What I'm Always Reading

I keep coming back to this book by Martha Manning about depression called Undercurrents, A Life Beneath the Surface.


It is so fantastically funny.

Yes, funny. And touching. And truthful. Manning is smart and irreverent and a damn fine writer. She cuts cleanly through the stigma and knows how to explain what life is like while dragging depression around with you. When I began to date my husband, I gave him this book. With many sections underlined in bright blue ink.

Manning is a psychologist who struggles with depression and had to turn to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) when the meds didn't work. They hospitalized her to administer the ECT.

The group is co-led by a nurse, who is pretty sharp, and one of the few nurses I dislike. I'm always surprised that people can be tight-asses so young. She is patronizing towards us all, her voice raising in pitch and volume, each word pronounced with an emphasis, like she is talking to children with auditory problems. We are each asked to articulate a goal for the session. When she turns to me I want to say, "My goal is to get through this entire session without telling you to fuck off."


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