Blinded by Hope
One Mother’s Journey Through Her Son’s Bipolar Illness and Addiction
by Meg McGuire
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Pub Date 06 Jun 2017 | Archive Date 05 Jun 2017
Blinded by Hope describes what it’s like to have an unusually bright, creative child—and then to have that child suddenly be hit with an illness that defies description and cure. Over the years, McGuire attributes her son’s lost jobs, broken relationships, legal troubles, and periodic hospitalizations to the manic phase of his illness, denying the severity of his growing drug use—but ultimately, she has to face her own addiction to rescuing him, and to forge a path for herself toward acceptance, resilience, and love. A wakeup call about the epidemic of mental illness, substance abuse, and mass incarceration in our society, Blinded by Hope shines a light on the shadow of family dynamics that shame, ignorance, and stigma rarely let the public see, and asks the question: How does a mother cope when love is not enough?
“Blinded by Hope is the book that every parent should read, even if the child is not, like the son of the author, afflicted with both bipolar disorder and an addiction to illegal drugs. It explains a mystery: Why is it that a parent is reluctant to make their offspring accountable for their destructive behavior? Why do we consistently choose to believe their words over their actions? How are we blinded to the truth by our love and concern for them? Meg McGuire goes to the root of that magical thinking and tells us the story of how she broke the infernal cycle of hope-disappointment-shame-despair-hope. Over the years, she understands the deep-rooted reasons why she, as a mother, cannot stand the disconnection, how she is hooked on motherlove as if in the grip a drug. She has the courage to look at her truth.”
-Ginette Paris, PhD, author of Heartbreak, Mourning, Loss: Detach or Die
“Meg McGuire's brilliant and moving story Blinded by Hope returns repeatedly to the tough question of belief: Whose story does one believe? Whose rendering of reality does a parent accept from her child and from herself? When does hope blind one to the truth? The anguish aroused in struggling to read and act on the true story comprises the dramatic tension that shapes the relationship between McGuire and her son.”
-Dennis Patrick Slattery, author of Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 7 members
For personal and work-related reasons, I've read a vast array of mental health books over the past two decades and I've never encountered a book quite like Meg McGuire's "Blinded By Hope." As a parent who has bipolar disorder, I can't imagine the agony McGuire suffered from witnessing her son's mental illness and drug use as well as her own addiction to being his rescuer, time and time again. Her memoir offers a wealth of valuable insights to readers who love someone living with a serious mental illness. I highly recommend it.
This is certainly an eye- opening book that every single parent must read to learn about drug addiction and also bipolar disease.
The quote to hear : "To be an addict, is to be something of an acrobat . You spread versions of yourself around, giving each person the truth he or she needs- you need, actually- to keep them at a remove."
A tough book to read, but well worth it.
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