A Book that Changed My Life - 9 muses photo
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"When I was in high school, it was cool to be depressed. Emo music had just hit the mainstream and suddenly it was a sign of artistic depth to have an eating disorder or to self harm. I, eager to be accepted, let myself dive into the depths of a nagging anxiety and self-destructive tendency I have had as long as I can remember. My friends initially gave me the attention that I was convinced would make me feel better, but eventually they began telling me that they couldn't be around me--that I was a force of chaos and destruction in their life. Anne Sexton told me why they came to hate me for what we all believed was cool. Depression is not glamorous. Suicide is not poetic. Mental illness is terrifying. It lurks in you, it hangs over you, it is omnipresent and deadly.

Anne Sexton viscerally expresses her brushes with insanity, her hospitalization, her suicide attempts, and, in her bouts of wellness, her terror that they would not last. She was killed by her mental illness, and that knowledge was enough to scare me into seeking treatment. The horrifying beauty of her words, the dreadful finality of her death, they stand as a monument, reminding me what is at stake and why I must fight."