Jessie's emerging mental illness led her into a life of addictions, five failed marriages, and to the brink of suicide. She fought to raise her children despite her ever worsening mental conditions and under the strain of damaged romantic relationships. Her sister Glenn and certain members of their family tried to be supportive throughout the ups and downs, and Glenn's vignettes in RESILIENCE provide an alternate perspective on Jessie's life as it began to spiral out of control. Jessie was devastated to discover that mental illness was passed on to her son Calen, but getting him help at long last helped Jessie to heal as well. Eleven years later, Jessie is a productive member of society and a supportive daughter, mother, sister, and grandmother.
In RESILIENCE, Jessie dives into the dark and dangerous shadows of mental illness without shying away from its horror and turmoil. With "New York Times" bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Pete Earley, she tells of finally discovering the treatment she needs and, with the encouragement of her sister and others, the emotional fortitude to bring herself back from the edge.
This item is Non-Returnable.
- ISBN-13: 9781455548828
- ISBN-10: 1455548820
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
- Publish Date: January 2015
- Page Count: 320
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
A sister's silent struggle
Even before reading the first words of Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, it’s obvious that this is no ordinary memoir. First there’s the cover, with author Jessie Close in the embrace of her sister, actress Glenn Close. Then there are the photos inside, with captions like, “My dad on the porch of our house in the paracommando camp in Zaire.”
It’s been a harrowing ride for Jessie Close, and not just because of her famous sister, or a father who served as personal physician to an African leader, or a family that was swallowed up by a movement known as Moral Rearmament (MRA), whose “Up with People” image hid a darker side that estranged her from her parents. Now 61, she has battled severe bipolar disorder, exacerbated by alcoholism, since her teens.
Resilience is her story, with occasional vignettes from Glenn. It’s quite a journey, with detours to Zaire, Switzerland and India before Close finally settles in Montana. As husbands, houses and bad decisions pile up, it’s painful to read but hard to put down—especially when it becomes clear to Close that her older son, Calen, has inherited the mental illness that runs in the family.
With wealthy ancestors and a trust fund to lean on, Close can afford top-quality mental health care for both herself and her son, although she inexplicably doesn’t receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder until she is almost 50. Even then, she struggles with suicidal thoughts and only gets her illnesses under control with medicine, sobriety and a revamped lifestyle.
With a title like Resilience, it’s a foregone conclusion that the book will end on a hopeful note—in Close’s words, “a new chapter in my life, one of sobriety, hope and purpose.” With her sister’s encouragement, Close is telling her story to the world in hopes of removing the stigma from mental illness. It’s a story well worth reading.