How one couple battled together against the wife’s mental health issue.
Lukach, a ninth-grade teacher, and his wife, Giulia, had a near-perfect life. They’d met in college, almost instantly became a couple, and quickly grew their relationship into a classic love story. They had successful jobs, ambitions, and dreams that filled their lives. The years passed, and they agreed to have children. However, shortly after starting a new job, Giulia became increasingly anxious about work and life in general, and she began experiencing full-blown psychosis, requiring immediate hospitalization. Lukach does an excellent job of showing the rapid decline his wife experienced as she went through her first, second, and third breakdowns, the evolution of his role as caretaker and partner, and the roles played by their immediate families and closest friends in the recovery process. The author details the harrowing first moments in the hospital when no one quite knew what was happening to Giulia and the endless time he spent struggling to get answers from doctors and nurses. “The first few days of Giulia’s hospitalization,” he writes, “I spent almost every waking hour on the phone….With every call I made, I grew increasingly agitated at the inflexibility of the mental health system.” Lukach recounts the deep, suicidal depression Giulia endured after returning home and the fears he felt for his wife’s safety. The end of the first breakdown will come as a great relief to readers; by the third breakdown, they will know what to expect but will also share the author’s fears for the safety and well-being of their young son. Lukach’s compassion and love for his wife, as well as his fears and anger, are evident throughout, making this memoir a satisfying read despite the context of the story.
An honest and rewarding memoir of a couple’s compassion and love for each other.