Usually I like to wait until after my bookclub discussions to post a review on one of my bookclub reads but we postponed our meeting til June and I don’t want to wait that long. So I decided to post my review of “It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (and other lies). Inspirational people open up about their mental health” by Scarlett Curtis a little early.
This anthology is a collection of essays and other texts on the topic of mental health. Every author that contributed to “It’s Not OK to Feel Blue” approaches the topic with another unique perspective and offers us a different outlook on what mental health means to them. Some of these texts make you laugh, others make you cry. They are intelligent, beautiful, political, funny, emotional — touching but most of all, personal.
There were so many amazing texts in this collection that I won’t list all my favourites in this review because that would make it way too long and probably also quite boring to read. However, the pieces that were most interesting to me were the ones that discuss the political side of mental health. These texts show how the intersections of mental struggles with racism, (hetero-)sexism, classism and other forms of discrimination affect individuals and are a powerful plea for a fairer society.
Even though “It’s Not OK to Feel Blue” has a massive 500 pages it was quite easy to read because the small individual texts allow you to take a break every now and then to reflect on what you’ve read or just to take a moment to breathe.
This book is an invitation to reflect about what mental health means to you and everyone of us, it’s a glimpse of hope for those who are struggling and a source of comfort for those who are recovering.
For me it was a book that I wished I could have read much earlier. One that, as Scarlett Curtis wrote, I wished I could’ve given my teenage self. It is one that I will keep on recommending to so many people in my life because it shows that mental health, wellbeing and illness are things that affect each and everyone of us. It makes these issues visible and most of all, it shows that mental health is a common, a completely normal part of life.
Yes, it’s a struggle but there’s nothing unusual about it.