A man examines his own atypical mind in this debut memoir.
Gibson became ill one day at his contracting job, which led him to days of introspection, culminating in several revelations about his toward the people in his life. In this book, he relates his autobiography, interspersed with scenes from the process that led to the work’s creation. He recounts a difficult childhood, an unruly adolescence and a turbulent marriage. There are indications of something unusual about the way he experiences and interacts with the world. For example, he became so frustrated with school that he chose to leave shortly before his 16th birthday; later, as an adult, he wrecked several company-provided cars due to his dangerous behavior on the road. Interpersonal difficulties also plagued him; for example, he writes of his first wife’s miscarriage: “I really couldn’t fathom what the big deal was and assured Julie that she was bound to get pregnant again, so what did it matter?” His wife later bore him a daughter, but by the time Gibson began to reassess his life, he was divorced and his daughter was a teenager. His live-in partner, an understanding woman, eventually persuaded him to read online articles about bipolar disorder and associated illnesses; after initially resisting the idea, Gibson found himself fascinated. He finally concluded that he had to work to make his brain function more efficiently without mental health treatment—a decision that led him to write this memoir. He spends the remainder of the book detailing his theories and discussing how they helped him change his life. Much of his supporting data, however, is scattershot, based largely on his own personal experience and popular science. Readers may wish to treat his prescriptions cautiously—as a case study of what one man found helpful, rather than actionable advice for anyone living with mental illness. That said, this book may attract readers interested in works about psychology.
A unique account of a man who aimed to change his life by understanding and altering his own behavior.