Thursday, 14 May 2009

Depression Memoir

Finished May 14
A Hell of Mercy: a meditation on depression and the dark night of the soul by Tim Farrington
This memoir of a lifelong struggle with depression begins with Farrington's late adolescent onset and continues to the present. Farrington underwent medical treatment and tried various therapies but, like many creative individuals found many medications stifling to his creativity. At one point he entered a monastery in search of a solution and discovered in their library writings that were helpful to him then, and remain a source of comfort and inspiration now. His struggle resulted in the death of one marriage and reached it nadir with the death of his mother from stomach cancer.
He discusses how reaching the bottom is what led him to a true recognition of his illness and how he feels God led him to a solution.
I found this memoir interesting, although it had moments of overblown writing (eg. "...confronted with the mortifying ongoing substratum of the old, unspiritual self, finds the contrast far more painful in the light of the ideal vision glimpsed and cherished and more or less identified with during the honeymoon phase of the remodeling.") that didn't feel natural to me.

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