"I lie pinned to the bed, there is danger around me, and glaring cruel faces all plotting to harm me, to drug me, to trick me!"

Brooks had always been the bright child, the clever daughter, the firstborn who, while not the son her father wished for, could still one day fulfill his frustrated ambitions. And at first she was that perfect child, helpful to her father in his store, a responsible Girl Guide, a key member in the school choir, and excelling in her studies. But even in these early childhood years, she felt her isolation from her peers, an encroaching loneliness where there was "no place for the brainy girl." Then at age twelve, everything started to unravel. In her haunting autobiography, Brooks blends dreams, poems, and narration of her life's events into a nightmarish tale about her descent into mental illness and the slow but eventual rise to her present equilibrium.

After hitting puberty, Brooks discovered she could take "control" of her life, detaching herself from her parents as an individual by choosing whether to eat or not. This was swiftly followed by episodes of manic energy, trailed by extreme bouts with depression. Little was known about Anorexia Disorder in the early sixties, and she would suffer with it for six years before it was properly diagnosed. Bipolar Affective Disorder, the source of her severe mood swings, was also barely understood at the time, and at one point she was mistakenly treated for schizophrenia. Brooks spent years in and out of hospitals and on several forms of medication but still managed to become a General Practitioner and to have two happy and successful children.

By combining linear, fact-based storytelling with italicized poems and vignettes that vividly portray her turbulent emotional state at the time, Brooks has created a unique reading experience. Her book opens the blinds on the inner turmoil of those struggling with these disorders.

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