WEST HOLLYWOOD—Author Keith Adams’s “Broken Whole” is almost impossible to grasp when you pick it up and start reading it. However, it pulls you into his life of manic behavior and eventually he takes you down the path to hell, only to return you back safely to your home. The mind-bender, which is known as his own memoir, takes the reader to new heights of hysteria and just before you lose control, there is redemption in this tome that makes you believe in sanity again.
A strikingly tall, good-looking, highly intelligent, gay Brit, raised in a working class town in northern England, Keith Adams writes sophisticated computer code for a living. On a sunny California morning in 2006, Adams leaves the Hollywood home he shares with his life partner, a renowned scientist, and embarks on what he feels is a godlike mission to create a revolutionary new online business that could transform the economy.
Miraculously freed from extended depression, he feels he can now do anything. He doesn’t know that his recovery has burned past normality into high mania, and that he’s heading for a life-threatening brush with insanity. Within days, he will find himself strapped to a gurney, after a tortured night in the Los Angeles Police Department lockup. Then he is hospitalized for mandatory psychiatric observation.
The problem? Bipolar disorder I, which is the most virulent kind. What are the effects on himself and his life partner, Ben? Devastating with uncertainty ahead for months and years to come. What occurrs during the aftermath is a long journey to recovery — mental, emotional, social and financial. The final unexpected discovery is that he emerges a more complete person.
I once had a friend whom this happened to. He has not returned to true sanity; years later he is still in and out of one career to the next, with family enabling his state of manic and confused behavior. For Keith Adams, luckily he has a great support system and he fights to be the person he is today. Thanks to his blog, which he uses to express himself during his recovery, Adams is a clear-speaking man, who sat down recently with Canyon News to discuss his journey back to sanity.
When asked why he wrote the book, Adams said, “The book made its own decision that it needed to get written! It wasn’t originally so much a conscious decision as a volition. In fact, the origins of the book are described in the book itself. I wasn’t aware of this at the time, but I was just about reaching the boiling point of what would be a huge manic episode.”
“I believe the book has several themes, but the most vivid one is about your ”˜destiny,’ if you like; finding out your true purpose and dealing with what life dealt you. I was considered a gifted child, with great parents, and had a natural self-confidence. I expected great things of myself. But some fairly trivial events at the age of 7 knocked me off course, and my personality changed completely. I became a lonely, reclusive, frightened and self-conscious kid, and that pattern stayed with me even through my 20s, until I had my first depression. Yet I always had it in the back of my head that I was meant to do something special and meaningful in my life,” said the author.
Keith Adams didn’t just have one breakdown and then was all better. The author describes almost an out of body experience a little later on. “After the worst of my manic crisis. I still retained some of my plans, but then I crashed back into a horrible depression, and I panicked, realizing that everything was going to fall apart, since all of my ideas depended on the strength of my personality, which had now flown into the shadows with the return of depression. To have been given the chance to achieve your dreams only to have it cruelly robbed from you in a moment, was probably the most soul-destroying moment of my life,” Keith said.
Some time later, the writer has found himself again. Regained his footing and even received the acclaim and respect from his peers that he has worked for. However, respect from his family is also at the forefront of his mind. “My family and friends have always been incredibly supportive, even during the middle of the manic episode. My partner, Ben, strongly encouraged to me to finish the book, and try to have it published. Nobody important in my life has really distanced themselves from me because of what I put some of them through (although I’ve scared away a few acquaintances for good). None of this means, though, that they’re going to read the book: so far Ben’s the only person in my close family who’s had the nerve to read it. It’s not for the faint of heart, and that goes doubly so if you know the protagonist very well.”
Not for the faint at heart indeed. However, well worth the time to read and very enlightening. Keith Adams will be at the West Hollywood Book Fair, Sunday, September 26.ã€€
Photograph Courtesy of Keith Adams