16 November 2014

Sharp by David Fitzpatrick

Sharp -- 4 Stars

This is the memoir of a man who fought his demons for years, half of his life really, and managed to survive it all. David Fitzpatrick is a self harmer, he started in his early twenties, he's obviously a man, and he's an anomaly. The statistics used to lean more towards women self-injuring, but that number has evened out to nearly 50-50 in recent years. In the 1990's, mental patients that injured were mostly female and patients in general were kept in hospital for many months to many years.

David tells us his life of pain and fear, surviving an abusive brother, then abusive room mates in college. He fell fast and deep into the world of self harm and stayed there for some time. With each minor triumph, I felt the need to shout out in joy for him. With each set back, I felt the pain and disappointment.

He writes in a very open way, no frills, and comments on his own faults. "I'm a dramatic person... if you haven't figured that out by now." He tells us about his therapists and the other patients, and how each one helped him in their own way.

Truly an inspiring story of strength in the face of great odds, even if he didn't feel strong at the time. I have depression and PTSD, Mr Fitzpatrick's life and success at beating his illness gives me hope in managing mine. 

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