Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me Review
“Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” Book Summary
“Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” takes the form of a confession novel about Chris Tatevosian’s personal experience as a patient diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). It accurately traces how a physical illness can impact the entire being, from an emotional point of view to the mental and spiritual dimensions, transforming the way we relate to others to a significant degree.
Without falling into disarray or dramatic clichés, Chris molds the story of his life into a familiar pattern – one that may very well suit any of us – from early childhood to the onset of his incurable disease, the best years of his youth, first years of his relationship, his marriage to Rachel, and how everything went downhill due to an admitted lack of awareness on his part.
Who is Chris Tatevosian?
In 1983, when he graduated from Johnson State College with a BS in Ecology and a minor in chemistry, Chris was already diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Although he was a very active young man during high-school, his physical fitness wasn’t enough to keep him from developing a condition whose cause is yet to be established.
Multiple sclerosis is an immune system disease that causes the body’s own defense system to abnormally attack the myelin coating protecting the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. Lately, research has come up with a lot of information about which cells are responsible, as well as about some of the factors that cause them to respond in such a manner to begin with, but a definite understanding of the condition is still far from being achieved, especially when it comes to how to slow or stop MS.
Six years after his divorce, Chris began writing “Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” as a reflection upon how frustration, stress, anger and loneliness found themselves as the status quo of his marriage to Rachel, his ex-wife. Now happily remarried, he lives in suburban Massachusetts with Jane, her son and daughter. Even after all that he has been through, Chris is not by his own admission an expert on relationships, but attempts to share his insight in the hope that others may benefit from it as well.
What “Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” tries to convey
What began as a “relapsing remitting” multiple sclerosis in 1980 later transformed into “progressive” in the summer of 1993, the first year into Chris’ marriage to Rachel. Until then, the author’s life went on seamlessly, without dramatic transformations or the onset of severe symptoms that would require radical lifestyle changes. However, at the end of 1995, his vision and right leg numbness had evolved to such a degree that he had to give up driving for the rest of his life. His situation would get worse from this point onwards.
“Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” provides us with a table indicating his treatment, symptoms and effects over the years, while also revealing an alternative method that showed amazing improvement to his physical condition in the later years of his disease. In addition to providing the journal of a patient, the book’s confessional tone indicates to us that the greatest loss to the narrator was actually his wife. To his mind, he never managed to cope with the changes that were brought about by multiple sclerosis. In his opinion, no healthy, attractive man with a loving wife and a full life ahead would be able to achieve this completely. In retrospect, however, Chris managed to realize what actually happened with his spiritual, mental and emotional life, which determined him to write “Life Interrupted” as a conversation to any reader willing to listen.
Besides astutely pointing out the imbalances that a relationship has to undergo once one of its members suffers from a chronic illness, the author’s most notable contribution lies in his ability to illustrate how a person might be tempted to relapse into a negative attitude as a result of their circumstances. From this point onwards, there is an indistinguishable border between self-awareness and lack of compassion towards the other, which ultimately leads to ignoring the other half of the relationship and even venting all of the anger and frustration on them without rightly acknowledging where the emotional charge comes from.
Why “Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” is worth your time
With each turn of page, the reader becomes more aware of Chris’s account as a guide to learn more about our own nature, rather than his own misgivings or incredible difficulties due to MS. By opening up and exposing some of the most sensitive moments of his life, the author gives in his “Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” new insight into what is likely to happen in a relationship that experiences such ordeals, without generalizations or the use of unfounded claims. If ever there was something in existence that deserved the full meaning of “value”, it is the honest story of a person admitting his or her own faults with the purpose of helping others steer clear of the mistakes that gradually lead to the separation and seclusion from others.
Whether you are a healthy individual or someone facing similar circumstances, “Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” is the perfect step towards beginning to understand the full effects of a chronic disease and, hopefully, to not letting them affect the areas of our lives that matter the most to us.
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“Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” tells the story of Chris Tatevosian, a patient diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980. The novel is both a journal containing the treatment, symptoms and evolution of disease over the years, as well as a confession of his feelings during the whole period. The author graduated from college in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and a minor in Chemistry and by that time he was already diagnosed with MS, although the symptoms weren’t yet present.
His condition started to get worse in 1993 when his vision and mobility were severely affected. Once the disease started progressing, the relationship with his wife deteriorated and ended in divorce a few years later.
Chris’s novel is a sincere confession of his life as an patient suffering from an incurable disease that ruined his relationship because of his inability to accept his condition and cope with the frustration, stress, and negative emotions he felt during that time.
“Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” Book Summary
“Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” is an autobiographic novel written by Chris Tatevosian who tells his personal experience as a patient diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). The book traces Chris’s life from early childhood, young adulthood that came with the first symptoms of his cruel disease, and adult life and first marriage to Rachel. The author also recalls how his relationship with the first wife started deteriorating and ended because of his “poor-attitude” towards his conditions, low self esteem, and lack of communication.
Who is the author of “Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me”?
Chris Tatevosian grew up as a normal child, went to college and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and a minor in Chemistry. He was diagnosed with the horrible disease in 1980, but the causes of MS are not known.
Multiple sclerosis is an incurable condition that affects the immune system. This causes body’s own defense system to attack the myelin coating protecting the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. The nerves become irreversible damaged, and the brain will no longer be able to correctly transmit information o the other organs, including to the muscles. As a result, people suffering from MS usually have movement problems (unable to walk), muscle weakness and spasms, or vision problems. Although a cause for this disease has not been established, it is believed that individuals with certain genes are more likely to develop MS. Smoking has been identified as another potential risk factor, as well as viral infections that affect the immune system (such as the Epstein Barr virus or the human herpesvirus6)
Chris Tatevosian started writing this novel some years after his first relationship ended with a divorce. He identifies the main causes that lead to this sad ending, and hopes his book will help other MS patients not make the same mistakes as he did. Anger, stress, and frustration are only a few of the reasons why things got out of control and damaged his relationship with Rachel up to a point of no return. Chris is now remarried and lives with his new wife and kids in Massachusetts.
What does “Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” try to convey?
When he was first diagnosed, Chris perceived it like it was a “relapsing remitting” type of MS. However things would take a completely different turn in 1993 when the diagnosis changed to “progressive”. It was the first year into Chris’ marriage to Rachel. By the end of 1995 his vision and right leg numbness had evolved to such a degree that he had to give up driving and couldn’t perform normal tasks anymore.
“Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” also includes a table indicating his treatment, symptoms and effects over the years, while revealing an alternative method that would help his symptoms improve considerably in the later years of his disease. Besides providing accurate information about the disease itself, the book is also a confession of the author who reveals its inner fears, frustration, and all the other feelings he felt the entire time he had to face this cruel disease. Chris also confesses that his greatest loss to the disease is his first wife. He mostly blames himself for not being able to cope with the changes brought about by multiple sclerosis. Still, in retrospect Chris was able to objectively analyze its situation and become aware of his spiritual, mental and emotional situation, which determined him to write “Life Interrupted” and try to help other individuals in its situation.
The book illustrates the impact of a chronic illness on a couple’s relationship and how it can be negatively affected by a resigned attitude and the stress that comes out of it. It is particularly important for all those who are trying to cope with such a disease and maintain a positive attitude in front of a sealed faith.
Is “Life Interrupted: It’s not all about me” worth your time?
The book is not an attempt of some writer who only writes from a theoretical point of view trying to give unsolicited advice. It is the sincere confession of a sick person who has been struggling with an incurable disease for over three decades. A person who wants to help others, understand their feelings and cope with them so they will not repeat mistakes. Understanding your feelings and knowing that it is normal and ok to feel helpless, useless, abandoned, and frustrated is the first step towards accepting an illness. Dealing with these feelings and being able to keep them under control (not letting them control you) may be the premises for maintaining an active social life and even healthy relationships. “Life Interrupted” talks about these feeling, but does not try to generalize one’s situation. It merely tells the story of a guy who made mistakes that he was later able to admit. Healthy people and those who find themselves in the situation of fighting with incurable conditions can benefit from reading this inspiring novel.