I Prayed For Death
– Instead He Sent Me Angels
by Terresa Anderson Outskirts Press

"My sense of self is completely at the mercy of the tides of my every changing mood"

It is easy to read clinical studies and descriptions of abnormal psychology and its symptoms. It is another experience to hear the human voice of one who has inhabited that strange territory of suicidal thinking and self-mutilation, the voice of one caught in the cycle of mania and depression, to hear the actual thoughts of an anorexic.

The writer has chosen to publish the personal journals she kept for over two years after being hospitalized for a serious suicide attempt. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, the journal keeper catalogues the struggle with her illness, her medication, her husband, and most of all, her self. It is a raw and unfiltered window into how someone could need to draw a razor across their own skin. She describes how difficult it is for her to stop hating herself. Her anorexic compulsion is shown in all its hallucinatory glory.

The fact that this is written from a self to a self makes it both fascinating and somewhat frustrating that it is so self-centric. The author is aware of this: "I need to stop thinking of myself 24/7.... My lack of self esteem and self-worth has put all of the focus on me!" There are times when the dynamics between her anorexic compulsion and her (now ex-) husband are so blatantly obvious, one wonders how she could miss the connection. But Anderson is possessed of a keen insight into her strange world of extremes. The self that emerges from the journal is a wise one. It illuminates a little known vista of human truth.

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