Mom's Idea
by Nathan Smith
Trafford Publishing

"What has happened to get me to this point from that ghastly situation down in the inner city? Let’s say, it was mom’s idea."

Suffering from schizophrenia, Smith (referred to as Timothy in the book) finds himself living in dangerous conditions within the city limits. He is repeatedly robbed and terrorized in both a real and imaginary sense. He seeks the comforts of the local bars, retreating to his “alcoholic euphoria” to shut out the constant reminders of his illness. As he refuses to take his medication, Smith falls prey to disturbing hallucinations, and the disassociation of reality impacts his relationships and his wellbeing. He wanders in and out of hospitals, apartments, and homeless shelters, gradually resenting his family who is “living it up” while he is “suffering down there.” The further he descends into despair, Smith fears he is “degenerating into a twisted kind of horrible person.” Finally, with support from family and healthcare professionals, Smith struggles to find a path towards a healthy life of sobriety.

At turns harrowing and touching, Smith’s story is a rare, eloquently written, and deeply personal glimpse into life with a debilitating mental condition. Exhibiting what the scientific community would consider a phenomenon, Smith defies odds with his abstinence from alcohol, controlling the illness that threatens to overcome him and finding new hope in the face of great odds. Through his account, Smith recounts the personal struggles of the affliction of schizophrenia, the abuse he suffers at the hands of strangers, and the diverse people he encounters along the way—some who share similar stories. Writing with an accessible voice, his narrative allows one into his world and touches upon key issues of mental health, drug abuse, and the power of perseverance to make extraordinary changes. His story shines a glaring light on a corner of the complex world of health and healthcare today. It is a worthy, memorable read.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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