Danny Baker’s Brilliant (free) Memoir
I first became aware of this young man’s impressive and open-hearted campaign, called “Depression is not Destiny” on Facebook. I was working on my “Imagine Yourself Happy” facebook page and someone had shared a post of his I related to and loved. I’m pretty sure I shared it. I received a link to his memoir, and in truth, I didn’t actually read it. How was someone in their 20’s ready to write a memoir, I asked myself.
This morning I received (probably another) email inviting me to review his work on his website. It’s Sunday morning, my sweetie is asleep, I have no freelancing orders to attend to, why not?
I downloaded the (pdf file) and intended just to read a paragraph here or there so I could give the young man a boost.
I couldn’t put it down!
Here is someone who writes honestly and compellingly about what it actually feels like on the inside when mental illness is trying to pull you over the abyss. It is a chronological report of his struggles – with girls, with alcoholism, with perfectionism, wrongheaded goals – and with deep, recurrent bouts of suicidal depression, with ignorant doctors and medicine-induced psychosis and a great psychologist, several stays on the psych wards, and finally with recovery. Danny’s a brilliant writer and so he doesn’t just tell you about it – he TAKES YOU THERE. He’s a fighter and you’re fighting right beside him all the way.
The dragon will NOT eat Danny, a reference to my post, You Can’t Let The Dragon Eat You. Nor will she have me, even if she sometimes still tries to take a nip when I’m not watching. The challenge is always to recognize her before I think SHE is ME.
And he has to be brilliant because he says the same thing I always say, “Depression is a LIAR.”
From his Huffington Post article “What I would have missed out on if I had committed suicide.”
“But worst of all was the fact that at times, I couldn’t see any way out of my ghastly misery. As anyone who’s ever suffered from clinical depression will tell you, it’s an expert at convincing you that your despair is eternal, and destined to oppress you for the rest of your days. And it was when I was in that horrifically black place, staring down the barrel of what I truly believed would only be a lifetime of wretched agony, that my thoughts turned to suicide… I know that depression is an expert at robbing you of your hope, and making you feel as if you’re destined to a life of unremitting misery and despair, but depression is a liar. Recovery is possible.
As a writer, I have to say he must be brilliant at PR too, because he already has a huge following, and has articles on Huffington Post,which means he is able to help huge numbers of people! Bravo!
If you’ve ever been seriously depressed, you will love having someone actually put the experience into words. It gives you a kind of validation to know someone else has felt those feelings, had those thoughts, and it gives you hope to know that recovery is possible.
If you have a friend or family member who struggles with unrelenting sadness and unexplained bouts of lethargy that are undermining their success at life, you will find hope and understanding by reading Danny’s story.
I heartily recommend you read Danny’s Story and I’d love to hear your reactions in the comments.