New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/25/2012 -- 35-year old Jill Treadwell has her bipolar under control until she is laid off from her job at a Contemporary Art museum losing her health insurance and medications. After her unemployment benefit amount is determined she has no choice but to pack up her apartment and move in with her mother and her mother’s new husband. As her medications dwindle away she begins to head down a dark path of depression and mania that leads to self-medication with drugs and alcohol.
The description of the symptoms of mental illness is rendered with alarming accuracy as she hits bottom with a life changing DUI. After her arrest her depression carries her into an inhumane place of despair and hopelessness. After a thwarted attempt at suicide we follow her tragic and comedic struggles to find health insurance with her pre-existing bipolar disorder meeting a motley crew of her friends and supporters along the way.
Her "journey" starts with the vivid and wild friends she has when she is not mentally well. As she begins to repair her mind we meet her therapist, counselors and friends in recovery. Jill's mother plays an important role by keeping things light with her humor and naivety. Her father’s gruff, uneducated deportment leads to some laughs as well, with his strong spirit and fumbling dedication to his daughter.
Fortunately the COBRA subsidy is granted to those who have lost their jobs in this nightmare economy. Jill is back in business, seeing her doctors and resuming her medications. Therapy and counseling are helping her see there is a way out of her challenging circumstances if she can just hold on and trust the help that is being provided to her by friends and professionals. Court appointed trips to AA and group therapy are another outlet for humor and parody. Things are starting to take form for Jill as her head begins to clear and she starts to understand the sobering reality of her multiple court dates and related obligations.
On the road back to mental health an old boyfriend resurfaces with issues of his own. Russ is also an alcoholic who has been diagnosed as bipolar. Jill feels she can help him with his struggles as she has just emerged from the worst four months of her life. Jill and Russ attended film school together and he never could get her out of his mind after they separated. He made a film about her and it is this film that brings the two together. This bizarre coupling of two psychologically challenged individuals leads to an endearing romance built on creativity and an understanding that surpasses the conventional boundaries of romantic love. We join them through their whirlwind courtship and last minute wedding that is both comic and touching. All Jill ever wanted was a life to call her own and the couples' love brings them to a place of super absorbent paper towels and environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Breaking through the challenges of finding health insurance and subsequent recovery from alcoholism, The Molecules That Surround Us chronicles a journey resulting in love, sanity and a “real life.”
See what the Critics are saying:
“For this reader Jill Treadwell's ability to write with such piercing clarity the working of a bipolar mind as well as the mindset and behavior of an alcoholic ranks her among the finest descriptors. That is not to say this is a depressing book. Quite the opposite! This book is brimming over with hilarious moments, even the potential tragedies are remolded to share the human comedy aspect of a life misguidedly directed. We see her world as she sees it, feel the angst as she tries to cope with it, and celebrate the victories she finally attains with complete entertainment always present.
At an important turning point or dénouement she writes, `Things are falling into place. I am beginning to accept my age, my bipolar, that I am unemployed and living with my mother and have not even a hint of a boyfriend, much less a husband. I instead focus on the fact that I have people who love me and some pretty amazing friends. Maybe that's all I am going to get and maybe that's all I need. I begin to further the attributes of my bicycle riding eccentric spinsterhood; it begins to be a fun identity.
I wear bizarre sundresses and sunglasses and let peculiar sentences and concepts roll off my tongue.'”
“This is an important book (especially in light of the current mess of a health crisis we are witnessing and an economic stalemate that injures us all), but it is also a very well written book. It could use some fine -tuning in the editorial department, but that is minor. In the end we love this goofy lady and are left cheering with her. Grady Harp, May 12”
“Whoa. Reading The Molecules That Surround Us is like taking a rollercoaster ride to hell without a seatbelt. For anyone who depends on medications to help with a mental disorder, you will understand exactly what kind of hellish journey the author endured when she lost her job. Having bipolar disorder, when Jill lost her health insurance, she tried to ration out her medication to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, Jill was forced to move in with her mom and stepfather while she struggled to find a job, any job that offered health insurance. She even tried a job to make enough money to pay for COBRA, but without luck.”
“creative, energetic,highly intelligent but at the mercy of her brain chemistry. The story that she has written is intriguing, brutally honest, and a terrifying indictment of our health care system.”
About Jill Treadwell
Jill Treadwell began her interest in interactive media at the College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico studying with video pioneers Woody and Steina Vasulka. She is currently writing prose, dialogue, lyrics, poetry, and philosophical noetics for a multi-media project with Melody Sumner Carnahan. She is also working in collaboration with Russell Chartier and Paul Botelho on a video piece, Devil On a Dam, which features her writing and is currently being shown internationally. She is a videographer who has worked in Advertising and Contemporary Art. As she enters into her late '30's she has been inspired to attempt something more mainstream than her usual experimental investigations into language.