“The noblest truth is ‘There is suffering’….. ‘Why me’ is the question of an idiot. The sensible person says simply ‘Why not?’”
When Anna Lyndsey comes down with an undiagnosed, undefined chronic illness, she decides to enlighten others to her way of life in the new Doubleday book, Girl In the Dark. This memoir takes the reader through a portion of Anna’s life, not in any particular order, but through the means of friendship, love and life. It answers the question given to the reader by Anna, “Why not?”
One can imagine what it must feel like to lose one’s sight, hearing, limb, or a loved one, but to actually live the reality of a loss is an entirely different beast. As stated by Anna, “… I have to try to remember this, when I talk to friends and relations whose lives have not stopped.” I have recently lost a loved one and within a few months moved far away from everyone and everything I have known my whole life. It feels as if my days are a blur of new, but when I talk to a friend ‘from back home’ I realize I can relate to Anna; however, I still have the ability to live a normal life. When we encounter a huge life change, we assume others lives will also slow down or stop. Life does not stop nor does it even slow down, it continues regardless of the numb feeling you have in your soul. Anna is trapped within the confines of her own skin dealing with the loss of sunlight, friends, a job, even being able to kill time on the internet. Her ‘normal’ is now darkness. (After reading this book, I felt like a loser for even thinking that moving away from my friends was bad when it can always be worse. This book helped keep it real.)
I was mesmerized by the plight of loss for Anna. Her once normal life is shifted over night when one day at her desk her face feels as if a blow torch from hell has been released upon her. Anna has photo sensitivity dermatitis; she must live in complete darkness. Throughout the book, we meet her mother, her brother, Stan, a few other friends who she has met who suffer other chronic illnesses, to the most powerful character, her husband, Pete.
Pete surprised me! His love was unfaltering. They were dating when Anna came down with her illness and he accepts her. Not all men would grant a woman with a chronic illness into their life, but to then marry her? One word- WOW.
Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey (Doubleday | 9780385539609 | March 3, 2015)