Welcome to the Jungle
August 16, 2010 Leave a comment
My life is currently a jumble of many things. If I was writing the events of the past few weeks as fiction, I would continue writing until I finally got to a point where I could take a breather and figure it all out, then choose what really matters in relation to the characters and their story. Instead, it is my life and I’m holding on for the ride, having fun, making notes and trusting that I will figure it out someday before I die, and write about it. For a writer, even the bad stuff life tosses our way is “research”.
Hilary Smith gets this. In her book Welcome to the Jungle; everything you ever wanted to know about Bipolar but were too freaked out to ask, Ms. Smith takes the jumble out of living in the jungle of Bipolar and entertains the reader with refreshing wisdom that should blow the stigma of mental illness to smithereens. This book goes beyond Bipolar and enters the realm of personal health & happiness management.
This book is funny and insightful while the author explains the steps of self discovery she experienced on her personal journey from horror to happiness. Ms. Smith is also very clear and direct that she could have an attack with no warning and then immediately contact her doctor or therapist.
Ms. Smith is aware her own brain could deceive her. This is true for all of us depending on our diet, sleep patterns, stress, heredity, ingrained attitudes, etc. – but how many of us are aware of our own self-deception? This is the beauty of Welcome to the Jungle. Hilary had to accept that her own brain could be deceiving her and the best she can do is personal self management of her health and trust her friends and family to be attentive to her happiness. She also knows she must return the same level of respect and affection from her heart. This one message (among many) makes this a book stand out beyond self-help and improvement advice.
What I learned – Bipolar is in the genes. Some genes stay dormant, others spark to life with no warning generations apart. This is important. I read this book because of my interest in Hilary Smith as a writer yet there are many people in my life whose hereditary traits are secret to me so the potential for genetic issues is personally relevant.
I recommend this book for everyone but especially high school and college teachers and students. I also posted a review on Amazon.com. 🙂