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J.R. Buchanan

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Me, My Thoughts, and I

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Book review, It's Not Your Journey

As someone with a semicolon tattoo on my wrist, I knew I'd like this book when I got to the page after the dedication and it had a big semicolon and the meaning of the semicolon on the next page. "The semicolon represents the choice to continue life, because it is used when an author could have ended their sentence, but chose not to." This book did not disappoint me when I got further into it.

Cover Image

Rebecca Lombardo wrote this book for a wide audience, people with a mental illness, their loved ones and caregivers, and anyone who's interested in a glimpse into the life of someone with bipolar disorder. In addition to this, the book and the blog it is based on are a form of therapy for her, a way to lay out her thoughts and approach them.

As I read this book the thought that kept coming to me over and over was that she and I had so much in common, and yet so much different in our experience of mental illness. It starts out with a very brave telling of her suicide attempt in 2013 and the subsequent hospitalization. It was like she read my mind when she wrote:

I don't recall ever thinking to myself, "I want to die today." I merely wanted the pain to stop and to punish myself for all of the mistakes I made.

I remember saying almost the same thing to my therapist some years ago after getting out of the hospital for a suicide attempt. On the subject of therapists though, we could not be much more different, I've been lucky with therapists and have gotten varying degrees of help from all but one I've had whereas she's not had much luck with therapy -thus the therapeutic value of the blog and book. So much in common, so much that is different. The different views and experiences added value to my reading of this book.

As you might surmise from the above, this book is an open and raw portal into her life, really telling the reader what life with a mental illness is like. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the experiences of someone with a mental illness.

Have you read this book? Or any other good mental health books? Let us all know in the comments!

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mental illness, mental health, bipolar, depression, mania, stigma, shame

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