John Lee Martin was born into a family in which his parents hated each other. This should have provided ample reason to fail but he was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a severe mental illness. This book is about John's journey from a seriously messed up family to a way of life that everyone should enjoy.
He begins his story by describing an incident that occurred at his wife's 50th class reunion, at which John gets to know a couple that came to New Bern, North Carolina from San Diego, California. Things went well until this man discovered John was born in Bakersfield to parents that migrated from Oklahoma to find work. That's pretty much all this man knew about John but he turned away because he would have no contact with an "okie".
This brought about a fitting start of a true story about a life that dealt with a hopelessly toxic family, periods of insanity, suicide attempts, electroshock treatments, numerous in-patient visits to seven different psychiatric hospitals, prison, divorce, job losses, and other more subtle discomforts.
This book isn't about those situations in which a bipolar patient finds himself. It's about recovery. It is the story of how John came through all of it. It's the story of a man who came from a hot, dry, dusty cotton farm in Arvin, California to a sweet little town on the opposite side of the continent, and it is in this little town that John has built a life full of joy and peace. And it only took sixty years!
About the Author
John was born in the Kern County Hospital in Bakersfield, California to parents who had migrated from Oklahoma to find work. He lived on a cotton farm in Arvin, a hot, dusty, and dry environment just outside Bakersfield. The family returned to Oklahoma where he went through the 12 grades at Jenks Public Schools in Jenks, a small football town on the banks of the Arkansas River, just below Tulsa.
After graduating high school he joined the navy and did his sea duty on a WWII era diesel/electric submarine. While stationed in New London, Connecticut John met a family that changed his life. He was influenced to begin a long pull that led him from that dusty cotton field to a much happier environment.
His path led him to New Bern, North Carolina, a little town on the coast, where two beautiful rivers meet. It was here that he met his wife of nearly 40 years. This longevity is not common among many bipolar patients given that the disease is a behavioral disorder that can ruin relationships. God has given him the strength to come out with a pretty good life.