This a harrowing first person account of mental illness. An extraordinary peek into that hellish world.
Here is a short passage:
When I return, the room is as still and silent as it was when I left, nothing moving but faint dust motes in the lamplight. Not one of the men looks at me, yet I have an unnerving sense that they have been waiting for me to return.
Then it hits me: they know I am a dead man walking, a ghost already in their midst. What are they going to do to me? What have they done? What have they set in motion? How am I to die?
And it is so blindingly obvious then: the car, it is the car; while I was in the bathroom they placed a booby-trap bomb under my car and it will explode and kill me when I turn the key in the ignition. It is their guilt at my impending execution that causes them to avert their gaze: they feel remnants of guilt already that they have killed me.
A sudden sob escapes me. I momentarily break down in front of them, in fear of what is about to happen, and in self-pity. Defeated, deflated, totally abject and bereft now, I accept my fate.
This is a lived reality of mental illness and is frequently gripping throughout. Highly recommended.
I have long tried to understand this illness, given that we have two close family members with the disease. The stigma is still strong, but a lot more understanding of the disease is out there which is breaking down long held barriers.