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Not Alone – Stories of Living with Depression is a collection of essays about (obviously) living with depression. For me, reading these stories gave me the same feeling that reading the postings on Band Back Together has given me.
And the reminder that I am not alone in the struggles I have faced with depression.
These stories were not always easy to read. I found myself openly crying (at the gym, nonetheless) as each writer shared his or her struggles. I related with each one, and not always for the same reason. I related to the feelings (and sometimes lack of) they had, the complications dealing with this disease can bring to every aspect of our lives, the lies that depression puts into our heads and convinces us is truth.
It was tough to read each story. It was really hard to see myself in these writers. But each one contained some little nugget of hope. Some little something that made me realize that I am not alone and that there is hope. All is not lost, and my situation is not hopeless.
I loved this collection. Each story portrayed strength in the writer – whether it was the strength to reach out for help, or to accept help that was offered. It takes courage to write about the struggles of mental illness, and even more to share it with a larger audience than the pages of your diary. The process of collecting and sharing stories like these helps communicate to the public that depression is very real, and those that suffer should not have to suffer alone.
I highly recommend this book to anybody that has struggled with depression or has had a loved one struggle with depression. If I were in the process of giving out starred reviews, this would receive all five.
***Disclosure: I received a digital review copy of this book from the editor, Alise Wright. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own***