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I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just a little Unwell

Strand Publishing 2005
RRP: $19.95

I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just a little Unwell is the poignant story of one man’s agonizing journey through Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Leigh Hatcher, a well-known television journalist, likened this life-changing interval to groping in a hostile wilderness.

He was dealing with a two-headed monster: the debilitating physical symptoms forced him to face his own mortality, while the misgivings of those who implied the illness was psycho-somatic eroded his confidence and badly bruised his soul.

However, despite extreme bodily weakness and nagging self-doubt, he remained doggedly positive, consistently courageous and always authentic throughout his struggle and final triumph.

The narrative moves quickly, an easy read in everyday language. It is neither sentimental nor self-pitying, but provokes frequent pauses for personal reflection.

In many ways, Hatcher is a plaintive voice for people whose suffering has been inadvertently disenfranchised by tactless friends, relatives, employers, medical staff and ministers.

Significantly, Hatcher retired two pastoral carers who visited regularly, but seemed unable to identify with his anguish nor to validate his multiple losses.

Accordingly, in the Appendix, the author offers ‘twelve simple suggestions about how we might better look after those doing it tough.’

As a chaplain at the Wesley Hospital, I intentionally purchased this book to better understand and minister to the needs of chronic sufferers, and it has proved to be an excellent resource.

I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just a little Unwell could help all readers by raising awareness of the varied spiritual, emotional, social, financial and physical challenges of the sick and informing us how best to support them.

Reviewed by Hope Brock a Volunteer Chaplain at The Wesley Hospital in Brisbane.