An Uncommon Friendship is a story of love, mental illness, and friendship. When Monique Colver met Stewart Young he quickly became a friend and an antidote to her sometimes abusive marriage. Then followed love, her divorce, their marriage, a move out of state, and then his major depression, followed by cutting and episodes of psychosis. Over the next few years he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, then schizo-affective, bipolar, borderline, depression, but their friendship remained throughout, as each battled their own demons. His had voices that told him to harm himself, and while he fought them she tried to make his life bearable for him. Often they would laugh, because otherwise the despair would be overwhelming.
An Uncommon Friendship, a memoir by Monique, has excerpts of Stew’s writings during those days. It’s a two-fold look at mental illness, with both the mentally ill and the caretaker writing about their experiences. It’s about mental illness and the toll it takes on those who have it, and those who love them, but mostly it’s about friendship, and the lengths we’ll go to for the people we care about.