Depression Present Tense is a new ebook, based on Storied Mind posts but edited with a lot of new original material to create a narrative of what living with this illness is like. It captures moments of crisis, insight and recovery, from childhood trauma to a worklife with depression and glimmers of hope for change that gradually came through.
From the introduction to Depression Present Tense:
“This book is about what I see when I’m depressed, what I feel and what I do to deflect or damage the truth and the people around me in the midst of illness. It’s a vision of depression in the broken moments that stand out in memory looking back on a life that’s rarely been completely free of this chronic illness. So it’s about memory too, and, deep down, it’s about the refusal to accept the untruth of depression and learning how to live through its miasma and kindle a brighter light to live by.
This is not a depression narrative in the usual sense – a story of unfolding illness, how it’s experienced, how treated and how life with it is resolved or the illness overcome. That’s not my experience of this all-encompassing condition that goes by a single gloomy name. It changes day by day sometimes, disguises itself in many forms and for me has been a series of disconnected crises, long spells of anomie, despair, terrifying panic, anxieties that can cripple action and thinking. …
Life itself is at stake in every moment. And to think all that started for me, who knows why, when I was very young. It kept changing shape, like a shadow self at different times of day, now long and visible, now compressed and impossible to detect because I’m standing on top of it in the mid-day sun. But, strangely enough, I’ve never been other than hopeful, and many of those moments come through as well. I wrote about all this for a simple reason, because the writing itself, the reshaping of experience, helped me go beyond the illness to live well again. I hope it’s helpful to others and, especially, to you.”
Available at Amazon.
What’s Inside the Ebook?
After the introduction, there is a section on why I write about depression and how important this way of getting at my inner life has been to my recovery. The rest of Depression Present Tense is divided into four major sections, followed by two appendices.
Growing Up Blue – scenes from a childhood of trauma, withdrawal and conflicted feelings about my family, leading to recognition as an adult of these same problems in other kids and learning how to bring an end to a long-repeated story of isolation and anger.
Working Blues – capturing the deep anxieties, panic attacks, depression that can undermine a working life and developing strategies for change.
Depression Present Tense – immersion in moments of crisis in everyday life and pulling out of despair to early steps toward recovery.
Life Comes Through – brief flashes of healing experiences that were totally unexpected and that gradually led to a restored sense of self-belief and hope for a new life.
The appendices include practical strategies for dealing with depression at work and some of the psychological research affirming the value of expressing emotions through writing.
What Others Have Said About Storied Mind
- “Storied Mind is full of insights … Once I had landed on his pages, I couldn’t stop reading. One post was more fascinating and gripping than the next.” – Therese Borchard
- “Storied Mind: A beautiful and uniquely classic blog … Gorgeous images complement absorbing and stylish writing.” – Sandra Kiume (PsychCentral)
- “Blogger John Folk-Williams … communicates to readers with the empathy and understanding that only someone with depression could convey.” – Tracy Rosecrans (HealthLine.com)
Available at Amazon.