Break the Glass by Rachel Edwards
Anyone needing a reminder that it is okay to ask for help.
In a nutshell:
Author Edwards shares her experiences with mental health needs in straightforward but lovely writing.
“If you talk and share your thoughts and feelings, you are less, not more, likely to crumble.”
Why I chose it:
This was published specifically for this month’s “Books That Matter” subscription box.
This essay is so needed in this moment. Author Edwards starts sharing what she recalls as her first experience with mental health concerns – what she describes as her father’s nervous breakdown. She then shares that during her last year at university, she had a rough go for a bit, though she didn’t seek professional assistance from the university at the time, instead relying on close friends for support. The essay ends with a call to seek support when needed, and the benefits of allowing one’s self to be vulnerable and honest with close friends and family.
While I know it wasn’t the main purpose, given the author’s story I couldn’t help read this without thinking specifically about other university students this year. I work at one in London, and I know that students across the UK are having an especially a rough year. They haven’t had the in-person courses they and administrators thought might be possible earlier in the fall. Regional lock downs saw some students stuck inside tiny residence hall rooms for weeks at a time, with no real support system if they were new this fall. Everyone is having a hard time right now, and in unique ways. Parents are working and doing home school; essential workers are managing the stress of commutes and exposures; those who live alone are dealing with isolation.
I’m going to hold onto this essay, and re-read it. I don’t generally have problems opening up when I’m having a hard time, but who knows, that might change. But also, people around me may be having a hard time, and I want to make sure they know I am someone they can be open with, and who can offer them support.
Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it: