In "Letters From A Bipolar Mother", Alyssa Reyans tells the story she's never been able to tell her children: of how she lost them in a battle with her own mental illness. she shares with them - and the world - what the mind of a woman suffering bipolar depression looks like, how the darkness she battled on a daily basis almost won, and how, years later, she found the courage to claw her way out of the abyss. Covering a span of five years, Alyssa Reyans shares both her pain and strength in a struggle against an incurable illness that many women today also share.
ebook, 86 pages
Published February 18th 2012 by Alyreyans Press
Now before you run away thinking, "Why on earth would I want to read a book like that?" I am going to tell you, because it has an important message. I thought the same thing when I was approached by a fellow blogger and asked to host Alyssa. She told me this was a difficult book and that I didn't have to read it, but curiousity won and I read the whole thing in about an hour. Yes, this is a difficult topic, but if you know anyone, friend or family member that battles with depression, then you will want to check this out. If you now someone caught in the dark struggle of bipolar disorder, at the very least refer them to Alyssa's site. As a sufferer she can impart some wisdom to someone finding their way in the dark. Now here is my review:
Four Stars: A book that tackles a tough, misunderstood topic.
I admit, I was hesitant to read this book because, well let's face it, reading books with weighty subject matter can often be difficult. I wasn't going to read this one, but then my inner psychologist was itching to take a peek. I ended up reading it in one sitting. This book is an emotional roller coaster. Alyssa takes you through the highs and lows of living with bipolar disorder. No, it isn't pleasant and it is hard to understand what a person suffering from depression goes through, but Alyssa manages to take your hand and lead you into the belly of the beast. Her life is full of heartbreak and tragedy. Starting at a young age when she was molested by her own father. At a time when abuse and depression were just beginning to come to light. Unfortunately, she lived through it when it was still okay to sweep it under the rug and ignore it. Consequently, Alyssa was forced to deal with the fall out of the abuse on top of battling an illness she didn't know she had. Two suicide attempts later and she is still reeling, trying to secure her footing. Then as a teenager she finds herself as the mother of two young children, trying to be a good mother while doing her best to keep her world from spiraling out of control. Little did she know that soon she would make the decision to leave her children with their father for a short time, never realizing it would be the last time she saw them. Now years later, Alyssa properly diagnosed, has finally come to terms with her illness. She accepts responsibility for her actions and avoids placing blame on her mental illness. A truly courageous and remarkable step. She continually fights a daily battle, like anyone who suffers from depression can tell you, there are good days and bad. It is a constant struggle to keep the beast at bay. Separated by time and distance across an ocean of misunderstanding, Alyssa wrote this novella to reach out to her children and let them know that despite the painful past she has always loved them and always will. Not knowing if her words will ever reach them, she hopes that in sharing her story she can climb a little further out of the belly of the beast, known as depression. Hopefully, by sharing her story she can help others struggling with this debilitating illness. If you suffer from, or know someone with depression, then you will understand how this beast ravages and destroys families. I hope that her words will help others and that there will be continued strides made toward curing and spreading awareness on depression. Alyssa is braver than she gives herself credit. I truly wish her continued success in her valiant fight. I pray that her words will find her children. Good luck Alyssa, thanks for being courageous enough to share your story.
"If for one second, you release control or look away, the monster takes control of your life, and it could be days, weeks, months or even years, before you realize you have fallen back into the abyss and once again have to dig your way out."
"I want you to know if this illness ever touches your life, there is someone who understands."
"Except you cannot outrun insanity, anymore than you can outrun your own shadow."
"My sanity succumbed to the internal chaos, and I floated through life. I was a mere passenger in the shell of my body. I did not control it. It controlled me."
Now some words from the author Alyssa Reyes:
Thanks to Heidi for having me here today. It’s still weird to see myself counted amongst “writers”. Yes I am self publishing my memoir, but when I look around at all of the talented authors out there, it’s hard to apply that label to myself. I call myself a word doodler instead. I think that seems more appropriate. I doodle words upon the page. By being a word doodler I don’t feel the heavy burden of having to carry around the title of “writer”. It allows me to continue jotting down my story, which is not always an easy thing to do. Writing is difficult. Doodling is easy. Maybe it’s a trick of the mind or a play on words, but it helps me to always push through those moments when the words seem to have dried up. During those moments I just keep doodling and eventually the whole picture becomes clear. The words take on a life of their own and I just join them for the ride. Allowing them to take me wherever they want to go. Not forcing or trying, just doodling. I use to think someday I might be a writer, but for now I’m having too much fun doodling. I think I may just remain a word doodler. There’s less pressure and more chocolate. And really who wouldn’t want a job that involves chocolate?
I’m also having a giveaway. There will be 3 ecopies of my book, Letters from A Bipolar Mother, given away. You can enter via rafflecopter. The giveaway will end on 23rd and you can enter here through Heidi’s blog or at my website. Also if you’d like to join my mailing list, all members who join prior to the launch of the second book in the series, Chronicles of A Fractured Life, will automatically receive a free ecopy of Book Two.
Thanks Alyssa for sharing your story! Alyssa is offering copies of her book if you wish to enter here is the link.