Full Bloom: I live in that awkward stage between Birth and Death
Full Bloom: I live in that awkward stage between Birth and Death by Mark T. Greene is a short, poignant story about the author’s worst struggles with bipolar disorder and his bigger struggle toward management of the disorder. At its height, the mania makes you feel tingly, invincible, ripe for women and drugs. But at its worst, armed with pills, booze, and a revolver, the disorder can take you low as you’ve ever been. From women and alcohol, stupid risks and delusions of grandeur, to Long Island Economy Lodge where it all almost ended, Greene describes these highs and lows that he experienced on the long road through bipolar disorder.
For all that the book is brief, it is keen-edged, with an amazingly descriptive depiction of people. Not just a description of what they look like, but what they are like, their motivations and little quirks. (I will never get the sound of Shannon’s mom’s thighs rubbing together out of my head). Greene’s voice is fast-paced, precisely descriptive, and cuts to the quick of things. Full Bloom has a tone that makes reading it feel like sitting at the bar with the author and getting a soliloquy of his life story. It’s an alluring mixture of sentimentalism and hard-drinking, hard-living realism.
Full Bloom is powerful reading, though quick. Readers will appreciate the honesty and forthrightness of the narrative as well as the pace, the precision of the language, and the descriptions of the characters. Those who have struggled with bipolar will likely find a story that offers them hope. Another aspect to appreciate is the loveliness of the cover, though the manuscript formatting is a little off-putting. But overall Green’s heart-felt book is encouragement to anyone struggling with this disorder and eager to see the other side of it.
Mark T Greene