Confessions of Madness, written eloquently by Wendall Churchill is a personal account about living with bipolar 1 disorder. The book is a brave and honest look into the life of someone who is dealing with a challenging illness. Wendall takes the reader with her as she recalls her life and how she has managed to survive with grace.
This is the story about someone who persevered when all hope was gone. It is as personal as possible allowing the reader to enter the mind of the author. Wendall Churchill defines her life as one solely defined by sorrow. She says, “I am empty of joy, ugly in mind, even grotesque in nature. I am more than different; I am like an animal in a cage, wild with madness and broken in spirit. I have been forced to endure both human disgrace and public humiliation in a world where many believe mental illness is a sign of weakness and of one’s own doing. We, the mentally ill, are vilified, perceived as abnormal, and thus, labeled with an unbearable stigma which only makes the torment worse. We have been abandoned by society, left alone in the filth of insanity. Rejection for me is a reality.”
This is a must read for anyone who has a friend or relative who suffers from mental illness. It provides an insight into bipolar 1 disorder. It helps describe what someone is going through “normal” people do not understand.
Confessions of Madness does not provide answers, but tries to draw a picture of what it is like to not belong.
About the Author
Wendall Churchill comes from a well-respected family. She is a sixth cousin of Sir Winston Churchill who, it is believed, suffered from bipolar 2 disorder. He would tell people, “The black dog” is sitting on my lap today.
Wendall Churchill moved to Hilton Head Island with her family in 1978 at age fourteen from Chicago, Illinois. She went to Sea Pines Academy for four years of upper school. She then attended Middlebury College in New England, a liberal arts college in rural Vermont. Wendall also earned a Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia and received her degree in 1991. After working for several years in Baltimore doing high-end residential products, she later moved back to Hilton Head Island to be closer to her mother. Wendall remains on the island with her mother, Jane, her cat Emma and dog Zoey.