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It's Not Your Journey

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In her first published work, Rebecca Lombardo collects her internationally followed blog into the pages of “It’s Not Your Journey”. The memoir candidly details Rebecca’s two year long chronicle of her struggles with Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Self-Injury, and recovery from a Suicide attempt. Rebecca shares her very real, raw feelings on these subjects, as well as addressing other issues that have contributed to her downward spiral and eventual climb out of her own pit of despair. Issues such as the loss of her mother to lung cancer, the death of her brother, abandonment from friends and family members due to her hospitalization, and more.

There is a new version available of this book. It's listed under It's Not Your Journey - Second Edition. It has been updated and redone so that it is more pleasing to the reader. Please feel free to email me at Paradoks1@aol.com if you are having issues finding the book. Thank you!

210 pages, Paperback

First published August 21, 2015

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About the author

Rebecca Lombardo

1 book83 followers
I'm 42 years old and I've been happily married to my best friend for 14 years. I've known that I wanted to be an author since I was very young. I grew up in Michigan with my amazing parents, and 5 older siblings. My husband and I don't have children, but we do have 5 cats that we adore. They are all rescues. I feel very strongly about being an advocate for animals. I enjoy watching movies, sports, and all sorts of television shows. I love to read when I can find the time, and I fancy myself an amateur photographer. I write a blog detailing the struggles I've endured in my life due to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I have finally achieved my dream of writing a book. It's Not Your Journey is based on my blog of the same title.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 69 reviews
Profile Image for Valerity (Val).
974 reviews2,748 followers
June 12, 2016
Rebecca Lombardo has a blog that is followed internationally, and she decided to take parts from it and turn it into a book so she could speak out about her long and painful battles with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and self-harming. She also shares how she fought her way back after a suicide attempt. She's had a really rough time of things and having a mental illness makes it even harder to cope with tragedies and setbacks when they come along. Things that many people can deal with become overwhelming when filtered through the viewfinder of depression and bipolar.

She tells her story in a very real and painfully stark way, bringing you into her life and showing you what it's really like for her as she goes through her retelling of things such as her mother's death of lung cancer after caring for her, and the death of her brother. Many things that put her into a tailspin until she had a major meltdown and ended up in the hospital, despite having a compassionate husband of 14 years as her strong support. Then you get to come along with her as she fights her way back using her own ways after having tried therapy and finding it doesn't really work too well for her. Writing this book was her therapy, and finding her voice to tell of her journey.

I read the book to learn more about bipolar disorder and I am glad I did. I do know that it can be very different from one person to the next in how it affects you. There were also some startling parallels between her life with its tragedies and mine and at times it was really painful just to read. I think most of us know someone we care about that battles some kind of mental illness and this book will touch many because of that. So give it a look if you're interested in knowing more.

I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway by the author, a wonderful feature of the site.
Profile Image for Kristen Darling.
Author 2 books10 followers
August 14, 2016
Once I started, I simply couldn't stop. Through each chapter, I found something that I could relate to, and there were so many times I thought "This is me! She is talking about me!"

This book just resonates on such a personal level - for anyone who has ever had any type of mental disorder - whether depression, anxiety, bipolar, or even simply stress - this book is an inspiration and a testament to the fact that you can survive and you are stronger than you think.

A telling, provocative tale that is a must read for anyone - yes, it is difficult to make it through some chapters without tears blurring your vision. But I urge everyone to add this book to their memories - if you suffer from any type of mental issues, it will make you feel less alone. If you don't, you will better understand those of us who do, and you will know that while you cannot see our symptoms, they are extremely real and painful.
Profile Image for Margaret Daly.
Author 7 books242 followers
September 6, 2015

It's Not Your Journey Rebecca Lombardo

Now, I'm definitely not the type to read self help books so I was a little hesitant on agreeing to read this book. However, once I began reading it was all over with. The raw emotion and personal experiences laid out for everyone to read gripped my heart and pulled me inside. I don' t think this could have been done any differently, and have the same affect on me. I'm positive this book will help many people, and I feel better having read it! #FDEOL
July 8, 2016
"We all have our battle with self-esteem. Some don't like the way their hair looks while others don't like their nose. What we cannot do is let what some other small-minded person thinks of us change how we feel about ourselves." - Rebecca Lombardo, It's Not Your Journey

In her publishing debut memoir, It's Not Your Journey, Rebecca Lombardo tells the raw story of her struggle with her mental health. She tackles heart-breaking issues ranging from anxiety to her suicide attempt and the recovery associated with it. The abandonment of some family members and friends during her hospitalization. To the awful deaths of her mother and brother...

Click the link below to finish the review.

I received this book from the author for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jen.
1 review
September 4, 2015
This book reads like a diary, but it's supposed to. It's a true story based on what happened in the life of the author. The book is realistic, raw and honest. Some of it is so sad, it breaks your heart. Yes, it started out as a blog but has been adapted nicely into a book. I really just felt like I was reading a diary. It's not a work of fiction. This author suffered so much pain and heart ache and is putting it all out there for people to see. She is extremely brave to take this chance. I highly recommend it as long as discussions about suicide and self injury do not bother you.
Profile Image for Sandy Hill.
1 review
January 9, 2016
Not only did this book move me to tears, it also made me feel as if I've made a new friend. It felt like I was looking into a mirror. I've read other reviews and I just don't understand these horrible reviews. This woman ALMOST DIED!!! She turned her life around and is now trying to help people. The snide comments from people who so obviously know nothing of what it is to suffer like this, are unnecessary. I pity those people that are now so critical of someone so brave. I commend Rebecca for her bravery and for being open and honest with the entire world. Well done.
September 28, 2015
I suffer from Bipolar Disorder myself. I usually do not read much, but once I started this book, I just couldn't stop. I can relate on so many levels and the things I can not relate to, gave me some in depth understanding. Great read for anyone who suffers from Bipolar Disorder and even for those who dont, but know someone who does.
Profile Image for Tia Shurina.
Author 1 book1 follower
January 11, 2016
As we deal with loss, longings & betrayals that come as part of life, we all yearn for "ease & grace" on our journey. For some, the path seems to overflow with an abundance of it. For others, the road traveled can be straddled with more struggle. Rebecca has faced more difficulty than many of us will have to endure as we make our ways, but her generosity of spirit & bravery to bare her soul so that another trying to navigate their own course might have more ease is inspiring. I was fed challenging food for thought as I made my way through her chapters, which caused me to reflect on my own actions & reactions in my own life. For me, thats the magic the memoir holds...in the sharing of another's journey, we are given a gift of assistance and potential to change our own. Her sharing, both the parts i connected with instantly in my own life as well as the parts of her life I've been blessed not to have to carry with me has helped me stay committed as i continue to strive for my own personal best...not just in the big picture of my life, which I'm still trying to figure out sometimes, but in each and every new day. She reminded me that ease & grace is of course desirable...& a blessing for sure whenever we're gifted with it, but kindness & compassion, to ourselves & to others, & courage in the face of the "stuff" life can throw at us that isnt always easy nor can feel very graceful while making our way through it, is such a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing "your journey".
Profile Image for Lavern Winters.
107 reviews14 followers
November 9, 2015
This book chronicles the life of a woman living with bipolar disorder. Instead of learning about the disorder from a clinical perspective I was given a whole new insight on what it is like for the person who has to live it and deal with it on a day to day basis. There were passages that caused my heart to ache for her. Her story gave me a better understanding of the emotional turmoil people who live with bipolar disorder have to deal with. For anyone who lives with this disorder either personally or with a loved one this book may help to understand what bipolar disorder does to a person and give insight on how to cope. The author has a way with words that makes you feel her ups and downs, empathize with the roller coaster life she lives and cheer her on as she continues to struggle with this lifelong affliction. She leads you through the despair when she has no hope and brings you back to times when hope is what she clings to. I enjoyed reading her story. It had to take a great deal of personal strength and courage to share her life with others. Well written non-fiction and worth the read. I give this one four stars, there are times the author gets side tracked, but, that has to be the nature of her disease impacting the writing.
1 review
January 9, 2016
Someone very close to me suffers from Bipolar Disorder, and I picked up this book on a recommendation from a friend who suggested I read it. I'm very happy I took the advice. Reading this book helped me to understand better what my loved one goes through on a day-to-day basis. It's NOT a self-help "'You should or shouldn't do this' how-to" on life with Bipolar. It's a memoir, a diary of sorts, on what Ms. Lombardo has gone through in her life. Reading about some of her struggles, I was finally sympathetic to what my loved one goes through (not that I wasn't before, I just didn't know how to help, which is a very helpless feeling). I'm still finding my way, but at least I get it better now and can try to be more supportive. If you have someone in your life who struggles with a mental illness of some kind, I would suggest reading this book, if for no other reason than for you to get some understanding and perspective. Thank you, Ms. Lombardo, for being courageous enough to put your story out there.
Profile Image for Natalie Ducey.
Author 7 books14 followers
January 7, 2016
‘It’s Not Your Journey’ by Rebecca Lombardo is a powerful, poignant, and heart wrenching book. Mrs. Lombardo bravely shares her personal journey living with mental illness, and I have to commend her courage and strength to do so.
As Lombardo clearly states, this is not a self-help book with clinical advice, it’s her story – raw and candid. This material is needed for vast reasons. It shows the inner turmoil that few desire to talk about-understandably so-because it is not for the faint of heart; it is complicated, multi-layered and affects every aspect of life. Although titled ‘It’s Not Your Journey’ the message is a resounding “You are not alone”. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Melanie Parks.
3 reviews
November 11, 2015
This is a look into what the author has gone through and is still dealing with. I cannot imagine what she has gone through, but I got an insider look when she describes it in depth. Rebecca,moray strong and keep writing! Thank you for helping to erase the stigma that's still there with mental illnesses.
Profile Image for Troy Stewart.
224 reviews9 followers
October 6, 2015
The book is easy to follow and has handy tips for just about anyone. I highly recommend this book to anyone with confidence issues. Let’s face it we all do.It turned out to be the best gift I've ever received.
January 18, 2016
"It's Not Your Journey", by Rebecca Lombardo, is a collection of blog posts, over the course of 2 years in the author's life. This memoir type documentation is started off with a beautiful prologue by the author's husband.

In an educational sense, this book was very informative. Rebecca is very real and upfront in her descriptions of Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Self Harm, PTSD, and her survival of a suicide attempt. It helped give me a better sense of exactly how a person with mental illness feels - a up close and in depth account of the every day battle they are faced with.

In a human sense, I whole heartedly connected with the author. While I do not have a mental illness, I have known the sting of severe emotional pain, resulting in depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts at times. The words of encouragement throughout this book are non other than inspiring. Rebecca's good and bad days are documented, in their full intensity. She includes not only her struggle with her illnesses, but also the tragic passing of loved ones before their time, caring for her mother with terminal cancer, the rejection of friends who didn't understand her pain, and the harsh stigma and judgements that others label her with.

In a spiritual and emotional sense, I was moved by Rebecca's honesty, sincerity, and her drive to never give up. It speaks of the brilliance of human resilience and the hope that glows in each of our hearts. The true, deep, indwelling flame of hope...that carries us through in the most desperate and dark of times. Just as beautiful gemstones are created from pressure and extreme heat, this author has felt more than her share of pain and has become a diamond in the process.

I am admittedly not a very good reader, but this book definitely held my attention, opened my heart, and inspiring me to continue my own fight with stigma. I cannot wait to read her next work.

Please give this book a shot! If your heart is open to love, this book will surely touch you deeply.

It's Not Your JourneyIt's Not Your Journey
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,888 followers
May 27, 2016
Rebecca Lombardo is one of the bravest people I have had the pleasure to meet. Not does she battle her mental illness daily but she’s put into words her struggle with depression. I must warn you, this is not a happily ever after story of a woman who battled mental illness and is now peacefully happy like Laura Ingalls Wilder running in a field (Little House on a Prairie); it’s a constant struggle. She doesn’t pull any punches and each chapter is filled with stark truth and pain.

Rebecca talks about her family, unconditional love from her husband (who saved her life in my opinion), doctors, how the darkness sucks out the light, cutting, depression and coping mechanisms. Her heart and soul are splashed across the pages, which only makes this book a captivating read. Not since reading Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, have I read a memoir so gut-wrenchingly candid.

Mental illness is a very real medical condition and we, as a society, need to treat it with the same respect as we do cancer. Advocates like Rebecca, bring the realities to light and I, for one, am grateful. This is a must-read and beautifully written!

Favorite Quote from the Author:

This book is about MY JOURNEY with Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Self-Injury, and more. This is not a text book, nor is it your journey. I am not a professional, rather an advocate that hopes her story can help those going through similar struggles

Your experiences may be entirely different. I just ask that you respect that I was in a very difficult situation, and in a lot of pain when these pages were written. I may not have always made the right decisions, or the decisions you would have made. But, I did was I had to for me at that time. All I ask is that you please have some respect for my journey.

My Rating: 5+ stars

This review first appeared: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Kara Lauren.
88 reviews59 followers
September 24, 2016
This was a perfect read for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Rebecca chronicles her struggles in a blog format, and you learn that she suffers from Bipolar Disorder. As the blog posts continue, she also suffers from PTSD, self-injury/self-mutilation, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and depression. Rebecca recalls her last suicide attempt and time spent in the hospital. Rebecca also writes about her journey with the book and publication towards the end.

There were many times in the book where I felt like I knew exactly what she was going through. I think this is an excellent resource for anyone who feels depressed or is just starting to come to grips with a bipolar diagnosis. The encouragement she gives throughout the book is very reassuring.

I do think it may trigger some people while reading this, as I started to remember some of my worst memories, that can't be helped, and you should have someone to talk to if needed while you read this book.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to everyone. You can learn a lot about what others go through (with mental health issues), or if you are going through any mental health problems yourself, you will know you are not alone!

Thank you to The Review Chain and Rebecca Lombardo for a copy of this book for my honest review.
Profile Image for Wendie Barney boucher.
134 reviews2 followers
March 26, 2016
I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I always find it harder to critique memoirs than any other type of book, I think this is because I do not want to take away from what the author has gone through. With this memoir Lombardo allows the reader to see exactly how she is feeling but at the same time protecting those she might be referring to. This piece of writing is strictly about telling her story and how she feels, while also, hopefully helping others see that there is hope. I could not stop reading once I started and wanted to know more about what she was going through and how people could turn away from her. Mental Illnesses are sometimes hard to understand and she is right there is a huge stigma attached to most of them, but I think this piece is a step in the right direction. This memoir is one that should not just be read by people with bipolar disorder to help them, but also by those who see the stigma instead of the person to help the understand what people go through.
Profile Image for Jana Dulaney.
1 review
January 19, 2016
Review: Ms. Lombardo, has chosen to share her experiences and the pain that goes with her life with Bi-Polar disorder...so, that she can help others navigate through the depression, the pain, the fears, the loneliness and self-doubt that everyone goes through at some point in their lives...even for so-called "normal" people. However, adding an invisible, mental illness such as being Bi-Polar to the stresses of every day life - somehow she deserves a medal for bravery too. Becoming her own advocate, asking the important questions and helping others in the process. Finding her passion of writing has allowed her to navigate through her own illness and family issues and come out grateful for just still being alive. Bravo and may God Bless you my friend. This is truly a spiritual journey as well as a life journey
Profile Image for Ashley W..
1 review
February 29, 2016
What a brave soul to have written this book for the whole world to see her pain. I found it absolutely remarkable. I have a family member with bipolar, and this really shed some light on the whole situation. I applaud her courage and I hope she continues to write. The stigma around mental illness is appalling, and I hope that people like Miss Lombardo continue to keep fighting!
Profile Image for Marcia Martins.
Author 1 book16 followers
September 21, 2015
It is not easy for people who suffer from bipolar disorder to admit to themselves that they need help and it is more difficult to let everyone knows you have it. Rebecca Lombardo had the courage to write about it. She wrote a very touching memoir. I recommended it.
1 review
April 23, 2016
This book was very easy reading and I got it as a gift from my sister for an honest review.
The author should write more books. I found that I could relate to her story.
Thank you, Rebecca. Keep up the good work!
Profile Image for A. Musquiz.
Author 1 book16 followers
September 20, 2016
I was sent a review copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I don't read a ton of non-fiction books but from time to time I do pick one up just to step out of my comfort zone and read something different if I think it might be of interest and worth reading. This book was something that caught my attention and I'm really glad I ended up reading this one. This book follows the story of Rebecca and her journey with living with mental illness that includes depression, anxiety, PTSD, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and Bipolar-Disorder. All of these are bad enough on their own but for them to all interact with each other makes for an emotional roller coaster ride and Rebecca tells her story. This book is such an eye opener into what it means to live with these mental illnesses and what really goes on in someone's head who deals with such things.

I loved that Rebecca made points to define what differentiates certain mental illnesses and also highlights that mental illness isn't something that people can just 'get over'. Mental illness is something that not many people actually understand and the author helps those to understand just how they affect people living with such things as depression and anxiety as well as PTSD, which is another form of mental illness that affects people who haven't actually served in the armed forces at all. I learned a lot about mental illness that I didn't know before and even found some chapters to be very helpful with understanding them.

It was also interesting to read about as Rebecca talked about in her book how she dealt with loss, grief, and self-harm and struggled to find people who she could actually trust. It was crazy to see how many people she thought she could trust ended up leaving her as she went through her darkest times and she learned the hard way that not everyone is worth having in your life. I think this book offers a lot of valuable lessons and insight on mental illness for people who don't fully understand how it affects people on different levels.

I think this book is definitely worth reading for those who also live with mental illness as it might help them to understand themselves a little better. This book doesn't only talk about her struggles with depression and self-harm but it also deals with such subjects as body-image, self-esteem, setting realistic goals for yourself every day and much more. I highly recommend this one if you want to learn more about these subjects from a real person and not just general information.
Profile Image for Daniela Zekotic.
34 reviews7 followers
May 11, 2017
First of all, a big thank you to Rebecca Lombardo for letting me read her story for an honest review. I’m really happy I got the chance to get to know you and to be able to understand mental disorders better.
Secondly, to all the readers who disliked Rebecca’s story: don’t criticise someone’s life. If you don’t like her style of writing, fine. Don’t like the format of the book? Also fine. But don’t dislike her story, at least keep it to yourself and don’t publish a negative opinion. You can’t change your past, and you certainly can’t be blamed for suffering bipolar disorder.

But now on to my review:
I enjoyed the book immensely. I loved the style of writing, the book is composed of many blog posts from the author. It’s a good way to show readers what happened on particular days while keeping a clear format throughout the whole book.
Now I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into as I started reading this book. I don’t know much about mental disorders, or any other disorders. I don’t have friends or family members who suffer from disorders, nor do I suffer myself. But let me tell you, once I started I simply couldn’t put it down.
Rebecca’s story is heart breaking. From dealing with - to justifying herself for having bipolar disorder and depression, I feel like I understand the way mental disorders work now. Rebecca really got me thinking about how mental disorders work and I’ll definitely look into researching this topic.
I believe this book can help many people who suffer the same pain as Rebecca does. Hats off to you Rebecca for sharing your story with us. In my opinion it’s a very brave thing to do, and after reading your story it shows to me that you won’t let your illness bring you down.
1 review1 follower
September 7, 2016
I follow Rebecca Lombardo on Twitter, as well as on Facebook and I won an autographed copy of her book in a contest. I started reading it the day it arrived; which was a Friday and I had finished reading it less than three days later - Sunday morning.
The prologue written by her husband was so eloquently written that I cried because I felt so happy that Rebecca has someone in her life that truly loves her and with mental illness, that isn’t always the case. People with mental illness are considered broken and not many people want to take the time to understand that we are just like them, yet we are treated with disdain.
Rebecca’s book was so easy for me to read because I also suffer from mental illness and for me to read thoughts that are so akin to my own spilling out onto the pages was incredibly comforting. To know there are other people that feel exactly the same way as I do and are doing so well with their illness, gives me hope.
Rebecca describes things along her journey that are so similar to mine like the anticipatory anxiety, the weight issues, the feelings of being broken, useless and a failure ...it’s almost like she was in my head. She says things like she’s a warrior and a fighter, that she is enough and she made me believe that the woman that wrote this memoir is a true survivor and she made me believe that if she can do it, so can I!
Thank you Rebecca for sharing your story - you are an incredible woman and I hope one day to get the chance of meeting you.
Profile Image for Rumeur.
351 reviews4 followers
April 8, 2016
I like memoirs & this isn't an exception! It's the story of a young woman & her journey with mental illness. Mental illness--that word means so many things, to so many people. To those not understanding it, usually first thing comes to mind is a certain Alfred Hitchcock movie....or maybe even worse. To those with it, it's a diagnosis like any other medical condition. Stigma is a huge reason many people suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar etc, don't seek help for it because of the stigma still attached by current day society

This young woman has lost friends & other people once they found out her diagnoses. Her husband is a rare commodity---he's her greatest support. He didn't leave her when they found out. She has her good days,M but also bad days which can get very dark. She's an inspiration to those out there who have it, or think they may gave it. Her reason for the memoir--she hopes to help at least 1 person to seek help, but wishes for more who read her story. She may feel weak at times, but I believe she's very strong to get the help she needed & now wants to help others also. Courageous! My best wishes are that she can stay healthy, both physically & mentally & I do hope her book can help someone, anyone, out there!

I won this book in #goodreads #giveaway & in return I wrote an honest review! Bless you, Rebecca, on your journey--STAY STRONG! Keep on fighting the good fight!
Profile Image for Christina.
128 reviews11 followers
October 14, 2016
A solid heartfelt book. A testimony to all that mental illness is an uncompromising disease. A must to-read for those feeling alone with their illnesses. Give to family and friends that don't seem to understand the mental health struggles of so many of us.
Profile Image for Bethany.
25 reviews3 followers
January 4, 2017
As published on PsychCentral:

A memoir, by nature, is an essay on a learned subject or an account written from personal knowledge. Most memoirs are picked up and read to understand a person, their story, and their internal motivations. In the case of It’s Not Your Journey by Rebecca Lombardo, memoir takes on both meanings. In this brutally honest, real-time account of a life consumed by anxiety, bipolar swings, and the struggle that results, Lombardo offers an honest look at mental illness as it plays out in the day-to-day consciousness of a subject she knows best – herself.

This isn’t my first foray into the study of mental illness, and memoir is my favorite genre in which to delve into the complexities of it. Once I laid aside my own constructs of what this type of book looks and sounds like, I entered the world of Rebecca Lombardo for 210 pages. Not unlike a blog, the book is organized into a series of daily posts. While the text lacks a clear plot structure or progression, the organization – or lack thereof – doesn’t negatively effect the readability or impact of the book, as it more accurately chronicles the progression in Lombardo’s mind and resonates on a personal level. This authenticity is the first impression I had a as a reader, and kept my attention throughout the work. The level of vulnerability and raw truth gave this memoir a gravity and weight that had me leaning in and connecting from the first page.

While many books on mental illness start at point A and end at point B with a scattering of evaluative thoughts and reactions, Lombardo wrote with no such limitation. Instead, she compiled her thoughts, emotions, and struggles – one day at a time – in an order that reflected the reality of the bipolar mind. Though disorienting at the onset, I found myself pulled in by what I could distinctly feel was one woman’s fractured reality. Oh, it was real. It was legitimate, and the authenticity of her experience is tangible. Lombardo notes that she knows she is a good writer, and that she enjoys it. She longs for her words to make a difference, but she is okay if someone criticizes them all the same. This posture emanates in the text, as she is unafraid and unapologetic. As she reflects on the impact her mother’s tragic death, her own mental break, the struggles of finding love while mentally ill, and the struggles of finding validation for the wrestling match that is her mental state, she dips in and out of her depth, offering pieces of reality that equally create tension and invoke empathy. As a reader, I found myself longing to sit down with her to see how she was doing; moments later, Lombardo would be encouraging me to push through just as she was. Each acknowledgement of her low was accented with a positive or contrary action. That structure made each snippet of life feel complete, and I felt as if I was able to resolve the issue in my own heart as she did.

As mentioned, this is not my first memoir, nor it is my first look at bipolar, depression, PTSD, or the effects they have on those that suffer from them. My own experiences with depression and PTSD were in the back of my mind as I read, providing a mental construct that cried, “me too” at more than one point. From that perspective, I found myself tearing up as Lombardo strung together words that accurately depicted what only exists in the mind of the mentally ill. This, as previously mentioned, can be attributed to the level of vulnerability Lombardo reaches in this text, particularly in the latter portion. While this vulnerability does not excuse the occasional grammatical issue or unclear thought, it does provide context in which to understand and to an extent, frame it. These are not the writings of a “have-it-all-together” author, but a “this-is-what-I-have-to-give” human.

Critically-speaking, I longed for a deeper discussion of the positive. While she did an excellent job at addressing the tough realities, I found myself hoping for her perspective on the good days, the okay days. I can relate to the struggle to find those moments, but feel that those would provide the contrast that marks the disease. What worked well, and what this reviewer sees as the brilliance of the work, was the dissection of lessons learned. Her notes on setting herself up for failure and the value of acknowledging your current state and adapting for it are foundational responses to tragedy and adversity.

While not the most well-written or eloquently communicated work, Lombardo delivers the most honest expose on the realities of mental illness that I’ve encountered in recent years. She communicates herself well, and her own introspection – both on the page and off the page – results in a journey for the reader that is equal parts therapeutic and raw, gritty education. As she notes, writing this story out had two purposes: therapy for her to process her own illness and life with it, and the hope to impact, encourage, and empower another with mental illness. On these two levels, she succeeded.

10 reviews
February 16, 2017
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway, so thank you to Goodreads and all involved. I am grateful for many reasons.

I started reading this book the day I received it. I read half the book in one sitting! So insightful that it would have been a 2 day read, but I got sick and several other situations came along in my life that stopped me from reading it (or doing anything else) sooner. So I apologize for taking so long to get this review out there.

I can truly relate to Author Rebecca Lombardo as I have many of the same conditions that she has had and/or is battling with. She describes each condition in detail giving examples of how she feels, how it affected her life, what her coping skills are/were, and how she has learned to live with various health conditions.

I really liked the fact that she was blunt and honest about every aspect of whatever she was dealing with in each chapter. There is no doubt left in my mind that she is actually dealing with true health conditions and she is an author I can trust to read. I know I’m not alone in dealing with some of my own conditions and she breaks everything down in a way that allows me to apply her coping skills to my life. I appreciate her giving examples of how she deals with every obstacle. It has been helpful in my life as well.

Continuing with mental health, I will share with you that I have been diagnosed with brain seizures, fibromyalgia, major depressive disorder, and anxiety (among others). I am afraid of heights, claustrophobic, and (at times) agoraphobic. It takes mental and emotional bravery to put yourself out there like Rebecca has in order to write about these types of conditions affecting your personal (and professional) life, and you must find a way to cope with them. Rebecca did just that – coped (using many techniques), and lived her life the best should could at the time. I know that these conditions can be a roller coaster and her descriptions of those and of life experiences are on point with some of my own.

I, too, have lost friendships and family members because they do not understand, are afraid, or just choose not to “deal with these (my) issues.” I have finally come to accept that, and I am okay with it. I am living for me, the best I can, and for no one else. I also lost my mother to cancer in 2007; condolences for the loss of your mother (and others who are still here, but choose not to be involved in your life).

I make lists, try to accomplish too much, and end up frustrated that I can’t finish a list because of anxiety, pain, or some other condition that decides to jump out at me. I’ve learned that it’s vital to say “no” sometimes and put yourself first. Thank you for that also Rebecca. That is the hardest part for me – having to “not do” some things. I am grateful that you shared your experiences and suggestions I gleaned from your book.

Thank you for the informative, very insightful, and helpful look at your life, Rebecca. Please know that you have now helped one more person, thank you. Keep up the good work, be well, and may God bless you and the family and friends who are willing to stick with you through it all.

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