Let the conversation begin.
"Lost Marbles: Insights into my Life with Depression and Bipolar" by Natasha Tracy - Why I Give It 5 Stars
Review by Kerry Martin, CEO & Founder, Hope Xchange Nonprofit
Today, she is still with us. I don't bear any grudges or resentment for all that she unintentionally put my family through particularly now that I'm 50 and have struggled with my own suicide attempts, depression and a bipolar diagnosis. Regardless, I am often left wondering what, if anything, I could have done to prevent my mum, my dear father, amazing 5 brothers and sisters and I from suffering so much.
Dealing with the guilt has been overwhelming for me at times, even though I too share many of my mum's struggles and walk in her shoes. She was diagnosed as manic depressive, as was I, before I was correctly diagnosed as bipolar in my early 40s. As a founder of a nonprofit that works with the bipolar community - a calling I was compelled to answer because of my own life experiences - you would have thought I would have gotten that it wasn't my fault that she tried to kill herself? But surely my heart said there was something that I could have done that I did not do.
After reading Natasha's book, I now realize there was nothing I could have done. We are not in control over whether or not someone is unlucky and is born with a chemical imbalance. And, we have no control over whether or not someone chooses to try and take his or her own life. (That's not to say you shouldn't take someone damn seriously if they say they are suicidal!)
While I believe suicide prevention is everyone's responsibility, I also believe that the majority of the people in this country don't agree with me or certainly don't walk the talk if they do. I get it. Most are overburdened and overwhelmed just trying to keep up in their own lives; and, hence do not step outside their own bubbles.
But, I sincerely hope, that those who do care that we lose over 44,000 Americans in this country every day to suicide - our bullied kids, LGBTQ teens, veterans, seniors, disabled and others who have simply given up on hope and lost their way - will read this book so that they understand not only the importance of radically changing the way we treat those who suffer with bipolar and depression but the urgency of the need to mend broken community ties and rebuild our communities on a foundation of compassion and caring.
We all deserve to live with hope. We all deserve to live a life with a purpose. I sincerely hope that Natasha's bravery in sharing her story will spark a change. I remain hopeful that this country will stand behind her and that many of her readers will become mental health advocates for those, who through no fault of their own, can't advocate for themselves.
Thank you Natasha for helping me deal with my guilt. I now realize that there simply wasn't anything I could have done differently. I know you will help countless others, as you have helped me and, for that, we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude.