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 misery. While 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.
LIST OF CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:
Nicole Knepper (Foreword)
Sherry Vondy Beaver
Marcia Kester Doyle
Carin Ekre Anderson
Barbara Trainin Blank
Lynn L. Shattuck
Sarah del Rio
Nicole Leigh Shaw
Dr. Margaret Rutherford (Epilogue)