The from Frederick Exley’s A FAN’S NOTES, which came out in 1971. A terribly painful account of his alcoholism, his love for the New York football Giants (and particularly the halfback, Frank Gifford), his time in a mental institution…..
“Never once in the two years I lived [in Chicago] there was I distressed by the possibility—as perhaps I was in New York—that there were men and women in the area seeking to commit to paper or to canvas their joy, their grief, their passion. Never once did I detect in a saloon, as I had begun to detect in the village, the dark, brooding silhouette of a man apart, a man caught up and held in awe by the singularity of his vision.”
“After the most cursory of examinations, it was determined that I undergo insulin-shock treatment; and, though I must have experienced qualms at the rapidity of this determination, I soon dismissed them, replacing them with the utter and adoring devotion of the doctors and the attendants that the treatment instilled. Each morning I rolled over in bed, turned the cheeks of my ass to the ceiling and received my injection. While the insulin began to burn the sugar—the very life—from my body, I quite cheerfully lay back to await the disappearance of debilitating dreams, ancient insults, past hurts inflicted—the disappearance, as though they had never existed, of all the things that ravage the soul and age the body, that turn the eyes inward and settle a melancholy on the countenance.”
“We were all making penance fro the grief we had caused others; and we had to believe that a treatment which one fawned and begged, and drooled and prayed, a treatment which cost much in loss of pride and manhood, in humiliating dependency, would have to bear miraculous results. We had to believe in the end we would be purified.”