A Coffee and a Book Review Friday
It all started out innocently enough: A cohort at the My Killer Tribe blogger community was having a piece published in a book and was wondering if anyone wanted to read a review copy and post about it on their respective blogs. Not having been averse to doing book reports in school and university, I decided to join in. It would help out a fellow blogger and hopefully I would have some good reading material to enjoy along the way. Easey-peasey, right?
Well . . . not really.
Depression is messy, and when I opened the PDF copy of Not Alone: Stories of Living With Depression sent to me by Chad Jones (and edited by blogger of note Alise Wright), I did expect some of the stories would be hard to read. And they were. But some were harder than others. They required I put the book aside for a little while. My heart hurt for the people and their stories. I don’t know how they are doing today. I hope they’re okay, I hope they’ve found a measure of peace and freedom.
Some reminded me I’ve had a battle or two with depression. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t always easy. But that’s a story for another time, perhaps, because this collection of stories, while not always easy, is not without hope and encouragement.
There are (thankfully) no platitudes. No ‘quick fixes’ or magic formulas. What there is in its pages is real, ‘from the trenches and beyond’ advice. And that is something that can be so hard to find when battling depression: Community. For depression isolates you. It paints you into a corner and hems you in. Yet in these shared stories, you’re reminded you’re not alone. You’re not the only one. The morning of joy may still be on the distant horizon, but you have help and hope to make it through your night of weeping. Really, honestly, you are not alone.
So if you have battled or are battling depression or simply know someone in either boat, pick up this book. It won’t give you an easey-peasey fix-it plan. What it will do is help you better understand what depression can look like and feel like, and give you hope if you’re in it. And if you’ve never had to deal with it, may it help you help those who do have to fight it with increased compassion and grace.