Rat Girl: A Memoir by Kristin Hersh

() Kristin Hersh’s teenage dream was to live in a van, on tour with her band. She hears music in her head, and her song writing develops off of capturing the sounds she hears.

The memoir captures about one year of Hersh’s life. It focuses on her first hospitalization and diagnosis for Bipolar disorder. Also, her pregnancy at age 19. Hersh doesn’t focus on the details that most authors focus on – instead she emphasizes how the experiences felt, as opposed to the facts surrounding them.

The descriptions of her pregnancy, and how she didn’t give up her music aspirations during it, was motivational. It made me re-think some of my opinions about motherhood.

“I thought manic depression was a mood disorder – people who got real happy and real sad. Turns out you get real fast and real slow, and how that manifests is determined by your state of mind. A fast brain fills in blanks in your visual field, makes stuff up at you. A slow one can’t even cope with what’s already here.” (pg. 148)

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