Holding Hope: One Family’s Odyssey Through Lyme Disease and Psychosis, is a memoir penned by Marabai Rose. Rose’s memoir opens as she is going into respiratory failure and paralysis following a cascade of interventions that have failed to address the unknown bacterial illness ravaging her body.
The reader is invited to travel with with her on the ride through her illness, and her interactions with a dismissive healthcare system. Finally, the reader crests the wave with her as she gets a diagnosis of Lyme disease, only to be plunged downward again by the difficulties of Lyme treatment.
Rose is trying to hold onto to her family, and her identity, while living in a body that no longer functions properly.
As she and her family emerge from her experience with Lyme, and the vagaries of treatment, it becomes clear that her husband is de-stabilizing. The reader then gets to walk by Rose’s side as she lives through the heartbreak and terror of her husband’s multiple, violent, psychotic episodes, which forever change him. In finally accepting that he is lost to her, Rose begins the painstaking process of sorting through her past and rebuilding a life for herself and her children.
This book, at its heart, is about resilience. Rose, a licensed clinical social worker, is working as a therapist during her husband’s psychosis, and she shares insights from the therapy room about her client’s resilience. Insights that allow her to navigate her own world falling apart. As Rose makes sense of her experiences; the reader is invited to think about issues that challenge women faced with both physical and mental illness, such as sexism, and the dissolution of personal identity. Moreover the book spotlights the dysfunction of a healthcare system that allows so many with physical and mental health issues to be persistently ill. The memoir concludes with Rose finding a path forward, that includes new love, and hard earned wisdom.
Marabai's Story in Photos
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