First, we make the beast beautiful – Sarah Wilson

This is a much needed book during my struggle with anxiety and depression, this book helps me to see anxiety from a different perspective. The author, Sarah Wilson, reframes anxiety as a spiritual quest rather than a burdensome affliction, a state of yearning that will lead us closer to what really matters.

Quoting the book:

Globally 1 in 13 people suffer an anxiety-related illness and searches for anxiety on google are up to 150% in the past 8 years

Yet our society still have a lot of stigma around mental illness. I have been surprised by the number of people that came up to me and said they have similar condition since I started being open about having mental illness. Thanks to them, I don’t feel alone now. The heartbreaking fact is still there, all of the people that told their stories to me said that it’s hard to find a support system – which they desperately need more than anything – because a lot of people just don’t understand the depth of it. For many of us in Indonesia, having mental illness means you’re crazy and you belong at the lunatic asylum, or even worse you’ve got possessed by devil and you need exorcism. Which obviously a wrong concept that mainly came from the lack of information in the society, someone got homework to do!

In this book, Sarah told how she deals with her anxiety for years. Some tips sound cliche although still easier said than done, like yoga, meditation, gratitude book (which I find really helpful, help me focus on the positive sides of everything), exercise, eating healthier. But the main thing that she promotes in this book is to embrace the illness, to recognise that it’s there, accept it and have a conversation with it.

Anxiety is the thing that takes you down, this anxiety about not knowing what life is about takes you down. But it’s also the thing that ultimately takes you to where the answer lies.

This book would be very helpful for those who are suffering with mental illness or are supporting someone with mental illness.

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