Madness by Marya Hornbacher Is my Self-Help Manual

Marya Hornbacher‘s Madness is her memoir of living with bipolar disorder. It’s a bit rough and, well, mad. But poetic. It’s the poetry in the prose that gets me every time. I’m thinking off the top of my head current authors Barbara Kingsolver and Janet Fitch.

Is there something wrong with using a memoir of insanity as a “Life for Dummies” sort of manual?

Absolutely. But it sure helps more than those treacly self-help tracts that all melt together like a convention of bumper stickers at the equator.

Because Marya (may I call you Marya if I spell it right?) –she’s okay today. As I’ve said before, functional is relative. Some would say she’s no role model, her memoir of anorexia triggers, she’s not a serene guru… but she is real.

And those of us with racing brains (25% in an article in the New Yorker about Xanax I read whilst waiting in my doctor’s office for my regular prescriptions for my myriad conditions all of which will be CURED once I set up and learn to operate and grow the wheatgrass for the new JUICER that arrived today–does wheatgrass have gluten and am I gluten-sensitive…um…)

U C what I mean about racing brains.

Humans were not DNA’d to think at the speeds at which info is being tossed at us from all directions night and day. Yet we become so used to all this inundation, we think there is something wrong in a moment of quiet.

I had a spouse who would NEVER relinquish the clicker, and I used to crave power outages when even the refrigerator stopped humming for the 15 minutes to and hour it took to repair the damage caused by a gecko in a transformer or a pelican pooping on a wire somewhere up the Keys. (Like US 1, there’s one line out and one line in. And it’s the same line. Like Life, teh Universe, and Everything….)

I felt it a victory for LOL catspeak when my spellcheck finally gave up trying to make me spell teh t-h-e.

Thing is, Madness is a memoir about bipolar disorder. I believe I relate so well because I have unipolar plus DID which means one of my personalities must be a little manicky to balance, but depression has been my fallback mood as far back as 5 years old.


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