Title: My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward: A Memoir
Author: Mark Lukach
Publisher: Harper Wave
Publish Date: May 2, 2017 (Today!)
Source: TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Mark and Giulia’s life
together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen,
married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San
Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and
unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a
month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was
delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.
Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. But, soon after Jonas
was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years
after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had
once taken for granted was upended.
A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward
is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we
care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breathtaking
in its candor, radiant with compassion, and written with dazzling
lyricism, Lukach’s is an intensely personal odyssey through the
harrowing years of his wife’s mental illness, anchored by an abiding
devotion to family that will affirm readers’ faith in the power of love."
My Two Cents:
This book is Mark Lukach's memoir of a marriage under extreme pressure. The romance between Mark and Giulia is the stuff of modern fairy tales. They seem to have a great relationship and are working on building a life together when Giulia suffers a devastating mental breakdown. Suddenly everything is turned upside down and Mark finds himself in a position of trying to protect his wife from herself and helping her to get the treatment that she needs. This is the story of love and the strength that it can give you to face even the most difficult of circumstances.
Mental illness is really difficult for those dealing with it but it is also difficult for the family surrounding those people, especially if those people are adults. I appreciated the perspective that this book gave me. Once a patient is an adult, families are incredibly limited in what they can do. In my-next-door-neighbor state of Virginia, a state congressman (Creigh Deeds) was stabbed by his son who was had been diagnosed with mental illness. Deeds had try to get his son into a facility previously but could not due to there not being enough beds and then there was the issue in getting an adult admitted against their will. In this book, Giulia is never denied treatment but when Mark first tries to get her admitted, the nurse suggests that he let the police arrest her and bring her into the hospital when Giulia doesn't want to be admitted.
Mark is utterly dedicated to his wife. He wants to do everything that he can for her. When she is repeatedly hospitalized, he continues to stay by her side and to try to help her in whatever way he can. It's inspiring to see how much love he has for her and how much Giulia wants to get better. This book shows why it's so important to have someone in your corner. Although some parts are difficult to read because you feel so bad for this family and what they are going through but this hard journey is worth the ending.