Writing this book only weeks after his death, Steel gives a heart wrenching account of her son’s life, the good and the bad. The love she had for her son is unmistakable.
In the book, Steel writes, “If I had three wishes, one would be that he had never suffered from mental illness, the other would be of course that he were alive today, but the third would be that someone had warned me, at some point, that his illness–manic depression—could kill him.” (Steel, p. xx)
With that, she shares the purpose of writing this book, that her son’s life may be “a gift to others”, that lessons will be learned about his illness and a life may be saved with it. She shares that “You have to understand what you’re dealing with, to accept that what you’re dealing with is the equivalent of not just a bellyache, but liver cancer. You have to know that what you’re facing is serious, important, dangerous, and potentially fatal.” (Steel, p. xxi)
Personally, one of lessons that stuck with me is to teach my child while he’s young the importance of staying on his medication, especially when he’s feeling good. Already we’ve had this discussion many times. The other lesson I haven’t forgotten is that before a person commits suicide, they often appear ok. As Steel writes, “...manic-depressives rarely kill themselves while in the depths of depression. They often wait to do it until they feel better, are slightly manic, and have the strength to do so.” (Steel, p. 273)
I encourage you to read this book, to learn from their journey. Maybe for one of you, Steel’s wish will come true and a life will be saved.
Find it at Amazon:
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All Proceeds from this book go to the Nick Traina Foundation that was established to benefit mental health, music and child related causes.
More about Nick Traina:
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Also, check out my friend’s post at My Sweet and Sour Girl, she also did a review on this same book and brings a unique perspective that you’ll appreciate reading:
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