You may know Stacy Pershall from her prior work, as she was an early internet sensation when she became one of those web cam girls who lived her daily life on-line. She has written an interesting twist on the young woman/mental illness memoir in which the author recounts her years of struggling with both bi-polar disorder and undiagnosed borderline personality disorder. At the beginning of each chapter she recounts a story of how she got one of her multiple tattoos and what it means to her. She reveals early on in her life chronicle that tattooing, getting to choose her own skin, seemed to be one of the only ways she could reclaim her sanity. If you have ever stared at a woman who is covered with body tattoos and wondered how she could do that to her body, I think this might help shed some light on that phenomenon.
Stacy Pershall recounts her young life and her growth into a mature woman amidst the backdrop of self loathing so profound that it leads her to starve herself, treat the people who love her most very cruelly and eventually try to kill herself in a very public and humiliating way. Her mental illness does finally lead her to work with psychiatrists and mental health professionals to get the drugs and behavior therapy that she most needs. She writes about the life long and on-going struggle that she enters into daily.
I found Stacy's writing very tight and original. I had sympathy for the character, and I enjoyed watching her struggle and gain footing as she escaped from her small town. I really cheered for her as she began to find her way at the end. I like Stacy and found this to be a compelling personal narrative.
There is a thesis in here about how each of her mental illnesses is treated and one of them may be wrongly categorized, and one is also difficult to diagnose in the presence of the other. The medical terminology lost me, but I have no doubt that others who find themselves dealing with these psychiatric problems will find her comparison and comments interesting.
The title drew me into the book originally. If you enjoy memoir this is a fast and worthwhile read.