L is for Loud in the House of Myself

UnknownI 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


10 comments on “L is for Loud in the House of Myself

  1. Janet Miles says:

    Interesting. I do a lot of transcription about people with mental issues and I do often thank God that I have not had to deal with anything like that myself or with any of my family.

  2. The quote gives us a raw view of depression. Great review.

  3. A suicide attempt on webcam? Wow, must have been eerie. So glad it wasn’t successful!

  4. Liz Brownlee says:

    I worry for our young children nowadays who don’t have the chance to play and feel free and who don’t just have time to sit and look at nature or even time to get bored to get their brains working on imagining… so much mental illness is beginning to come from these young ones, self-harming, depression, it’s an appalling indictment of our schooling systems in both the USA and the Uk – nothing matters but attainment of exams and test results. No hint of what is important is self growth, being kind, being happy… they need time to play. ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

    • doreeweller says:

      Well said, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Have you ever heard of the book “Last Child in the Woods”? It talks about that, and about how losing touch with nature is having a huge impact on us all.

  5. Cynthia says:

    I feel relieved to hear that the author of that book got help.

    Reading your review, I thought of another book I read about girls who are outcasts. It’s called ODD GIRL OUT by Rachel Simmons. While the main focus isn’t about mental health, it does shine a light on the problem of girls who experience bullying and being excluded.

  6. grazona says:

    Another one I haven’t heard of to add to my list! I’ve struggled with depression all of my adult life and not feeling at home in your own body is brutal. Getting help is obviously crucial but as you probably know, not every “helper” is the right fit for every patient. Surrounding yourself with the right people is the key. I can’t wait to read this.

    • doreeweller says:

      You’re so right about the right helper being key. I hate it when people give up on getting help because they didn’t find the right fit, or worse, a helper who was actually incompetent (it happens).

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