In Love with Daylight: A Memoir of Recovery

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Simon & Schuster, 1995 - Authors, English - 252 pages
During a childhood bout of polio, Sheed learned to his relief that few diseases are as bad as they look from the outside and, to his amazement, that he was actually happier fighting polio than he had ever been before. Later, as a successful, high-living author, he fell prey to what is loosely called depression, an emotional hell ride brought on by booze and sleeping pills, which sent him on a frantic round of psychiatric sessions, AA meetings, and not least a sanitarium, where it was suggested that he'd contracted yet another incurable disease called "addictive personality". And there, while still strung out on chemicals, Sheed the critic began to question the reigning dogmas of therapy and to rediscover his own resources for dealing with sickness. With humor and sensitivity, Sheed relives the stages of his self-motivated recovery, sharing each sensation on the road back to daylight and giving hope to the depressed or addicted that the same natural forces that automatically come to one's aid in physical crises ("Have you ever heard of a crippled athlete who did not have a great heart?") stand by to serve you now, and that a "high" which can last a lifetime awaits one on the far side of depression. When this ordeal was over, Sheed was diagnosed with cancer, but drawing on all the lessons he'd learned from his other illnesses, he found a tranquillity in the eye of the storm that "healthy people will never know" as the cancer seemed to abate.

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IN LOVE WITH DAYLIGHT: A Memoir of Recovery

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Prolific novelist and critic Sheed recounts his winning battles with polio, cancer, and what he calls ``addiction- depression'' in this lucid, gently humorous memoir. Like William Styron, Sheed (My ... Read full review

In love with daylight: a memoir of recovery

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Novelist Reynolds Price (A Whole New Life, LJ 3/1/94) battled spinal cancer; essayist Lucy Grealy (Autobiography of a Face, LJ 7/94) struggled to restore her disfigured face; writer Gretel Ehrlich (A ... Read full review


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About the author (1995)

Wilfred Sheed is the author of six novels, two of which, "Office Politics "and "People Will Always Be Kind," were nominated for National Book Awards. He has written three collections of criticism, one of which was nominated by the National Book Critics Circle. Among his other books is a notable memoir of Clare Boothe Luce, who told him that Irving Berlin was the vainest man she ever met and George Gershwin one of the most basically modest. He lives with his wife, Miriam Ungerer, in North Haven, New York

"From the Hardcover edition.

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