Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past year, you probably noticed that one of our regular contributors here has been Therese Borchard. However, she blogs more often and more regularly on her beliefnet.com blog, Beyond Blue. It was actually her wonderfully witty and touching writing there that led me to invite her to blog more regularly here.
Therese is a rare find, combining a love of prose with a wealth of personal experiences with depression and other concerns to make for always engaging reading. So it’s no wonder she was able to bundle up that wisdom and publish her first book, Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes.
If you’ve enjoyed Therese’s posts either here or on her regular blog at beliefnet.com, then you already are familiar with her writing style and know what to expect in reading the book. The book, however, is not just a regurgitation of her blog posts. Instead it is something much, much more — it puts her blog posts into context. It gives you the full back story to this amazing woman, told in her own colorful words.
As she notes in the introduction, she’s divided the book into two neat parts:
The first half, “Drink, Pray, Cry: My Story” reads like a memoir of a girl whose father must be a shrink, because she’s been diagnosed with practically every illness covered on The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (or DSM-IV). Here you’ll read about the early seeds of my depression, how my mood disorder morphed into a different beast with every new U.S. president, about my futile attempts at taming the beast, and about my miracle in the end.
In the second half, “Beyond Blue: Or at Least Headed That Way,” I give you a tour inside my brain and introduce you to some of the demons that live there rent free. I share some techniques I’ve used to evict the cheap guys, and how I go about erecting all those damn boundaries in my life — with the cable guy, my FedEx delivery man, and with certain friends — so that I can continue down Recovery Lane.
Here’s an excerpt:
And I got it.
Trying too hard was precisely my problem. It was the “mind over spoon” issue again. In my mind, I was failing because I couldn’t think myself to perfect health. I couldn’t do it all myself.
Dr. Smith salvaged the last crumb of my self-esteem with this compassionate statement: “Mindful meditation, yoga, and cognitive-behavioral therapy are extremely helpful for people with mild to moderate depression. But they don’t work for people such as yourself who are suicidal or severely depressed.”
Her advice was grounded in neuroscience.
There’s 17 chapters and I enjoyed every last one of them. So much so that I said:
A natural writer, Therese touches your heart with the very real and very poignant stories that have helped shape her life. It’s both an uplifting tale and full of down-to-earth advice that almost anyone can use and relate to in their own lives. Therese is a rare writer that can have you laughing one moment and crying the next. BEYOND BLUE is a testament to the unwavering resiliency of the human spirit.
I very much mean those words again today, now that the book is available for sale. I sincerely hope you’ll consider picking up a copy and gaining the hope and wisdom that Therese has to offer.