Invisible Driving - a Memoir of Manic Depression

Since publishing Invisible Driving, my memoir of Manic Depression, I have been very public about my battle with the illness.  (The book, by Alistair McHarg, is available on - you can read excerpts on my site -  I've been hospitalized 3 times, once involuntarily.  All 3 times happened when I was soaring out of control on Manic "highs."  Jefferson was rather like The Four Seasons with meds, my employer picked up the healthy tab.  Bryn Mawr was not quite as plush, but nearly.  However, Norristown State, the involuntary one, was rugged.  I've also been in prison, (drug smuggling in Germany), and there is simply no comparison, a mental hospital is the saddest, most painful place on earth.  Still, there is a holy quality to these places; illusion tends to melt away, leaving only the harshest reality.  I can honestly say I found the experience transformational - however, some experiences in life, once you've had them, there's simply no need to have them again.     
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
4 Responses Jun 17, 2007

In Lowell you see the torture of genius, it is as if he is constantly living in two worlds. Amazing.

I read his Letters quite recently - highly recommended. His virtuoso pen-work made me gasp for breath.

Beautiful! I applaud you. That was so true for me. It was only in the dark night of the soul that I found my strength, my humanity, and my joy. Lowell was a wonderful poet and back when he suffered treatment was primitive, he was an alcoholic too and had a rough, rough life.

‘Hard times discover what you are.’ Robert Lowell – who incidentally suffered with manic depression most of his life.