A Fish Growing Lungs: essays

A Fish Growing Lungs: essays

by Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn
A Fish Growing Lungs: essays

A Fish Growing Lungs: essays

by Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn


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At age 18 Alysia Sawchyn was diagnosed with bipolar I. Seven years later she learned she had been misdiagnosed. A Fish Growing Lungs takes the form of linked essays that reflect on Sawchyn's diagnosis and its unraveling, the process of withdrawal and recovery, and the search for identity as she emerges from a difficult past into a cautiously hopeful present.

Sawchyn captures the precariousness of life under the watchful eye of doctors, friends, and family, in which saying or doing the wrong thing could lead to involuntary confinement. This scrutiny is compounded by the stigmas of mental illness and the societal expectations placed on the bodies of women and women of color. And yet, amid juggling medications, doubting her diagnosis, and struggling with addiction and cutting, there is also joy, friendship, love, and Slayer concerts.

Funny, intelligent, and unflinchingly honest, Sawchyn explores how we can come to know ourselves when our bodies betray us. Drawing from life experience, literature, music, medical journals, films, and recovery communities, each essay illuminates the richness of self-knowledge that comes from the act of writing itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941681145
Publisher: Burrow Press
Publication date: 01/01/2021
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn is a features editor for The Rumpus and currently lives in Northern Virginia. Her writing has appeared in Fourth Genre, Brevity, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. A Fish Growing Lungs is her first book.

Table of Contents

An Apology 13

Wellness Index 25

Gutted 37

Notes from the Cliff Face 47

Inheritance 61

Deep-Sea Creatures 73

Three Men 87

Withdrawal 99

Go Ask Alice 113

Unsent 127

Indie Night at the Goth Club 135

Flight 145

Notes 155

Acknowledgments 159

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