Thursday 7 January 2021

Get a Grip, Love by Kate Lucey Book Review

 I can't claim to have ever been depressed.

What I will say though is that I get quite down sometimes and I definitely suffer from moments (many of them long) of anxiety. 

But I'm one of these people that looks fine on the outside.

Generally smiling so you wouldn't know that there is anything wrong. I definitely hide my feelings/moods well.

This doesn't mean that I don't want or desire a degree of help at times though. My median of choice, books. As a person that isn't a big talker, I find books can ease my worries and at least let me know that I am not alone in the way that I think sometimes.

Get a Grip, Love is a poignant and insightful book from Kate Lucey. 

Not your typical sort of self help book in my opinion, simply an honest and witty piece of writing that recognises that depression - and other mental health issues for that matter - quite frankly suck.

A record-breaking number of anti-depressants are being prescribed each year. While positive steps are being taken and we are speaking more about our problems, in this new age of having conversations about mental health, everyone and their neighbour has a ‘miracle cure’ to throw at those of us who are struggling. There’s an enormous gap in the knowledge and understanding of what depression is and isn’t – not least in that it doesn’t look the same on every person.

Exploring the science behind mental illness and its treatment, and including stories from a number of sufferers of depression and anxiety disorders, Get a Grip, Love provides a witty, razor-sharp exploration of mental health, and a no-nonsense guide that explains where the advice to ‘go for a run’, ’stay off social media’ or ‘make some new friends’ comes from. It separates the facts from the fiction about what could work, speaks openly about how it feels to live with a mental health disorder, and demonstrates that it’s ok to feel the way that we do when we’re struggling, and that we certainly don’t need to get a grip.

Kate writes in a way that put me as the reader at ease.

I didn't feel like she was preaching because her was I guess for want of a better word, relaxed. She wasn't telling me what to do, simply letting me know that whatever I could be thinking or feeling I wasn't alone in my thoughts.

A candid book that uses a mix of colloquial chat, peer and personal experience, and expert advice to talk about tackling mental illness as part of the generation so often poked fun at for having feelings – and who often call themselves out for it, too.

Broken down into relatively short chapters, it felt like an extended conversation between myself and the author.

Lucey takes us through her own personal journey with nothing left out.

It really was the good, the bad and the ugly.

And I'll be honest I was even more engaged with the advise that she was given when eating ice cream was mentioned!

"Why yes I cover my pain with crappy jokes so that I don't cry or collapse in front of you. Now, an Irishman walks into a bar ..."

My favourite part has to be the 'clapbacks'.

Little quips to say to people when they try to offer advice, give suggestions on how you can suddenly lighten your mood.

See the above quote to give you an idea on just how witty Kate is.

All in all it was altogether comforting, like talking to a good friend who really just wants to be there for you instead of thinking they know what's best for you and your mental health.

Funny, irreverent, and understandable, Get a Grip, Love recognises that depression sucks, but that together, we can get through it.

The more that I read, the more relief I felt.

I found myself constantly nodding to the things that I was seeing. 

It's not all in my head!

From medication and therapy, to books to read and people to follow on social media. Kate covers it all with a great mix of humour and straight to the point talk.

"I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it's like to fell absolutely worthless and they don't want anyone else to feel like that."

Having never being diagnosed with any sort of mental health issue, I guess you'd say I'm not the targeted audience for this book.

All I can tell you is that not everyone asks for help and I think we all suffer to a degree, no matter how small or insignificant we think our issues are.

What Kate manages to do is highlight that we are all allowed to feel this way. It is totally ok to have these thoughts, emotional outbursts, dark times.

Get a Grip, Love is a book that I will read again. One to look back on whenever I feel down, stressed or even fearful over things in life.

Praise for Kate Lucey!

If you'd like to know more about the book or to simply read more reviews do check out the rest of the blogs that have written about Get a Grip, Love outlined below.

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