Saturday, September 3, 2011

Yes, I Wear My Glasses

I just found a fantastic book about bipolar disorder. Seriously, go out and get the book now. It is called "Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar but Were too Freaked Out to Ask" by Hilary Smith.

Smith is a young adult writer with bipolar disorder who has an amazing truthful and witty writing style. I can't stop laughing reading her book. I will have a full review for you in just a few days, but I wanted to highlight one part of her book that I just love.

As I mentioned before, I am struggling with the fact that I have to take medication. In her book, Smith has a whole section about medication including talking about how so many of us don't want to take it. She gives great advice on how to combat our objections to medication.

At one point she says:
"Do you wear glasses? Do you sometimes go off wearing glasses for a month to see if your eyesight has fixed itself? Why not? Why is it easy to accept that your farsightedness is real and permanent, but hard to accept bipolar disorder? Can taking medication become as normal and acceptable to you as wearing your glasses?"

Well, I do wear glasses, I am quite blind without them. I have never "gone off" my glasses (unless I replace them with contacts.) How stupid would that be? I could risk seriously hurting people if I didn't wear my glasses and got in a car accident.

Not taking medication does the same thing. I seriously hurt myself and others when I don't take my medication and work on finding a mix that helps me.

Why does it take such a silly example for something to become so clear?

That is what I love about this book. It is full of glaringly obvious information that really, I should know, but it took her writing style to make it clear. Thank goodness for people sharing their stories in order to help others!

Rev. Katie


  1. As someone who has gone on medication within the last year and has recently been contemplating going off, I'm definitely going to check this book out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. This is a very good point! I would be almost completely helpless without my glasses - I once did a test with my friend who has only one eye and is legally blind, and he could read a sign further away than I could. I would never consider going out of the house without glasses on, so why should I feel weird about medication?

    That said, I am now decreasing my dose with a view to seeing how I function and trying to determine whether medication is something I can do without, so long as I carry out other lifestyle changes that support my mental wellbeing. We'll see ...


  3. So I finished the book last night. I love her writing style, much like my own. She is much younger than me though, so a lot of what she said does not apply to me and I wish a book would be written in that prose addressing motherhood (the bipolar mother), marriage and being an old fart : )