Today’s blog post is an excerpt from the Mental Health Memoir This Girl Can (Sometimes) by Maria 慧 Claridge. It tells the story of an English- Japanese woman living with bipolar disorder. It is suitable for readers aged 12 and above, especially as it talks about suicide and the importance of talking about these feelings. This Girl Can (Sometimes) by Maria 慧 Claridge is currently only available as a Paper Back with ISBN-13 : 979-8599545750 and was published on 24/01/2021 by Amazon.
Synopsis of This Girl Can (Sometimes) by Maria 慧 Claridge
This Girl Can (Sometimes): A brave and true story of a bi-racial woman navigating Bipolar Disorder. This auto-biography tells the story of an English- Japanese woman living with bipolar disorder. Claridge walks us through her childhood, her diagnosis and her recovery in a refreshingly honest way. She is reflective and entirely transparent about the realities of having bipolar disorder. This is a funny and brutally honest work that will have readers in tears and in the next chapter laughing out of their chair. Her story is relatable, engaging and will open up conversation around mental health and the importance of being open and taking life as it comes. Claridge is telling all of the young people suffering with mental illness that it doesn’t define them and that they can recover and find peace.
Name of chapter: Prologue and Chapter 1
I feel exposed and vulnerable.
I want mental health to be spoken about, and I want to remove all negative stigma surrounding it. I never thought I would be writing a book about mental health, but then again, I never planned to be mentally ill. It is daunting to think that in this book, I will be revealing my condition and darkest moments to all my family, friends and work clients. But I want people to know that you can have any mental health illness and still have a fulfilling life full of love and light.
Through this book, I want to share what has worked for me, what hasn’t worked for me, and how I became okay with having mental health issues for life. This is not to suggest that what worked for me will work for you, but know you are not alone in your journey.
I have gone through loves and breakups, friendships and abandonments, moments of courage as well as moments of vulnerability.
I have worked on myself and will continue to do so from here on out.
I invite you to read this book with both an open mind and an open heart.
I think about suicide every so often. I blame it on having bipolar, but sometimes I just don’t feel worthy enough to be alive.
I have a home, shelter and food. I have a lovely supportive family, a partner who really loves me, I enjoy my work and have fun and loving friends…yet sometimes I feel empty.
There are days I perform, smiling and laughing, going through the motions of living, but inside I feel a part of me dying.
In my dark times, if I were able to, I would slit my wrists open and simply be done with it all. But I’m not able to. I don’t like inflicting pain on myself. I gave myself a hard slap across the face once and decided self-infliction wasn’t for me, and I would never do it again.
I know what to do and do all the things to keep myself healthy. I eat well. I exercise. I practice yoga and meditate in the morning. I keep my days structured. I am content working for myself. I set small goals and I work hard. I have lovely clients and people in my life, and on good days I feel I have purpose and I’m making a small difference in the world.
But this emptiness…it comes in many forms.
There are days where I can’t stop crying. There are evenings full of darkness. My counsellor or Lexi, my best friend, would tell me to ‘embrace the tears and lean into the darkness.’ But embracing this feeling can be so overwhelming. I feel like my head could explode.
All I know is that I can do this. I can ride out the storm.
This girl can. Well, sometimes.
Let us start at the beginning.
This excerpt from This Girl Can (Sometimes) was submitted by the author Maria 慧 Claridge. If you enjoyed reading it, please support the author and purchase a copy of the book on Amazon.