Monday, February 2, 2009

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

"I never promised you a rose garden. I never promised you perfect justice . . . and I never promised you peace of happiness. My help is so that you can be free to fight for all of those things. The only reality I offer is challenge, and being well is being free to accept it or not at whatever level you are capable. I never promise lies, and the rose-garden world of perfection is a lie…”

After a two-week intensive Psychiatric Nursing lecture, one of the tasks assigned was to make three book reviews on novels that were about mental illnesses. The line quoted above is from Joanne Greenberg’s I Never Promised you a Rose Garden, a story of a 16 year old girl who was admitted by her parents for treatment of Schizophrenia (following the girl's suicide attempt). Greenberg paints the harrowing picture of a troubled childhood, full of traumatic experiences which led Deborah, the main character, to retreat into an imaginary universe with strange denizens. The book chronicles daily life in the “Disturbed Ward”, and follows Deborah as she slowly begins to progress in her treatment.

In the final chapter, she decides to give her life another chance- she takes and passes her equivalency exams, which means she could continue on to college. The last fragments of her imaginary world fades as she remembers one of the characters in that world was merely an image she found in Paradise Lost. Deborah commits herself fully to integrating herself into the real world and at last, leave the make-believe kingdom behind.
The book is a must-read! Though expect to feel melancholic after reading it ; )


Mugen said...

Saan siya mabibili?

Phoenix said...

@ Mugen: I believe the first printing was in the 70's... It's rare to find a copy nowadays.


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