In this heart-breakingly honest memoir reminiscent of Manic, Electroboy, and An Unquiet Mind, the former middle distance Olympic runner-turned-high-end escort speaks out for the first time about her battle with mental illness, and reveals how a female athlete – one used to physically controlling her body for high levels of performance – came to terms with her unstable mind.
During the 1990s, Suzy Favor Hamilton was the darling of American track and field. An all-American beauty, a national and international champion, a spokesperson for numerous major companies, and a happily married wife, she was the model for an active, healthy, and wholesome life. But her perfect facade masked a dark truth: bipolar disorder that drove her obsession to perform and win. And when her career ended in spectacular fashion after “falling” at the 2000 Sydney games, and she no longer had that outlet, the demons came flooding in. For years, Suzy wrestled with her condition, as well as the guilt-stricken memories of her brother Dan, who had similar symptoms and took his own life, as well as the loss of her best friend to cancer, conflicted feelings about motherhood and her marriage, and lingering shame about her athletic career. After a misdiagnosis and a recommendation for medication that only exacerbated her mania and made her hypersexual, Suzy’s life took a shocking turn.
While in Vegas with her husband to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, they hired a female escort to take part in a threesome. That one act sparked a fire inside Suzy that could finally satisfy her disease’s seeming unquenchable thirst for adrenaline and danger. Fueled by a newfound confidence, a feeling of strength and independence and a desire she couldn’t tamp down, she became a high-priced escort in Las Vegas, working as “Kelly.” But Suzy could not keep her double life a secret forever, and when it was eventually exposed, it sent her into a reckless suicidal period where the only option seemed out.
Today, with the help of her devoted husband, a proper diagnosis and significant therapy, Suzy is building a better life, and is sharing her story to raise awareness, provide understanding, and offer inspiration to others coping with their own challenges.
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