Maria Bello is an activist, actor, and writer. Her essay "Coming Out as a Modern Family" was one of the 10 most popular to appear in the New York Times's Modern Love column.
Bello's new book is Whatever...Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves.
From her Q & A with William O'Connor at The Daily Beast:
You talk about how important a role books played in your life. One book in particular had an impact on you when you were diagnosed as bipolar—William Styron’s Darkness Visible. What was it about the book that reached you?--Marshal Zeringue
I tried to explain depression to someone, and it’s almost impossible. Many people have written about depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia. There has rarely been anything I’ve read that has been so concise and hits the nail on the head exactly for what depression is. He actually wrote it when he was in the midst of a depression. I like to say depression feels like your whole family just died in a car accident, you have no one and nothing left, but the truth is they’re inside having dinner and are just fine. Styron’s Darkness Visible is the first book I’ve read that captured that in an artistic and authentic way. It’s a short and really concise book. But it’s really in your gut heartfelt. It’s not one you’d walk away from feeling sad. I think you walk away feeling that this man shows you a part of himself that will help you be more compassionate in the world. I felt more compassionate to myself with my own disease, for my father, and...[read on]