Full Bloom: Mark T Greene
Take the simple bud of a flower like a rose and watch it as the pedals begin to flourish. Watch how it appears so fresh, beautiful and fills the air with its magnificent scent. Some people bloom or flourish at work. Some flourish or bloom as parents but what happens when something takes over your mind, body and soul and causes you to flourish or bloom in a different way? The petals on this rose would begin to wilt. The life that was once alive and filled with hopes and dreams has now fallen prey to a condition that affects how you feel or act. With a flower you might be able to replant it or water it. With a person you cannot. What happens when your mind is taken over by a mood disorder that is caused by chemical imbalances within your brain? This results in moods swings that go back and forth like a pendulum that cannot seem to find any balance or place to stop. Going from manic highs and lows this disorder has a name. As you will learn when you read this enlighten, honest and based on the author’s real life experience with Bipolar Disorder, the harsh realities of what happens when you cannot control how you act or feel and have to come face to face with yourself as you slide down a dangerous slope hoping to find your way back up. Full Bloom: Mark Greene: A must read!
The introduction sets the tone and explains what he experiences. Have you as the author begins his story “ felt your eyes moving around in their sockets, or your legs all tingly..?” Speaking with his primary doctor he gave him a multiple-choice test, which alerted him to the fact that he is depressed. So, he did what so many doctors do prescribed Prozac hoping that this would change his life. But, add liquor and the outcome just might be much more dramatic. Using this strong medication and whiskey as his medication of choice he soon learned this was the wrong road to success. Finding Sue Joseph a therapist who wanted to help him and Dr. Pile a psychiatrist that cared and was good just might help him go back up the slope but first you need to learn more.
Look in the mirror. Whose face do you see? Look again! Do you recognize the person? Bipolar as the author states in sentence on of the first chapter “replaces you with an unrecognizable twin.” Imagine not realizing who you are or being able to discern what is real and what is not! Like a flower that is now in full bloom and flourishing, bipolar does the same. Flowers are multiple colors but imagine seeing yellow, orange and other colors so vividly that you have to cover your eyes while driving because you cannot see the sun, separate what is real or not and your perception is off. Buying over 200 dollars worth of magazines and newspapers and finding himself driving to where he lived as a child remembering events in his life but what he describes next is a cross between what is real and what is not. Meeting a girl that he calls Shannon and telling about her life we wonder whether what happens to him because of her really did. Yet, the picture of this young girl with her icy stare and her cold eyes lets you know that what she did and what he experienced would set off a chain of events even more devastating. He found himself after leaving her alone in the street without his clothes and then taken in by a man who claimed he was supposed to be at a hotel on stage. Read the encounter and understand the final outcome as you wonder what really happened when he winds up beaten up and in need of medical help. In a hospital and handcuffed and becoming a ward of the Abbot police he found himself treated as a criminal. Placed in a hospital to help him he meets and describes some people that will allow readers to understand others with mental disorders and how Mark finally decide to take a different route. With the support of his wife he found his way to talk to his therapist but not venturing past the mailbox outside of his house. Like a jamboree or dances or a kaleidoscope of colors he could not separate or defuse his emotions, as he knew he was hurting himself, his family and even more abusing pills. In one simple moment in time something changes and he realizes that he needed to do something fast or become a permanent victim of this disorder. Take the journey up the slope and read what he does and how he gets his life back on pages 47-49 when his flower and his life are in Full Bloom. But, there is much more to his story as part one might seem positive now read what part 2 titled Fake It! Till You Make It!
When someone is diagnosed with bipolar disorder they experience lows called depression. But, sometimes this depression becomes so unbearable and life becomes too hard that as you will read within the remaining pages of this memoir how the author explains his solution. Wanting to take his own life seemed to be the answer as he reminds readers that he worked for an insurance firm, was going to New York and left without leaving a note or any warning to his family. Wanting to learn more I researched this disorder and learned that there are ten signs that everyone should be aware of: Great Mood, inability to complete tasks, depression, irritability, rapid speech, trouble at work, as with our author abuse of drugs and alcohol, flight of ideas, erratic behavior and sleep problems. This overview as you read more about his trip to NY you will learn that he even brought a revolver and hoped to use it on himself. Confession stemmed from different directions as you read his reasons for wanting to end his life and finding his own release. “How could I get beyond having to fate it till I make it?” Did anyone even him know the real him? Told in author’s voice anyone whose family member has been diagnosed with this disorder will learn a lot from reading this book. Liquor and Vicodin do not mix. Reminding himself of his successes and failures at work dealing with insurance sales just part of the reason for his downward spiral. Relating how he was voted Rookie of the Year in 1999 at his insurance firm and being promoted to sales manager. One statement sums it up: “What a great life it is to never ever feel secure! But, a break down was in his immediate scope or future and his trip to the hospital a startling and illuminating experience. But, first let’s learn more about his thoughts as he takes his cell phone and smashes it, finds himself wanting the attention of a young girl in a bar when you read what happens and the lesson he learns on pages 62-64. Check out the photo understand. Finding himself in the Economy Lodge he takes readers along with him on his journey to finding death but instead getting admitted to a mental hospital. People were suicidal or addicted to drugs or alcohol. Everyone there had problems but what would he do to solve his? Read what he wrote as we once again learn that he was handled roughly by the police and finding himself writing about a childhood memory that will help readers understand him even better. Listen to his voice hear his words: “I’m bored, suicidal, maybe, bipolar, they say-did I mention bored?” Read about his experience and the people that were there and the turning point when his parents come to visit. Read or just a vision as he describes a young girl sitting on a wooden chair by a window telling him about herself you wonder if meeting her will make it worse. Seems dangerous, unstable and playing a game that he could not quite grasp her meaning of. Would this be his last stay in the hospital? Will he finally realize that the world needs to know him as well as him himself? He concludes with a very important poem: Damsel in Distress: After reading the final pages of story two you decide who he is writing about and why! “ Who was this damsel in distress?” A story of fear, hope, love and the desire to decide between life and death. Bipolar disorder does have to rule your life you can get control. Find out what happens to Mark by reading this five star book. This is a valuable resource for anyone diagnosed with this disorder to understand why they need to get help and seek the out the right treatments. Like a flower that you hope will never wilt stay in Full Bloom so do we hope that the life of this amazing and talented writer and author will always blossom.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer