But Inside I’m Screaming by Elizabeth Flock
But Inside I’m Screaming by Elizabeth Flock was a really good read. I enjoyed it thoroughly, although perhaps it is not a book to be enjoyed. It is possibly more accurate to say that I connected with the book.
The main character is Isabel Murphy who is a successful international broadcast journalist, loving wife, perfect daughter but suicidal human. She freezes up on national television while trying to cover the breaking news of car crash in which Princess Diana died. Following this, Isabel finds herself at Three Breezes, a four-star psychiatric hospital nicknamed the “nut hut,” where she begins the painful process of recovering from her mental breakdown to retrieve the life everyone thought she had. However, she has no idea why she is there. It might be because of her two suicide attempts or her meltdown on live TV. The point is, she is not like any of the other patients. They are seriously crazy. She wants to be released so she can leave and kill herself.
The author’s writing style is lovely. It is honest and, at times, extremely painful. The chapters alternate to tell of time in the present at Three Breezes and a moment from Isabel’s past that has led her to the hospital. The group therapy sessions are sometimes horrifying, but can also be morbidly amusing.
Accepting her place among her fellow patients proves difficult, and Isabel struggles to reconcile the fact that she is one of them. She faces the reality that in order to mend her painfully fractured life she must rely on herself. She realises she must also accept an imperfect life in a world that demands perfection. Isabel is forced through a series of treatments that she rebels against, but slowly she faces the issues in her life that have taken over.
As the reader, I sometimes wanted her to face up and admit her problems, and then at other times I totally understood why she made the choices she was making. Some days I know I could easily be in the room next to hers. If you are not judgmental towards the human race, I recommend But Inside I’m Screaming highly. The writing is assured and subtle. It offers a frighteningly, clear insight into mental illness. It is also terrifying because it shows that anyone an suffer mental illness.
I really like the sound of this book, I’ve read books about psychiatric problems in the past (‘Rachel’s Holiday’ by Marian Keyes is a lighthearted look at a drug-addled mind) and so I might just try this one out to discover about the more serious side to mental illness.
Also as an aside, I’ve just started up a book review blog (only one post so far, but more to come!) and it would be great if you could give it a read/like/follow: http://booksireadandliked.wordpress.com
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