Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor: Book Release Announcement

     I am beyond excited to reveal the news of a groundbreaking anthology that has been released today! Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor (SMITH) is a compilation of stories from 36 writers who share their stories of coping with various mental illnesses, from depression, to OCD, suicidal tendencies, Bipolarism, anxiety, phobias and many more. This book has it all. What makes the collection unique is the tone of the book----some stores are written from a humorous angle, while others take you deep into the heart of the illness with a painful, yet revealing glimpse of what life is REALLY like while living with a mental illness. The book as a whole represents a unified voice to eradicate the stigmatization of mental illness in today's society.

Here's a little background information on the book from the creators of the SMITH anthology, Alyson Herzig and Jessica Azar:

Living with a mental illness is a journey that one in four Americans will travel at some point in their lifetimes. The stigma and misinformation surrounding the public perception of mental illness is appalling and unfounded. Those with symptoms fear judgement and being ostracized, leaving many to suffer in silence. Awareness and understanding are crucial in eradicating negative attitudes about those with mental illness. By creating an honest dialogue about the highs and lows of mental illness, the non-suffering public will gain a better understanding, and those suffering may be more likely to seek the support they need.

In discussing their own personal experiences with mental illness, popular bloggers and creators of the anthology Alyson Herzig and Jessica Azar envisioned a book that would squash stigma and support readers that are facing their illnesses alone, Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor was born. They gathered a group of talented humor writers who personally battle mental illness. The authors willingness to share their personal stories is inspiring, and shows that living with mental illness doesn’t have to equal a life of endless miseryWhile the lows of living with mental illness can be devastating, the disease doesn’t define the lives of these contributors. Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor contains essays that will make the reader’s heart ache, as well as ones that will make them cry with laughter. The groundbreaking anthology leads the mission to ‘laugh stigma into submission’ by inspiring attitudes of acceptance and compassion.
For more information on Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor, check out www.survivementalillness.com.

I am proud and honored to be a part of this amazing compilation that I truly believe will help so many others suffering from these debilitating diseases. Oddly enough, the story that I contributed to SMITH is not one of the humor essays as you might expect. The creators of the book chose a poignant story that I submitted---one of the most difficult and revealing posts I have ever shared publicly. And I'm not the only one who opened a vein to write a story----there are 27 essays in the book guaranteed to pull on your heartstrings. There are also 14 humor stories in the collection to give a broad perspective on dealing with mental illness.

I'm sharing a small excerpt from my contribution to the book in the hopes that it will entice you to buy a copy and to spread the word: End The Stigma of Mental Illness.

"The well is deep, and beneath the murky water at the bottom lies the secret place where fear and sorrow hide. This is the place that haunts my dreams, a world of seamless shadows tearing at the fabric I've carefully woven to mask what sleeps inside me. Hopelessness, emptiness, deceptively calm waters drowning my soul as it slips beneath the depths of depression to rock bottom. Many people try to fix me, but no one can throw the rope that will pull me out of the darkness.

My eyes are reflected in the water's smooth surface, the curve of the iris where it meets the black onyx pupil. There, beneath the green blue shade so similar to the sea, is sorrow. A defining moment that has shaped who I've become. Years of tangled emotions fall like bitter rain from my eyes and threaten to pull me under. The bite of a blade against my pale wrist—sharp teeth that draw the first beads of blood."

You can purchase a copy of the SMITH book on Amazon HERE.


Nicole Knepper (Foreword)
Alyson Herzig
Jessica Azar
Kimberly Morand
Kathleen Gordon
Sherry Vondy Beaver
Marcia Kester Doyle
Brad Shreve
Carin Ekre Anderson
Andrea Keeney
Carrie Groves
Leigh Baker
Kristin Kelley
Lea Grover
Lauren Stevens
Noelle Elliot
Lance Burson
Kathryn Leehane
Audrey Hayworth
Zoe Lewis
Tammy Rutledge
Barbara Trainin Blank
Michelle Matthews
Jenn Rian
Linda Roy
Lynn L. Shattuck
Abby Heugel
Sarah del Rio
Leighann Adams
Katie Heiner
Veronica Leigh 
Angila Peters
Tricia Streams
Stephanie Marsh
Joy Hedding
Nicole Leigh Shaw
Dr. Margaret Rutherford (Epilogue)


  1. Marcia this sounds like an honest and compelling book... I'd love to get a copy... there are so many people who suffer with depression, especially in silence... when there is no need and that's sad. Thank you for sharing here... more people need to be aware..xox

    1. Thank you, Launna----hopefully the book will touch the lives others and help those in need.

  2. This sounds like an amazing book. Now that mental illness is out of the closet I know more people who suffer it than I ever did in the past. Blessings to all who do.

    1. Sadly, it took the death of Robin Williams to make society more aware of this crippling disease.

  3. Thank you for having the courage to share the story of your battle. It will help others.

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I was awestruck by some of the sharing that took place in this book--so many of the stories had me in tears while others had me smiling, because what better way to defeat the illness than to find the humor in our lives?

  4. Now that's a completely different side of you, unlike the amusing menopausal mom that we know. So dark, deep and poetic. It's official - you're my mentor:)))

    1. Awwww…thank you so much, Abby. You'd be surprised how many humorists have a depressive, dark side, I never knew this either, until I started meeting other writers in the blogosphere. It's staggering how many people suffer from the crippling effects of mental illness.

  5. We HAVE to laugh about it or live in misery. Sounds like a great compilation and your words are beautifully written.

    1. Thank you, Theresa! You are so correct---in this case, laughter really is "the best medicine."

  6. Can't wait to order this, Marcia. thank you! xx

    1. Thanks, and yes, please do order it--it really is GREAT!!!

  7. Congratulations, Marcia! I applaud you for being part of this most important movement to stop the stigma and add some humor to this very serious topic. :)

    1. It really is an AMAZING book! I hope you get a chance to read it!

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you, Jo-Anne---it really is heart wrenching but also heart warming…..I have never read anything quite like it!

  9. Sounded amazing!

    I'll look forward to read this one!


  10. I love the growing community of support for those living with mental illness (whether personally or a loved one.) It is such a rough struggle, full of unexpected developments, making it difficult to feel safe and relaxed. I think humor is probably the best medicine, so kudos to all the contributors!

    1. Thank you! I hope it helps those who need to know that they are not alone and that help IS available!

  11. Mental illness is such a misery that I heartily endorse anything to help those suffering, as well as those providing care.

  12. I cannot WAIT to read this!!! My copy is on my kindle...now, to wrestle my kindle from my kid..



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