Synopsis: Falling in Love Works Better Than Prozac is a book about choosing your attitude. We will all get bruised, we will all get broken, and then we are left with the most important decision of our life: to get bitter or get better.
Jessica R. Gera takes you on a journey through “bad luck,” within a personal story of heartfelt truth peppered with astute humour, wit and reflection on being an East Indian twenty-something divorcee who meets with ovarian cancer. In the face of judgment and criticism, mounting personal doubt and swollen fear for the grueling possibilities that come with this disease, Jessica R. Gera realized that getting “broken,” was the best way to becoming more whole that she ever thought possible.
Her advice to fall in love with something or someone, and to give back, explores the profound healing impact on our mind, body and soul. Her tale is both an inspiration and a red flag to other women who may be suffering with the “silent killer” of ovarian cancer or are simply looking for a way to put themselves back together again after being “broken.”
Excerpts from the book:
“My challenge to myself and to you is to continuously climb the mountain that you are on no matter how tired you become, and no matter what gets thrown at you along the way.
I get it. It’s much easier said than done. But what isn’t? I have no idea what mountain you’re on, and don’t pretend to understand your specific challenges, your hurdles or your heartaches. I can only tell you what I do know: that the mountain I’ve climbed has been anything but small. In fact, it was enormous, and seemed to grow bigger and bigger with each day that passed. I do know that over the years, I climbed and climbed yet never really felt like I was anywhere near the top. I was wrong.
Along the way I had to choose to keep climbing or jump off, give up, accept defeat, and wallow in self-pity. And let me tell you, jumping off with the knowledge that I’d land on my face with a big fat splat, still sounded like an appealing option. It was just easier. But it wasn’t my style; and I bet that it isn’t yours either.
In my journey, I’ve met many other mountain climbers who knew just how challenging and exhausting their climb was going to be, and they accepted it.
They just kept climbing. No complaining, no bitching, no making excuses along the way. I also met those who liked to speak of their climb in every step they took, and complained that those around them were comfortably strolling in the park on a perfect summer’s day. Their eyes looked green with envy; their posture locked in a boxer’s stance.
Both types of climbers were sad. Both were hurting. One would eventually get to the top and bask in the pride and accomplishment of climbing the mother of all mountains. The other would climb one baby step at a time, moaning and groaning the entire way while other climbers would slowly pass them by.
One chose to do everything in their power to get better. The other settled for being bitter.”
Bruised, Broken ‘n’ Bitter vs. Better
“We’ll all climb our own mountains in life, and at some point we’ll get bruised. Maybe the cute girl with the pigtails in kindergarten didn’t give you the time of day? Then, you’ll get broken.
Something you worked your hardest at didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. You lost your job after a decade of being with the same company. Someone broke your heart. Your kids hurt you. Your parents hurt you. The person you expected more from turned their back on you.
Then comes the decision of all decisions, the most important decision you will ever have to make in your entire life: to get bitter or get better.”
Who Am I Anyway?
“…I learned that I was hesitant in speaking about my personal life because of what people would say. I decided that after everything I’d seen in my life, fearing gossip is now just as scary to me as a really cheesy ‘80’s horror film. I learned that while some may still dramatically scream at each scene, most have moved on to better films.”
“Being real means speaking directly from the heart, without any bullshit; and that takes courage. It means knowing that, at some point or another, everyone falls. Sometimes, we fall multiple times. As human beings, we fall. We break. And guess what? It’s okay to fall. It’s great to fall. And it’s great to get broken.
Good Indian Girls
“Good Indian girls don’t get divorced, eh? I never thought of being East Indian as something I’d have to prove. It’s simply something I am. My identity. My pride. Trying to take it away from me is as easy as knockin’ Jay-Z off his empire. It’s not gonna happen.
“Those damn robes. I mean, they really are the stupidest garments I have ever seen. You put it on one way and your whole ass is exposed. You put it on the other way and the entire front of your body is exposed. While I can think of many women who would probably like to sport such an outfit on a Saturday night, I decided to ask the nurse for a second one. It’s just common sense. I tie it so that my ass is exposed, and then I tie on the second robe and cover up the backside. It’s not a difficult concept, so why didn’t she just offer me two to begin with?”
“I would soon have to tell my grandmothers, my mother, my brother-in-law, my best friends, my uncles, my aunts and my cousins – that I have cancer. Where the f*& is the instruction book on that?”
My Own Personal Prozac
“Before you go out and try and save the entire world, you may just want to start closer to home. From a very young age I learned that the more I ever lent a helping hand financially or emotionally, the more my financial and emotional bank account grew to a very modest yet decent standard of living. When you loosen the grip on what’s “mine” and what’s “yours,” the outcome is really amazing. You begin to see more of what’s “ours.” I suggest you try it some time. That’s the thing, karma can be a b*&$!, and it can also be your best friend.”