Read Nothing Was the Same by Kay Redfield Jamison Online


From the internationally acclaimed author of An Unquiet Mind, an exquisite, haunting meditation on mortality, grief, and loss.Perhaps no one but Kay Redfield Jamison—who combines the acute perceptions of a psychologist with a writerly elegance and passion—could bring such a delicate touch to the subject of losing a spouse to cancer. In direct, straightforward, and at timesFrom the internationally acclaimed author of An Unquiet Mind, an exquisite, haunting meditation on mortality, grief, and loss.Perhaps no one but Kay Redfield Jamison—who combines the acute perceptions of a psychologist with a writerly elegance and passion—could bring such a delicate touch to the subject of losing a spouse to cancer. In direct, straightforward, and at times strikingly lyrical prose, Jamison looks back at her relationship with her husband, Richard Wyatt, a renowned scientist who battled debilitating dyslexia to become one of the foremost experts on schizophrenia. And with her characteristic honesty, candor, wit, and simplicity, she describes his death, her own long, difficult struggle with grief, and her efforts to distinguish grief from depression.But she also recalls the great joy that Richard brought her during the nearly twenty years they had together. Wryly humorous anecdotes mingle with bittersweet memories of a relationship that was passionate and loving—if troubled on occasion by her manic-depressive (bipolar) illness—as Jamison reveals the ways in which her husband encouraged her to write openly about her mental illness and, through his courage and grace taught her to live fully.A penetrating psychological study of grief viewed from deep inside the experience itself, Nothing Was the Same is also a deeply moving memoir by a superb writer....

Title : Nothing Was the Same
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307265371
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nothing Was the Same Reviews

  • Lightreads
    2018-12-12 02:08

    Jamison is on my radar as a prominent person with a disability, though she has never explicitly articulated a disabled identity. Her An Unquiet Mind is a hugely important book, politically speaking, and I salute her for outing herself as someone with severe bipolar, and effectively painting a target on her back for religious nutjobs and many of her ablest asshole colleagues in the medical profession. I mean, what the hell do I know about being targeted in wank, compared to that?This book, though . . . *shakes head*. It’s a memoir of her husband’s loss to cancer. I picked it up for blah personal reasons blah, and also because it was supposed to be about her struggle to distinguish the grief processes from the organic, chemical misfunction of her illness. As a mental health professional and a person with a mental illness, she could really get at this fascinating thing – distinguishing useful emotion from pathological, talking about the biological processes of intense emotion from the inside.Yeah no. The book is about that for roughly two pages. The rest of the time it’s an extended obituary, and not a very interesting one. By which I mean that I’m glad she wrote it, because I absolutely get how important a process that can be. I just don’t know why it needed to be published. The book is mostly about her husband, how wonderful he was, how much she loved him. And then he dies, and it sucks. You’d think, hey, grief is universal, but no. this book isn’t about grief, it’s about Jamison delivering a long eulogy to someone she loved that almost none of her readers will know. And it’s all told in this ponderous, stylized, cinematic mode, all ‘and then he dipped the ring in the North Se and put it on my finger.’ Lots of tell, everything was so romantic and intensely meaningful, you know. I’m sure these things actually happened, but the book has this roseate glow of recollection to it that precludes the more complex, the emotionally analytical, the clarity of insight I expect from Jamison.Like I said: glad she wrote it. She clearly needed to. I just don’t see what anyone else reading it will get from it.

  • Rick
    2018-12-02 04:12

    Jamison is the author of An Unquiet Mind, her superb memoir about her bipolar illness (a public secret even as she became one of the world’s leading experts on manic depression, literally co-authoring the textbook the medical profession trains on). Nothing Was the Same is the story of her husband’s, also an influential doctor and scientist, illness and death and Jamison’s experience with the overwhelming grief that comes with such a loss. It’s a profoundly personal book but also one that provides insight to grief and how it differs from depression or related illnesses. Jamison, it should be noted, is not just an excellent writer but a creative one, with a deep interest and experience in poetry, fiction, music, art, and spiritual literature—sermons, hymns, prayers. (She is also the author of Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, an excellent study of the illness’s connection to creativity.) Jamison comes to this very personal experience with a dual purpose, to honor the love she shared with her husband and to describe clearly the experience of intense grief that she endured, and brings to the task a deep reservoir of knowledge that spans the universe of how we try to understand what happens to us—science, medicine, nature, logic and reason, art, music, literature and religion. What’s amazing is how dazzlingly direct and to her points she is. It’s her story blessed with the insights that her career and her passions bring to the experience. She did not research the difference between grief and depression; she lived it, and describes the difference: “I knew depression to be unrelenting, invariable, impervious to event. I knew its pain to be undeviating. Grief was different. It hit in waves, caught me unawares. It struck when I felt most alive, when I thought I had moved beyond its hold.” Later she writes, “Time alone in grief proved restorative. Time alone in depression was dangerous.” The first sentence anyone might write, but not so simply elegant. The second is the revelatory partner of the first. Combined they are unique to Jamison and her experience and gifts. She calls on works of art and religion familiar to her or that she reached out to in her attempt to understand her feelings. Works that helped or didn’t. It is not a self-help book but a compelling, very human testimony of a critical, unavoidable experience. It deserves a place next to Donald Hall’s Life Work, another essential, yet brief, memoir of deep and insightful experience with sorrow and loss. Both books are unabashed, without being sensational or self-indulgent, willing to recount love’s presence so we can understand the impact of a lover’s sudden absence. Intimate? Yes, so a little claustrophobic, but necessarily and rewardingly so. Jamison has written a wonderful and courageous book.

  • Jim
    2018-12-02 04:57

    if you live w/or are thinking of living w/someone who has "an unquiet mind" read this book, i'm only a couple chapters in and it os amazing. this is a beautiful warning and strong affirmation for people loving the mentally ill. and it is also strong in saying that it can be safe/good for the mentally ill to love.Jamison, like william styron, is a gift, she knows how to put words where others only know, is this tough to read. it is about Jamison's husband, you know he is going to die but she writes such a beautiful picture of him and their "two-part invention" that the reader pulls for her to change the outcome. and Jamison doesn't give any hints to the what-happens-next? does she fall apart? can she live w/out him?she does make it past his death and learns (and shares) a great deal about sanity and suffering. my fear in reading this was that she would decide she was wrong, she shouldn't have risked her mind on this relationship. i needed, for my hope, that she would make it through. thankfully, she does. this book is a boquet(sp) of hope to the mentally ill and those who love them.there are also a couple pages that i hope a children's book editor will read about her basset hound Bubbles. Jamison writes a wonderful dog story and should be writing children's books.

  • David
    2018-12-01 06:18

    I feel terrible saying I didn't like the book much. It's a sad story of her husband's (a very well known schizophrenia researcher) death from cancer and her experience of bereavement, and I have a lot of respect for the author, whose research on bipolar disorder and advocacy for patients suffering from it (of whom she is one, as described in one of her earlier books) have made tremendous contributions.If I could pinpoint the two features I think contributed to my blah reaction to it, though, they would be:(a) the core points (I really loved him a lot; he was a great guy; cancer sucks) are important but straightforward and not unique, so holding the reader's attention requires more showing than telling. There were a couple of highlights in this regard (e.g., anecdote about planning the funeral with husband), but far too many incidents were recounted approximately as "so then we went out to dinner at pricey restaurant ZZ and had a delightful conversation with XX about YY" (oh, what was your take on it? what did XX say? what did you eat? Or if recounting it is too boring, just leave the whole thing out).(b) maybe just jealousy on my part, but it felt like a litany of "we knew the best people, had the best parties, had the right issue positions, went to the best places......". If you're a Washington Post reader, I'd say it was like the medicine/health/science equivalent of the politics/culture columns contributed by Sally Quinn about her life with Ben Bradlee.To be fair, she's just telling her own story and does not pretend that just any cancer patient could hit upon the strategy of having a close friend/Nobel Prize winner/high-muckety-much-at-NIH pull strings to get him/her into the latest trials or seen by the leading experts and so on, nor that a common end-of-life ritual would be raising morale by attending one of the several tribute dinners put together by your colleagues from around the world.

  • Charlene
    2018-12-09 03:54

    I've long been fascinated by the personal/interior lives of scientists, and this book gives us a glance at two very prominent psychiatrists: Kay Jamison and her husband, Richard Wyatt. I was familiar with Kay's story before picking this book up but I have not read An Unquiet Mind. Maybe I was also attracted to this book because it was compared with Joan Didion's A Year of Magical Thinking, which I think is one of the great books of the last decade.This isn't as good but well worth reading. Author is a beautiful writer and a thoughtful person. It is an honest, open look at their relationship, I think, and her reaction to grief but I did feel that there must be a lot of the husband's story missing, from the days before he met Kay (his children, etc.)but certainly understandable why the story is centered on the couple.I've jotted down quotes from this book and noticed other reviewers mentioned doing the same thing. I appreciated how she notices nature & quotes poetry for comfort in times of sorrow and pleasure in times of joy.I was also intrigued by Jamison and her husband's relationship with church. She says her husband believes in Science, not God, yet he loves Christmas carols, attends church at least occasionally, and plans a traditional funeral service.This was a short book and I read it quickly -- may go back and look at it again after I read An Unquiet Mind.

  • Lauren
    2018-12-08 06:09

    The benchmark for books on grieving is set with The Year of Magical Thinking and while Nothing Was the Same can't match Didion, it is on its own a terrific book. I don't know that I could relate to the intensity of her marriage the way I could to Didion; however, parsing through the distinctions between depression and grief. To me, that was the most valuable aspect of this book. The recognition that grief does lift and that it serves a purpose. It also is not something we should necessary wish away. It is a process of accepting the loss of those we love while struggling to live without them.

  • Shaun
    2018-12-14 01:09

    I started off listening to the audiobook of this with my girlfriend. We had listened to An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness together and learned a lot from it. We had hoped this book might offer more insight in to life with bipolar... but that's not what this book about. And we can't hold that against the author, of course. We just didn't read the description before buying it. This book is a loving and tearful memoir written about the author's relationship with, and grief subsequent to the death of, her husband: a rather remarkable scientist named Richard Wyatt.This is not a happy book. The author still loved her deceased husband dearly at the time she wrote this book. My girlfriend gave up on listening to it about 2/3 of the way through. She told me to let her know if it got happier. But it never did. That's ok. Books can be sad.I would gladly read more by this author about mental illness but I don't think I'm interested in reading any more personal memoirs about her. Honestly, it dragged a bit at times (although it was usually interesting). And, somehow, I feel that I never fully connected emotionally with the author in the way that I would need to in order to enjoy a sad personal narrative like this. The author should feel like a close friend now that she's shared something so personal with me... but she doesn't. I'm very sorry for her grief and for her loss, but in a detached and impersonal way like I might feel if I heard about a death on the news; I don't feel emotionally invested in her or in her life story.

  • Jane
    2018-11-17 02:17

    4.5 stars. Kay Redfield Jamison is one of my heroes because of her clinical work on Bipolar Disorder and on suicide, as well as her courageous openness and writing as a person who herself has Bipolar Disorder. I always talk about her with my advanced students and hold her up as an example of someone who dares to try to smash the stigma of mental illness, and someone who was drawn to clinical work by her own life experiences (many of my students think that they could never become therapists if they have their own mental health issues, and they find this quite heartening). This very well-written book is a wise, lyrical meditation on marriage and partnership, the healing power of love, and the deep and layered journey through grief after the death of a beloved. Jamison's husband was a gifted scientist in the field of Schizophrenia research, and this tribute really captures much of what made him a special guy professionally and personally. It is an intimate visit with her, and by extension, with him. I found the chapter differentiating depression from grief, "Mourning and Melancholia," to be particularly clear and lovely. By the end of the book I was left with gentle sadness, but also a sense of the strength of healing and hope. [I must note that some reviewers have rejected or sharply criticized the book because of Jamison's privilege(s) and renown. I believe she is sharing universal human experiences and emotions that transcend superficial particulars. Regardless of who they seem to be, all humans have a right to be fully human, and express that as best they can, beyond any limiting labels or categories placed on them by others. We all suffer.]

  • Mandi 📚 McRae
    2018-11-19 04:54


  • Callie
    2018-12-03 03:54

    Kay Redfield James writes very elegantly and formally. Her level of writing is far above what I've been reading lately. When I get the book in front of me, I am going to put some quotes from it in here. This is a remembrance of her husband and their marriage, before he died of cancer several years ago. I found it remarkable because I don't often read of people like this, much less know anyone like this. Completely committed to the life of the mind, devoted to science and their work as doctors, they are truly passionate people. They believe as purely in science and work as most people I know believe in God. I loved how much poetry she put in the book and her sentences are the kind you want to read aloud, they are so beautiful. If I were ever to write a memoir this is the kind I would want to write--one that leaves you feeling uplifted, inspired, warmed, enriched, but not because of easy answers. Because of her husband's illness and her own struggle with mental illness, they have seen their share of darkness. This memoir is not self-pitying, nor complaining. Neither is it inordinately confessional. It feels restrained and thoughtful, an act of love. Just read it, already.Some quotes:It was early June 2002. The foxglove was high in our front garden and the honeysuckle was climbing every which way over the stone walls. I picked armfuls of pink and white peonies and put them in the bedroom. Never, in seventeen summers with Richard, had I seen so many butterflies as there were now, in this early June. I tried to catch a small white one to keep Richard company, but I couldn't keep up with it. An, as Richard said, I shouldn't have tried. The butterfly ought to be free to fly in the garden. He said this without envy or regret.This is something she quoted from Robert Louis Stevenson:"We may compare the headlong course of our years to a swift torrent in which a man is carried away. We have no more than glimpses and touches; we are torn away from our theories; we are spun round and round and shown this or the other view of life, until only fools or knaves can hold to their opinions. We take a sight at a condition in life, and say we have studied it; our most elaborate view is no more than an impression."One morning--during the early weeks, when I still spoke aloud to him--I said , "I missed you, sweetheart, when it rained so hard last night. I missed you this morning, when it was no longer raining. I missed you, wondering if the rain would begin again."

  • Abbe
    2018-11-25 00:51

    EDITORIAL REVIEW: From the internationally acclaimed author of *An Unquiet Mind,* an exquisite, haunting meditation on mortality, grief, and loss.Perhaps no one but Kay Redfield Jamison—who combines the acute perceptions of a psychologist with a writerly elegance and passion—could bring such a delicate touch to the subject of losing a spouse to cancer. In direct, straightforward, and at times strikingly lyrical prose, Jamison looks back at her relationship with her husband, Richard Wyatt, a renowned scientist who battled debilitating dyslexia to become one of the foremost experts on schizophrenia. And with her characteristic honesty, candor, wit, and simplicity, she describes his death, her own long, difficult struggle with grief, and her efforts to distinguish grief from depression.But she also recalls the great joy that Richard brought her during the nearly twenty years they had together. Wryly humorous anecdotes mingle with bittersweet memories of a relationship that was passionate and loving—if troubled on occasion by her manic-depressive (bipolar) illness—as Jamison reveals the ways in which her husband encouraged her to write openly about her mental illness and, through his courage and grace taught her to live fully.A penetrating psychological study of grief viewed from deep inside the experience itself, *Nothing Was the Same* is also a deeply moving memoir by a superb writer.

  • Ed Smiley
    2018-11-25 03:54

    I picked this up at the library, thinking that this was her earlier work on the experiences of an intelligent insightful person learning to deal with severe bipolar disorder, and actually finding a fulfilling life of considerable accomplishment. I had skimmed parts of that book at a bookstore, and had gotten interested in her life.This turned out to be a memoir of her life with her husband who fought, and lost, to fatal illness. He always helped her monitor her moods and keep to her program of maintaining stability. Such a work is of course always under the threat of becoming over sentimental. I found it touching.I try to avoid spoilers, so I will avoid details about their life together. However, having a bipolar disorder and facing such loss, added additional poignancy to the situation. He reminded her to take care of herself after he was gone.One of the urgent questions she had, and which keeps the reader reading, was how she could keep going after he was gone? This was no idle question, asked by a person with normal brain chemistry, who, however deep the pain, would indeed surely survive. What if she became depressed? Her depressions had been not just suicidal, but life sucking black holes. What if she was unable to sleep? Disrupted sleep could cause her illness to spiral out of control.

  • Jessica Griffin
    2018-12-01 06:55

    Unfortunately, it took me 3 years to finish this book. I purchased it shortly after the death of my significant other, a death connected to mental illness. At that time I was searching for help in understanding my own grief or depression and also his mania and depression. Instead, page after page I read about their love and commitment to each other in life and the beauty in finding your complement. I put the book down. I picked it back up almost three years after it's original purchase (receipt was used as a bookmark) and found that I understood why it was written and why she needed to tell the story. I do wish that more of this story dealt with her grieving process, her healing process, and her learning how to continue their love after his death, how she kept him with her; that portion of the book is in the last dozen or so pages and it is beautiful and reassuring. "It is in our nature to want to hold on to love; it is grief's blessing that we come to know that there are limits to our ability to do. To hold on to love, I had to find a way to capture and transform it. The only way I knew to do this was write a book, this book, about Richard." This book was part of her healing process and I applaud her writing something that must have been horribly painful to write at times.

  • Sheila
    2018-11-22 01:12

    Not sure what I expected but the author has executed a self therapy that probably was helpful in dealing with her own loss, but did not add much to this reader's insight. THe part that I liked was her distinction between depression and grieving. Her story is hers and it is wonderful, but for those of us in less perfect marraiges, it felt like a memorial to a god. And the lack of advance planning for a physician was mind boggling....he is on a vent in the ICU with terminal cancer and the MD asks if the wife knows his wishes....he was very clear that he did not want all of the what was anyone thinking?

  • Tori
    2018-12-06 07:18

    I enjoy reading Kay Redfield Jamison's books. More than a book about her husband dying of cancer I felt like this one was a book about a great, true love. I think doctors are too eager to prescribe medicine for grief, and I really appreciated Kay's description of the differences between grief and depression. I felt this information meant even more coming from a psychiatrist who had felt deep dark depressions herself. The subject sounds like a downer, but I felt like this was a book about hope and the power of love. It was also nice to see a scientist speak about the comforts her religion brings her.

  • Daryl Thompson
    2018-11-25 05:56

    I was heading out of town for travel and wanted to download something to read. I was in a hurry and download the first book to come up. This book by Kay Redfield Jamison was something I would not in my normal history reading. Glad I did this; was enjoyable reading and Kay did a good job getting me involved in what her and her husband were up against.

  • Melissa
    2018-12-16 04:19

    A beautiful memoir of a marriage, but Jamison only partly delivers on her promise to compare grief (after her husband dies) with depression (which she did not suffer, after a lifetime battling bipolar disorder).

  • Samar Barakat
    2018-11-25 04:00

    Very sad till now. How much pain can people really endure?

  • Amanda
    2018-12-13 06:59

    Excellent memoir on grief...

  • Terri Durling
    2018-12-02 07:06

    Although this book revolves around two subjects that are quite somber in nature, death and mental illness, which in itself make it a difficult read, I was captivated by the author's beautiful, honest and poetic writing style. She is an expert in the field of mental illness, having been diagnosed as bi-polar in her early 20s (then called manic-depressive); as well as being Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins University School of Medicine and codirector of the John Hopkins Mood Disorder Centre. Without being too technical, she tells her audience how it feels to suffer from this disease beautifully. Her relationship with husband of some 20 odd years, himself a doctor who specialized in schizophrenia, is a love story that is truly enviable. His support of her is amazing as living with someone with mental health issues is no easy task. He's a hopeless romantic with a funny side and they are well matched in every way. My heart broke as she struggled to deal with losing him to cancer after a valiant attempt to beat it. Her descriptions of grief and depression are brilliant. It is a book I would refer to again and I would also recommend to anyone wanting to know more about these two difficult subjects.

  • Karen
    2018-12-06 06:50

    I enjoyed this book, but it is a completely different style than any of her other books. It was engaging for me, especially because of her detailed focus and description of her late husband Richard. This in many respects was a book more about him and the love he had for Dr. Jamison, and I found him to be a fascinating and inspiring academic who learned how to love Kay through her bouts of severe mania and depression. I actually think my favorite chapter, though, was at the very end of the book in which she beautifully contrasts the symptoms of profound grief with that of clinical depression. This is totally consistent with my own personal experiences and I think she so poignantly expresses how a symptom in grief and clinical depression can outwardly appear nearly identical and yet the inward experience of that symptom is completely opposite, depending on the source. In any case, this is a good book about an amazing person that entered Jamison's life for a season, followed by a very personal portrayal of how she experienced grief in the initial time period following his death.

  • Ana Maria
    2018-12-06 02:52

    After so long and lots of trying, I had to accept the DNF and move on.Unquiet Mind was very significant for me and I'm not hugely a fan of her "can I guess if X would've been diagnosed bipolar" work but I picked this up because of her name. This, like others have said, is an overwrought eulogy. Grief is complicated and individual, which I can respect, but I felt like I was reading a diary. Not an insightful diary, an intrusive one. Not worth it. I was expecting something deeper, like The Year of Magical Thinking, but this was not that. If this has helped people, I am glad, but I don't think as a book it was worth publishing.

  • Andrew Shaffer
    2018-11-27 22:58

    Beautiful spiritual follow-up to AN UNQUIET MIND.

  • Leslie
    2018-12-06 23:55

    To start, I wasn't impressed by the title. However, I've been extremely wowed by the author when reading An Unquiet Mind. I was eager to see how she managed the death of her husband. The first half of the book disappointed me greatly. As a student of writing, I've been taught how important it is to make things new again -- from describing a character in a new, fresh way to one's own unique approach to life experiences such as grief. For me, I didn't think the author delved deep enough. I wanted more dialogue between the characters to illustrate the love between them. I was constantly reminded of the tight bond between Kay and Richard, but not SHOWN it enough. The author often repeats sentiments/thoughts and ideas throughout the book. I was discouraged by that throughout the length of the memoir. I liked how she brought in quotes from poets and others, but toward the end I feel she relies on the thoughts and expressions of others too much. During the first half of the book, we learn how Richard encouraged her to write An Unquiet Mind, which chronicles Kay's battle with mania and depression. She goes on AT LENGTH about readers' response to this book. It was a great book, but I did not feel that was appropriate as part of this book. Then, when her husband is struggling with disease, we -- as readers -- are not aware of the author's reactions and moods. From the get-go, I was curious how someone with her medical history could deal with the death of a loved one. We get little of the author's emotional barometer during the time her husband is sick. She does mention her moods are under control, but I can't help but think the experience took its toll on her. Later on, we get a more detailed look at how grief and depression differ and converge. I wanted some of what she expresses there to be stated earlier in the book. I felt she wasn't telling readers the whole story (during the first half of the book) and witholding her feelings somewhat concentrating more in Richard instead of focusing more on the bond between the two of them through dialogue and scenes. We never know how they met and how their bond/relationship is different/set apart from others. Jewelry given to Kay is almost trite. A nice, generous gesture, but one she spends way too much time on! I want to know the real Richard and Kay -- see them interact through dialogue during a visit to see the oncologist. How do they support one another in that situation? I wanted more showing and less telling from the author. The insight Kay details toward the end of the book is quite fascinating given her own experiences and scientific background. I wanted more of this -- the revelations re: grief and how it differs from depression and mania and how, ultimately, she got through the experience of losing her husband.

  • Trevor
    2018-12-01 01:11

    A little maudlin and melancholy, but considering it is a reflection on the love of her life this is entirely understandable. Once again, exquisitely written.

  • Patrick Ross
    2018-12-10 04:15

    Perhaps my problem in reading this book was that my expectations were set so high by Jamison's masterful An Unquiet Mind. In that powerful memoir, Jamison reveals publicly her struggle with bipolar disorder, a brave move considering she was an acclaimed scientific researcher of the condition. This book is a memoir chronicling the death of her husband Richard, a man with whom she spent twenty magical years, and who encouraged her to write An Unquiet Mind.Perhaps my other problem was having read The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. It's hard to read a grief memoir after that masterstroke. Taking this all into account, this was a powerful and rewarding read. I found fascinating a short section in which Jamison chronicles the reaction to the publication of An Unquiet Mind; she clearly focused more on the negative feedback (don't we all?), particularly some who wrote her that because she hadn't fully accepted Jesus Christ into her heart, her bipolar disorder was actually Satan. Quite moving was her description of her husband--although no warts are shown here, he is presented as the uber-husband--and the year-and-a-half or so that he struggled with cancer before finally succumbing.The book loses steam after Richard's passing. We see the steps Jamison is forced to take in wrapping up a loved one's affairs, but the emotional energy is lost.There is a very interesting chapter near the end, however. Jamison reveals that, contrary to her fears and that of Richard, she did not spiral into a manic or depressive period after her husband's death. While the chapter reads a bit clinical, Jamison breaks down in a compelling way how her grief was in fact different from clinical depression. One point she makes is that others are more likely to distance themselves from a depressed individual than a grieving one.This book is a quick read, and sparkles at times with prose evocative of a writer who loves poetry. It just falls short of her previous memoir, and another one on grief.

  • Michelle
    2018-12-09 02:11

    Years ago I readAn Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison's memoir of her battle with bipolar disorder, for a Freshman Seminar called "Mental Illness and Society", so I was pleased to find a copy of her Nothing Was the Same.Nothing Was the Same is a much more sedate, sad memoir, as it should be. Jamison spends roughly half of the book explaining why her late husband, Dr. Richard Wyatt, why so perfect for her, how he helped her cope with bipolar disorder, and how his love was so unexpected and renewing. Jamison quotes frequently from Tennyson's "In Memoriam", and it is suitable, because in many ways this book is an extended novel punctuated with the phrase "I want my husband back," and the realization that that is impossible.While the thread of bipolar runs through this memoir (she worries that she will "become mad" after losing her husband), it is not the focus. Jamison faces the inevitable death of her husband with the strength she has gained from surviving bipolar disorder. And even as she has lost her husband, she finds the strength to carry on, continuing her practice, and her writing, and her life. I found this book to be beautifully and thoughtfully written. Is it self-indulgent? I think all memoirs are, but this is more a tribute to Richard Wyatt, and a thank you to the colleagues, friends, and family that helped prolong his life and anchor Jamison after his death.

  • Jennifer Campaniolo
    2018-12-01 05:18

    I thought Kay Redfield Jamison was very brave to write so openly and eloquently about being a doctor of manic depressives who was herself suffering from the disease in her book An Unquiet Mind. I was curious about how she was doing and though the subject of her latest book, Nothing Was the Same, sounded depressing--it's about her husband's cancer diagnosis and death--I still wanted to read it. And it was sad (and not the ideal reading choice for Memorial Day Weekend!) But it was also a beautiful tribute to their life together and her ultimate acceptance of her life after he was gone. I cried several times, particularly when she talked about the small, kind things he did for her throughout their marriage. There are many quotable lines but here's one that stood out for me: I found my way back into life through my writing, as Richard told me I would, and in the end I found it easier than I thought it would be. I was writing for Richard and about hi; I was writing about his enthusiasm for discovery, and the pleasure his mind took in new ideas and new places. I was writing about the life he had given back to me in the wake of my manias and depressions, about love and how it returns in its own way, in its own time. I was writing about the mystery of joy and the joy of love. Richard was dead, but love and ideas were not.

  • Christin
    2018-11-24 02:18

    I am a major devotee of Jamison's. Her personal writing is vibrant and dynamic. This story about the death her much-beloved, equally-brilliant husband was a beautiful tribute, but I think much of the narrative tilted toward a paean, as opposed to a rich account of their relationship, worts and all. Both of them retained a glorious patina of equanimity—even perhaps in his case, a halo. I'm not implying that her emotional recollections are inaccurate or misleading, more that they read like a highlight reel, albeit a lovely one that I mostly enjoyed and that reminded me to appreciate those I love, which is surely the point. But another minor quibble stands, Jamison's great gift throughout her other work is being tremendously erudite and selecting wonderfully apropos quotations from the many other stellar authors whom she's read. In this instance, these quotations served as a crutch-like shorthand in places that would've been better filled by her own thoughts and reflections on love and grief, rather than her propensity to supply however pithy a substitute. (I suppose this is more of a stylistic quirk gone to seed and should be taken up with editor.) All that said, her elegy for Richard is worth your time if you are a fan of her work or if you are looking for a reflection to help you in working through and assessing your own loss.

  • Karen
    2018-12-16 23:49

    I most valued Jamison's description of grief as distinct from depression -- and as a person with manic-depressive illness, a recent widow, and a clinical psychologist specializing in mood disorders, she is well equipped to make the distinction.However, the book is much more. It's also a tender love letter to her husband, a description of a couple working together to address her manic-depressive illness, a description of a couple fighting his cancer together, and a story of surviving the devastating grief of losing a soul mate. While the overall approach is personal, Jamison's scientific training does inform the way she approaches her illness, her husband's illness and her grief. She doesn't use jargon, but she observes closely in the manner of a scientist. I have to admit that at times I was annoyed with the life of privilege described in the book. Not all women can explore their relationships and respond to their grief through fine dining, travel, expensive jewelry and socializing with other monied and well-educated people. But that is the life she lives, and she can hardly avoid talking about the specifics of her life. I do applaud her for sharing her love, her struggles and her grief. Many will be strengthened by seeing how Jamison meets her life challenges.