By Melanie Cross
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
Key Themes: depression, "normality", over-coming shame, recovery, empowerment
AS FEATURED IN 'THAT'S LIFE' MAGAZINE
Mel Cross wrote her extraordinary book because, when in the depths of depression, she couldn't find a book to explain what it was really like to be in the place where she was. Like many sufferers Mel found that there were plenty of medical books and books which seemed patronising but no books expressing what it was really like to be deeply depressed. Melanie wanted to use her experience to help other people understand the illness and even be able draw on experiences from the book to help themselves, or friends or family who are suffering. This book describes how a 'normal' person with a 'normal' life overcomes chronic depression. Mel is not ashamed of her depression and hopes her book will allow others to feel the same way.
About the Author
Melanie Cross was born in Bristol in 1971 and now lives in the lovely Painswick valley in the Cotswolds with her husband, daughter and crazy cat George. In 1995 Melanie completed a B.Ed (Hons) degree and went on to teach at a primary school in Bristol, until she became ill in 1999. As she recovered she went on to run and manage an Animal Care Centre and took further qualifications in feline behaviour and became an assessor of NVQs in Animal Care. Mel took time off from her animal care work in order to write her book, she now lives a very happy life doing the most important job in the world - being a mum!
wrote my book ‘The Worry-Go-Round’ after suffering severe depressive illness in 1999. I was following a feeling that I ‘just had to do it’. It wasn’t as a form of therapy, it wasn’t to massage my ego, and it wasn’t as a form of ‘revenge’ on those whose actions had contributed to my breakdown. I wrote it for one reason, and one reason only; to help. To help those who were suffering or who had suffered from depression to understand their illness; to help those who were heading towards it to reassess their lives and see how they could change themselves and things around them; and to help the relatives and friends of people who were suffering to truly understand the pain, confusion, blackness and isolation in which their loved ones were immersed.
Depression is one of the last taboos. It is seen as a weakness, a flaw of character, something to be hidden from others and not talked about. Which is why I wanted to help. I wanted to write a book to bring this illness into the open, for it to be discussed and for people to realize it is suffered by ‘normal’ people living ‘normal’ lives. I wanted to encourage people to seek help when they were distressed and feeling low, rather than wait until severe depression had them in its vice-like grip.
It was hard to revisit my long period of depression and write about my experiences, situations and feelings which had contributed to me being ill. I had long since left them all behind, but I knew that if I didn’t write them down soon the memories would begin to fade of the life I had and the person I used to be. The identities of the characters in the book have been changed out of respect and privacy for those involved. People ask me if I am angry or hate some of the people who have been part of my life. I say no to both questions. Holding anger in your heart rots away your insides and makes you ill, and hate is an ugly thing. I wish nothing but love to everyone that has been a part of my life, we all have our own lessons to learn and our own paths to follow. So I wish them good luck on their journeys also. Without them I would not have learnt so much and I would not be the person that I am today.
I hope people read the book and then look at their own lives. Maybe there are things they can change about their lives, their relationships, their situations and their own way of thinking in order to improve their lives and ultimately make them happier. Everyone deserves happiness; convincing yourself that you do is a hard thing. Once you believe you deserve to be happy you can begin to look at yourself and find your own ‘truth’. When you have done this be true to yourself and follow your own true path. No-one can help you or tell you what it is, it is for you to rediscover the shiny bright thing that is you. Once you have done this protect it as it is the most precious thing in the world.
Finally I would like to say ‘Thank you’. Thank you to all of my friends who were there for me and who have always been there for me; you know who you are.
Thank you to my parents for their unwavering support and endless love without which I would not be here today.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 01 November, 2006.