Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Creative Writing

Committee Director

Kent Wascom

Committee Member

John McManus

Committee Member

Delores B. Phillips


The following thesis contains the first three narrative movements from the working novel Don’t Destroy Yourself. The novel focuses on Paul, our first-person narrator, who must confront his mental illness (Bipolar I) directly after learning his wife is pregnant. The novel itself takes the therapeutic form of a series of dead letters – letters never meant to be sent to, or read by, the addressee – recounting Paul making sense of his mental illness to his unborn child. Don’t Destroy Yourself’s primary goal with this novel is to produce a piece of representation narrative that discusses a lived experience of Bipolar I honestly and unflinchingly. A secondary goal of Don’t Destroy Yourself is to provide solace and a feeling of communal belonging to those who may be going through a diagnosis period, manic period, or period of cycling thought.



Available for download on Thursday, November 20, 2031

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