Mark and Giulia fell for each other in their teens, married in their 20's, and didn't realize what their love would demand of them until Giulia suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break at the age of twenty-seven. Hospitalized for almost a month, she was tormented by delusions and paranoia. Upon release, she sunk into an extended suicidal depression during which Mark, struggling to support Giulia, was torn between the demands of keeping her safe and following doctor's orders, and honouring her independence and making her feel loved.
Eventually, Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. Soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had once taken for granted was upended. In My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward, Mark takes us through these harrowing years with compassion and candour, as he and Giulia renegotiate their relationship, anchored by an abiding devotion to each other and their family.
A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, My Lovely Wife is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we best care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breath-taking in its honesty, radiant with compassion, written with dazzling lyricism, this intensely personal odyssey offers much-needed insight into the caregiving side of mental illness, and affirms the power of love.
Mark Lukach is a teacher and freelance writer. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Wired, and other publications. Mark first wrote about Giulia in a New York Times "Modern Love" column and again in a piece for Pacific Standard Magazine, which was the magazine's most-read article in 2015. He has also shared their story at The Moth Main Stage, and at a TEDx conference.
My Lovely Wife: A Memoir of Madness and Hope
Author: Mark Lukach