friends and family are frustrated, scared, and want to help and it looks like the person with the illness isn't trying or appreciative. It's like those shape sorter toys- trying to jam a triangle in the circle hole and the circle being jammed into the triangle hole and nobody understanding why nothing is working. It's frustrating and when you think about a person maybe harming themselves or others, it can be scary.
And I won't lie- the first thing I thought about was Amanda Bynes and just feeling a thousand times more sympathetic for her. She lived this out for the entire world to see and that is embarrassing and just so sad. What also makes me appreciate this book is the plea for treatment. Just like food stamps help people who are hungry, there really needs to be something better in place to help people who have a mental illness. Everything seems like an overwhelming feat in the beginning, but just think of how many people are out in the world, just lost. Lost, scared, and not having a clue what's going on with them. It's not right. Not in any way.
But seriously- it takes a really strong person to live with schizophrenia, oh and throw some alcoholism in there as well, and you just want to gives this author a standing ovation because dammit. What a woman. Seriously. She may be flawed, but we all are. Not many can say not only are they living life, by they are kicking life's ass at the same time. Such a tremendous book and I highly recommend it.