Today marks the beginning of #READFORMENTALHEALTHWEEK, an event that happens every year to raise awareness for mental health and illness. Saturday the 10th is World Mental Health Day. As you would expect, I’ll be reading and sharing books that have to do with mental health on the blog this week. These topics might be heavy, possibly triggering for some, but as someone who suffers from depression and severe anxiety, this is an awareness week that hits very close to home.
For those of you who follow me on social media, you probably saw me post quotes from Kevin Breel’s Boy Meets Depression back on September 10th. I actually read this book for World Suicide Prevention Day, another awareness “celebration” that near and dear to my heart, but decided to save the review for this week.
Breel got his notoriety at 19 by giving a TED Talk about his journey through depression, and now, at 21, he has published a book about that same journey. When his best friend died shortly after turning 13, Kevin was forced to face the awkward teen years alone. The world quickly became a dark place where he isolated himself from everyone. People tried reaching out and he turned everyone away. Self-hatred set in, and depression, until finally he decided to kill himself. Only when he started writing his note did he realize he still had too much story left to tell to end it there.
Guys, this book is really hard to read. I’m going to tell you that right now. For someone who has been to that darkness and back, this book is a journey and a battle of its own. Kevin Breel doesn’t mess around here–I have 3 pages front and back in my journal because everything he said I related to. I’m surprised I didn’t just copy the whole damn book down. I was in tears for a lot of it, “yep, yep, yep, ooooooh yes so much yesssss.”
There was one thing he said that really stuck out to me: “Like a fish out of water, I jumped all over the place, trying to make it back to where it was safe while simultaneously exhausting myself.”
I have never been able to put that manic/depressive feeling into words before. And there it was, on the page, someone GOT it. My obsessive list making, the racing thoughts, the need to DO something without being able to summon myself to actually DO any of it.
But then, you know what else he said? The flipside of it all, is that sometimes, we just have to get out of our own way.
“The thing about fighting yourself is that when you decide to stop, something really incredible happens: YOU WIN.”
There’s so much more from this book that I could tell you. I could quote him all day long. Essentially, this is the depression book I would write if I could write a depression book. (And trust me, I’ve been trying.) I’m not convinced this 21 year old kid didn’t just jump into my head and steal all my thoughts.
Ok, not really. In all reality, depression is a personal experience, but it is not an individual one. SO MANY of us suffer from it. Our stories may be slightly different, but the pain is the same, and the more we share with each other, the more we understand The Monster.
Thank you Kevin Breel, for sharing your story.
You can also check out Kevin’s TEDTalk here:
Blogging for Books provided a copy of this book for an unbiased review.
FIVE BOOK DRAGON POINTS FOR KEVIN.