In The Flawed Ones, written by Jay Chirino, you follow Jay Rodriquez throughout his weeks in psychiatric hospital. Broken down, turned in after a trajectory of heavy drugs abuse and derailed relationships, he becomes a roommate of Bob, who combines his mental illness with a devotion to Bible reading and sharing from God’s Word. This book provides an inner view of what it means to have hallucinatory dreams, severe depressions, and a eagerness to collect valuables to turn into painkillers, tranquilizers, alcohol, and sleeping pills.
The admission to the hospital, 1:1 interviews with a doctor, and the embarrassing attempts to share something to a larger group up to the rehab tips and bid farewells to fellow patients before leaving form an impressive narrative. Open and honest, sometimes deliberately lying. (Saying no to te question whether Jay sees things that aren’t there amidst hallucinatory dreams), sometimes painful (stealing jewelry from his parents to buy drugs), but that’s all part of the story Jay Chirino wants to share. Formally a work of fiction, though based on first-hand experiences and true-to-life characters met on this bizarre journey.
The author about himself
For over over two decades I struggled with depression and anxiety, and for the last ten years it drove me to a substance abuse problem that destroyed me phyically and emotionally, deeply affecting my relationship with those I loved. After losing everything I cherished and landing in a psychiatric hospital, I knew I had to choose between drastically changing my behavior or dying. The journey I had to make was the toughest thing I’ve ever done, but it opened my eyes to what I had never seen before, and it transformed me into a version of myself that can look at the future with hope.
This novel is deeply personal to me, because it contains a lot of my own experiences, of my challenges, of my flaws. When I began writing it, I knew that I had to be explicitly honest with myself and with my readers, in order to convey the right message, and hopefully reach the hearts of those that may be going through something similar to what I did. So, even though it is a work of fiction, every page, in some way, is a part of me; a gift that I humbly present to you, my dear audience, in the hope that you carry that small piece somewhere in your heart, for the rest of your life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review upon reading.