Bryony Gordon, what can I say? Well, let me start my saying this woman shook my world up just ever so slightly.
I was having a day out with my mum, wandering around the shops, when naturally we stopped in Waterstones to browse at their latest books, the deals, the ‘big this week’ books. Bear in mind, I was not reading at this point. I was still desperately struggling with depression and only the thought of reading made me feel better, yet I never actually did. On this day I was feeling particularly determined, and started browsing the latest books, where a bright yellow covered looked up at me. I grabbed it and instantly fixed on the back page review – with Bryony’s shocked face staring back at me, I had a feeling I would read this book.
I couldn’t put it down. I read it that afternoon in one sitting, pausing only for a toilet break and a biscuit. I laughed and giggled, I cried, I teared up, I moved. This story struck me in a way I had forgotten that books do.
Growing up, Bryony explored the parts of life that we all do, except she had a few additions. The voices convincing her someone would die if she didn’t say / do something a certain amount of times, bulimia controlling her behavior, battling drug use… these aspects of her life are completely non-existent in mine, so far those parts I couldn’t relate. However, the depression, the bizarre choices we make to encourage a more positive feeling (putting up with shitty men, moving in with shitty men…) I can relate to.
For the next few months, Paul is a dream.
What this book made me realize was that it is perfectly possible to live a functional life, whilst battling with mental health issues. It’s possible to go to work, to have a relationship, to be kind to your friends, to make changes. Whilst she wasn’t always coping well, she carried on.
I AM COMPLETELY MENTAL!
What Bryony has made me realize is that you can get through this. Perhaps we won’t always completely get over our mental health issues, but we can always work through them. We can learn to understand and take care of ourselves in a way that works for us. We can be happy, have families, keep our jobs. Bryony Gordon inspires me on my bad days. She reminds me that things can, and will, get better.
And, as her sub-title suggests “A happy life with a mixed-up mind”.