When I’m in the depths of depression I struggle to be in the moment, I zone out and, day-to-day activities like reading become impossible.

It seems such a simple thing but I can’t concentrate on any one thing when I’m poorly. At the moment I’m in another dark wave but writing when I can or just moving helps. But I can’t sit down to read. My mind is too chaotic.

I always remember when I was in training at work in the media and the course leader asked all of us: “What was the last book you read?”

Everyone piped up with different long and educated novels they’d read (granted, the last books I read years ago were Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series – so I’m not one for too much prose!)  which made me realise that besides from reading “We’re going on a bear hunt” and other kids books to my daughters, that I hadn’t read anything for ages.

Yes it was partly due to being a busy working mum-of-two and dyslexic. But even if I had time, I couldn’t bring myself to read. How could I get lost in a book when I was so low and lost in life?

The reason why I’ve been reminded of my lost love of reading is because of a book I was asked to review. Now I don’t review a lot of books due to my struggle with reading (and I can’t do what I used to do for exams where you buy a book full of the key points rather than reading the novel!).

But the blurb about Out of the Woods says: “The book’s graphic memoir format blends a compelling personal story with the latest medical research – ideal for people who are in the depths of depression and struggling to read and take on board information. 

“The book doesn’t pretend there is a quick way out of these illnesses and instead encourages people to make small steps to slowly build their own lasting recoveries. This is an inspiring story that will give vital information and hope to many people.

So I was fascinated by it and agreed to review it.

The book is based on the author Brent Williams’ journey with depression and is told entirely through 700 hand drawn watercolor illustrations. 

This was welcomed by my current chaotic brain. No long prose just the odd little blurb. I found myself flicking through the book nodding easpecially as he has kids like me too and whilst kids really help me, they also make me realise that I’m not right in the head. They make you angry with yourself for not just enjoying the moment with them.

You feel guilt that you may be physically there but mentally you’re not.

Anyway Brent’s journey is a real and inspiring one and it’s worth a flick through so you can understand a loved one or maybe see parts of yourself.

Win Out of the Woods book

To win a copy of this profound book – just follow my blog and comment below on this post.

Please enter by November 12th 2017 at midnight. UK entries only.

More about depression

Depression is a life-threatening illness and is now the leading cause of disability, with
more than 322 million people affected worldwide. Anxiety affects 260 million people
worldwide. Of the 800,000 people who die from suicide each year, most are depressed.
(Source: World Heath Organisation: www.who.int)
Out of the Woods is a book to help people understand and overcome depression and
anxiety. It is an immensely practical guide for sufferers, their loved ones and professionals
working with them.
The author’s own story is told entirely through 700 beautifully hand drawn watercolor
illustrations. The book’s graphic memoir format blends a compelling personal story with the
latest medical research – ideal for people who are in the depths of depression and struggling
to read and take on board information. The book doesn’t pretend there is a quick way out of
these illnesses and instead encourages people to make small steps to slowly build their own
lasting recoveries. This is an inspiring story that will give vital information and hope to many
people.

About Out of the Woods Author
Brent Williams built his career in community law, creating services
and resources to help vulnerable people – particularly children, young
people, and victims of family violence. In his resource work, he has
used comics, re-enactments, and documentaries to tell stories of
people asserting their legal rights. The success of these materials
inspired him to develop a graphic novel about his own experience. He
lives in New Zealand.
About the Illustrator
Korkut Oztekin is an instructor at the Dokuz Eylul University. He is known for his work
on Deli Gucuk, a Turkish comic series of ghost stories from rural Ottoman Anatolia. He lives
in Turkey.
OUT OF THE WOODS will be available at all good bookshops and online outlets. For more
information visit https://www.outofthewoods.co.nz

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