After reading the first few excerpts in Not Alone, I was too disturbed to sleep that night. I had to decide to only read this during the day so that my mind could process the sadness, the grief, the pain these writers were sharing. These are raw stories resonating with agony and isolation brought about by depression.
The project came about after blogger Alise Wright shared about her own experiences with this disease that still hides behind such a stigma. As people chimed in with comments and guest posts, a chord of fraternity resonated amongst those who suffer, many times in silent torture. Fast forward a bit to this month, when the compilation of these stories makes its way to the world in book form.
Wright has divided the book into several sections: Awareness, Acceptance, Recovery, and Post-Depression Reflections. Each one paints an emotional, poignant description of the many faces depression takes. Since the stories come from so many different authors, there are various causes, treatments, and prognoses. As they share the ways they have dealt with depression, they are illuminating a beacon of hope for those that feel they have none.
The book sheds light in a dark place, a place where it’s easy to feel trapped and helpless. This is not a quick-fix book full of easy answers, but it is real. It is diverse. It is revealing. I suspect a lot of people will find themselves within these stories and feel a little less isolated. The book is not only a step in the right direction for those who struggle with depression, but priceless for those of us who want to understand them.