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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: A Way Out by Michelle Balge

I am always astounded at the bravery inherent in writing a memoir about one’s personal battles, particularly when they fall within the broad-brush category of mental health. If I’ve learned anything by reading books like Balge’s, it’s that our brains lie to us all the time – and for some reason, scarily, particularly when we are young – and laying bare those lies and the self-destructive things we do to live with those lies has got to be one of the bravest acts ever.

That is especially true when you consider that the lies tend to be about our utter and complete lack of self-worth and value. In her moving and heartfelt memoir Balge focuses on that last point, using her depressive suicidal ideation and painful self-devaluation as a second narrative voice to paint a vivid and horrible picture of how her depression and social anxiety wore her down until she nearly ended her own life – on multiple occasions.

In a voice as clear as a bell, Balge tells her story of ups that are never quite high enough to counter the crushing lows that plague her throughout her youth and young adulthood. The light-filled moments of humor and joy, which are altogether too few and far between for much of her young life, serve as brilliant counterpoints to the overwhelming darkness that so often buries her. Her tale of digging her own way out is a moving and heartbreaking one, and is often very difficult to read. But as her title so aptly points out, there IS a way out, and fortunately she was able to persevere long enough to see it…

My review copy was graciously provided by the author.

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