"My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward: A Memoir" by Mark Lukach

This book kept me breathless while reading and left me feeling full. I can’t recommend it enough to those looking to gain a greater understanding of mental illness.

It’s a memoir by Mark Lukach about his wife, Giulia, and the onset of her first psychotic break that came despite no family history of mental illness. Lukach chronicles a five-year period of Giulia’s on-and-off psychiatric hospitalizations and how they cope with life on the razor’s edge while raising their young son.

The book does just what the cover review says it will: tears your heart out and then lovingly stitches it back into place.

Having been through mental health issues of my own, the details ring true — the fear and exhaustion for caregiver and loved one, strain on relationships, guesswork of treatment, and the eventual realization there is no cure.

But for all the negatives, it has hard-won silver linings. You learn who your friends are. You find new depths of love in your most supportive relationships — kin by blood or choice. You come to appreciate the light times more for having journeyed through darkness. And you drink deeply from your cup of joy when the ground is level beneath your feet, before that next big climb.

It's worth your time to give this a read.
"All the Colors We Will See," by Patrice Gopo

I’m ending the holiday feeling grateful for the beautiful words of Patrice Gopo.

I can’t emphasize enough how powerful and deeply thoughtful this essay collection was and how enriched and broadened I feel for having read her poetic and fluid reflections on race, identity, inclusion/exclusion, family, place and culture, marriage and divorce, and faith and spirituality.

Definitely read it!