I read Loud in the House of Myself, by Stacy Pershall, around the beginning of my Master’s degree program. I’d read other memoirs about mental illness, but this one touched me in ways the others didn’t.
Stacy is bright and funny, sensitive and strange. And I could see so much of myself in her, in ways that I couldn’t in other memoirs. When talking about mental illness or people in difficult circumstances, I always reminded myself to have empathy by saying, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Though I do believe that, under most circumstances, the details aren’t close enough to my life for me to really stop and think, “With just a few changes, that really could have been me.”
Stacy calls herself a “strange girl” and speaks to all the other strange girls out there, the ones who never quite fit in, the ones whose skin never fit quite right. She struggled with her feelings all her life, and after a suicide attempt on webcam, she found a therapist who helped her get to the point where she’s comfortable with herself.
Stacy is currently an artist and an activist for mental health. She writes articles, speaks about mental health, and is just a generally encouraging human being. She advocates for people to be their authentic selves. Even for people who don’t struggle with mental health issues, being their authentic self can be difficult. It’s so easy to judge people these days, and to feel like you’re being judged.
If you’re looking for a mental health memoir that will make you laugh and cry and give you hope, this is a great one to read.
“A depressed person is selfish because her self, the very core of who she is, will not leave her alone, and she can no more stop thinking about this self and how to escape it than a prisoner held captive by a sadistic serial killer can forget about the person who comes in to torture her everyday. Her body is brutalized by her mind.”
― Stacy Pershall