A meditation on Hostetler’s life-long dealings with bipolar disorder and depression, this memoir beautifully evokes the maniac high and depressing low periods of turmoil whose symptoms included Hostetler’s fervent mania, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, deep feeling of worthlessness, inability to carry on routine job, and loss of interest in life in general leading to psychiatric treatment and hospitalization. Born into a large poverty-stricken family, Hostetler struggled with severe anxiety throughout his childhood. The sudden onset of bipolar disorder related extreme mania and severe depression during his sophomore year of college, sent him to seek help from mental health professionals. As maintaining friendships and romantic relationship and carrying on simple task of studying and work became a constant struggle, Hostetler didn’t lose hope and continued with his treatment, eventually finding a medication that cured him. In crisp prose, Hostetler chronicles his struggles with the debilitating mental health condition and its effect on his ability to form and maintain relationships, his experimentation with various psychiatric drugs and therapies, and his struggles with his faith and mental health stigma.
In telling his story, Hostetler not only sheds light on the devastating condition but also offers a ray of hope to those struggling with bipolar disorder. This affecting account will stay with readers for a long time.