I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on Shannon‘s recommendation. All she really had to do was send me the quote, “There were things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him. So I buried them, and let them hurt me.” Sold.
The book follows the life of an nine-year-old boy, Oskar, after his father is killed in September 11th. Oskar finds a mysterious key in his father’s belongings and goes on an adventure to find what it opens. It’s gut-wrenching beautiful.
This isn’t the kind of book you rush through. I spent my time with every paragraph, circling things, underlining. The story is stunning, but the way it is told is pure bliss. A book you want to quote back to everyone. It was difficult to not read the whole thing aloud to anyone who would listen.
This week I read a great book from Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston, PsyD called Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder. Though I’m the one with bipolar disorder in my family, this book had a lot of great insight on managing the disease and making life as stable and healthy as possible for my partner and me.
One of the biggest takeaways for me was the idea of mourning the loss of a “normal” relationship (whatever that even is), so you can move forward in your relationship as a bipolar affected couple. I’d never considered how important it was to just kind of accept that our lives are always going to be different than the lives of those who don’t have to deal with bipolar disorder every day. I wanted to pretend that wasn’t the reality, brace against it hard as I could. I like the idea of mourning the loss and moving on.
The major theme throughout the book is the idea of treating bipolar disorder first. Every day you have to make sure you’re doing everything you can to manage the disease and that’s really all there is to it. I’ve often wanted to pretend I could let my bipolar treatment fall to the wayside and just live my life, but this book really brought it home that that’s not an option for me. There’s something always relieving about someone else telling me I have to do that. Permission to take care of my illness first. How liberating.
Overall, I thought the book was full of lots of great information, both for people with bipolar disorder and for those who love them. Though it’s geared toward partners, I’m sure that parents, siblings, and friends could all learn a lot about the illness from it. I’ll definitely be recommending it again and againo