Mental Health in a Quarantine

When this pandemic hit, it caught everyone completely by surprise. Two weeks ago, we were living our lives and suddenly everything shut down. “Social distancing” wasn’t even a part of people’s vocabulary and suddenly we’re saying it multiple times a day. It has affected everybody in one way or another, but for people like me who struggle with their mental health, this is especially difficult. My anxiety is definitely worse since all of this started to go down. I know I’ve been feeling pretty down and limited social contact doesn’t make it better. Texting and Facetime are just not the same as chilling on the couch with my roommates talking about random life stuff. But I think its important to remember that we’re all in this together even if we are separated at the moment. This won’t last forever, even if it feels endless in the moment.

Something that I am struggling with a lot is my college closing for the rest of the semester. We are going fully online, like a lot of college campuses in the country. While this is the safest and most responsible decision, it is incredibly difficult as a graduating senior. I walked out of my last class without even knowing. I saw some of my classmates for the last time without saying a real goodbye. I left my dorm room like I was coming back. I walked across campus for the last time without taking it all in. I’m going to miss out on those last moments with my friends. Graduation is being rescheduled for August for whoever can make it, but I know not everyone will come back. It won’t be the same. We’ve worked our whole lives to get to graduation and that feeling of walking out of our last class ever won’t come. The same is true for all college seniors whose school has closed in this crazy time. It’s also true for high school seniors who don’t get to go their proms or on their senior trips. I know emotionally and mentally that its a tough thing to process. Not having closure is something that we have all struggled with in our life. The positive to this is that there is a huge community of people having these same feelings right now. I encourage you to reach out to your friends and classmates and just vent. I know my college has a student Facebook page where people are doing things to connect. Stay as connected as you can be to your peers in this very disconnected time.

Something that everyone is struggling with right now is the fear of the unknown. The word “unprecedented” is constantly in the news and it’s true. We don’t fully understand what this virus is or how long all of this will last. With each passing day inside, we are getting more restless. Some people are feeling incredibly lonely if they live by themselves. Others are struggling with the stress of constantly being around other people. It’s important to take care of yourself in the midst of the craziness. Call your loved ones if you are alone. Take some time to yourself if you are living with people. I just drove around for a while yesterday listening to music and it was just what I needed. Schedule a video call with your therapist if you had to leave the city you were in because of a school or job shutting down. I know it can be really hard working from home as well and finding the motivation to get work done, but it is important to set time aside each day to get things done. Dedicate a certain time to doing work. Try to keep up with routine as much as possible. Do some meditation if that works for you. Get out and go for a walk to get some fresh air. Do what you need to do to calm your fears. Feel free to comment or message me what you are going through, because chances are others or myself are feeling those things to. Social distancing is really hard on our mental health and its important to let other people know that so that they can try and help alleviate some of the loneliness, depression, or anxiety we feel.

I have no idea what lies in the future. I think it is important to take it all day by day. I also think it is important that we let ourselves feel what we are feeling. If you are grieving the loss of the end of a senior year or time at a job like I am, then grieve. If you are feeling sad, cry on someone’s shoulder or by yourself. If you are feeling angry at the situation or even angry with God for letting this all happen, then get mad. That one is one that I struggle with, but my therapist and I have been talking about how it is okay to feel angry with God sometimes. People in the Bible shared their frustration with Him all the time. I think in the end, it will create a deeper bond. No one has gone through this, so no one knows how to feel. It is important to remember that all feelings are valid.

Some of these extra anxieties or depressing thoughts come out of having a ton of time on our hands to do nothing. With that time, we are able to just live in our thoughts, which can be detrimental to those who struggle daily with their mental health. Because of this, it is important to fill our time with other things. You can click HERE to see a list I found of things to do while stuck inside. It has some pretty good ideas. I personally am reading, watching some light-hearted TV shows, watching more movies, and trying to write more.

Let me know what is getting you through this quarantine. Also, let me know if you are struggling. We can get through this uncertain time together. Thanks for reading! This blog is really helpful for me to write, so I appreciate that others seem to find it helpful too. Have a great week and stay safe!

Also here are some resources if you are feeling overwhelmed:

If all the talk about COVID-19 is making you feel overwhelmed or frightened, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Helpline: Call DistressLine at 1-800-985-5990 or Text TalkWithUs to 66746

The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7 365 day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human caused-disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents of the United States and its territories.

Rachel (:

Comparison Kills

As a human being, it is pretty impossible to never compare yourself to other people. It has become even more difficult with the rise of social media. We are constantly bombarded by people’s best moments without getting a glimpse into their actual life. Because of this, we are left comparing our struggles with their picture-perfect persona. That can be really difficult. I’ve been feeling this a lot lately. I feel like once you hit your twenties, comparison becomes commonplace because everyone is starting to pick the path their life is going to take. Suddenly people you knew in middle school are getting engaged or married. Others are already having kids. Some people already have good jobs, while others are taking a year off to travel. All of these things are found out through social media posts that talk about how great their life is going. Then you shut off your phone, and look at your own life and go back to taking unsure steps into the future with a sadness that you can’t be as content as everyone else. But we have to remember that we aren’t seeing the whole picture of other people’s lives or even our own life.

There is not a single person on this earth that is happy and content all the time. Even the people who you think should be the most content struggle with things. Letting yourself believe that you are seeing a person’s whole life based on three Instagram posts is damaging because we do see every second of our own days, which are not always good. Remembering this is the first step in overcoming the need for comparison. But I know this can be difficult. A lot of people who I know from middle and high school are getting engaged. Some even have kids with their partners. Meanwhile, I am single. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but sometimes when I see multiple people get engaged in the space of a week, I call into question whether I am really content right now or not. I question my own happiness based solely on someone else’s. I have to remind myself that that isn’t how feelings work. No choices that other people make should directly impact your emotions. If that is the case, it means you have fallen deep in a well of comparison, which can only lead to disappointment.

Some of my questioning whether or not I’m happy when I see other people hitting life milestones comes from feeling like I’m falling behind. There’s a song by Phil Good (great name) called Be Somebody that hits on this idea perfectly. One of the lines of the song says “Can’t help but compare, all my friends already there
I can say that it’s not fair but maybe somehow it’s my fault” and later “Every day I’m afraid I’m not even in the race and I’m feelin’ kind of left out.” I definitely relate to those lyrics. But I shouldn’t be living on other people’s timelines. If we all accomplished things at exactly the same time, we would be living in a very dull society. I have to try and remember that it’s okay that my priorities aren’t the same as some of my peers. I’m focusing on school and work right now instead of relationships and that’s okay. Relationships will come in their own time and when I have more time to give. Everyone moves at their own pace and there are no deadlines. Comparing another person’s timeline to your own is comparing apples to oranges because they have different life experiences that shape their path. Trust me, I know that reminding yourself of these rational thoughts is hard. Lately, I haven’t been doing a good job of listening to my own advice. But by comparing to others, we are only worsening our mental health.

I really liked this article that I found that talks about things to do when you start to feel yourself comparing too much. I especially like the point they make about this not being the end of your movie. We have no idea what lies ahead. Only God truly knows what will happen. So reminding yourself that you aren’t seeing the full picture can help you when you are feeling disappointed in the moment. Your time to shine could be just around the corner. Instead of spending time comparing, we should be actively pursuing goals and people that will aid us in our search for happiness.

Thank y’all for reading and I hope this is something someone needed to hear. It’s definitely something that I needed to write for myself. I hope you have an amazing week!

Reading Roundup #4

I read a lot of books since my last reading roundup so I figured it was time for another one. My goal for this year is to read 100 books. I read 55 from June to the end of last year, so I’m hoping I’m not shooting too high. Being in school always slows me down some, but I’m graduating in May and then I’ll have some more time on my hands (which I’m pretty anxious about, but we’re not going to think about that right now 😅). As always, let me know if there are any books you are loving at the moment as I am always looking for recommendations!

#3 The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger

I had heard good things about this book before I got it and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a literary fiction novel that looks at the lengths a parent will go to in order for their children to get into a new “gifted school” that is being built in town. It follows four families who have been friends for years, whose relationships are tested as they all compete to prove their children belong there. It’s a page-turner and you get fully invested in these characters. The characterization was extremely well done. There is also a twist later in the book that I definitely didn’t see coming. It’s witty, sad, and heartwarming all at the same time. I think anyone can relate to this story because of all the different family dynamics portrayed throughout. The author did an amazing job of describing all the insecurities and intricacies that come with familial relationships. I particularly connected with this book because it reminded me of one of the places I lived that held kids to an almost impossible standard and had a dog-eat-dog mentality. This book does a good job of showing the pitfalls of that kind of thinking. I’m all about doing well in school, but you should never overextend yourself to the point of it being detrimental to your mental health. This book is funny, yet poignant and I would definitely recommend you put it on your list!

#2 The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

You may remember from a previous roundup that I talked about how much I loved The Night Circus, so I was super excited to hear that she came out with a brand new book. I loved this one as well! Like her other novel, it is mainly a fantasy novel, but other genres are woven throughout. It follows Zachary Rawlings who picks up a dusty book one ay only to find that a story about him is hidden inside. As he reads more and follows the trail left by the words on the pages, he discovers another world made up of underground libraries and the protection of words and stories. He finds himself in a battle with a group of people who are looking to destroy this world and prevent the Starless Sea from reaching its full potential. Erin Morgenstern does an impeccable job of describing the universes she creates. Like The Night Circus, I could picture it vividly. It pulls you in. Especially as someone who loves reading and writing, the world she creates feels like paradise. Much like we all wish we could get a letter to Hogwarts, Morgenstern makes you wish you could find a hidden door and enter this secret world. Definitely read this book whether you usually like fantasy or not. There are aspects of the story that will resonate with everyone because in one way or another the words that are said and stories that are shared connect us all.

#1 Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

This book was one of the most honest and engaging things I have ever read. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I go to therapy. I think therapy is an important thing. I advocate for everyone to take care of their mental health just as much as they take care of their physical health. Therapy is something I think everyone should experience at least once in their life. The connection you have with your therapist is different than any other relationship in your life. They know everything about you and help you come to conclusions about your life and your struggles on your own. This book perfectly encapsulates what this relationship can feel like. It is written by a therapist and details accounts of some of the patients she is working with, as well as following her own journey through therapy that she is experiencing at the same time after going through a hard break-up. It not only gives you a look inside the head of the person on the other side of the couch, but also shows you that therapists are real people who are also going through problems. Everyone can benefit from therapy. It is funny and real. She has some powerful ideas but doesn’t take herself too seriously. It doesn’t shy away from the truth and it is cool to watch the progress of the patients. There are moments that made me tear up and other moments where I couldn’t stop laughing. If you support mental health in any way or are struggling yourself, I highly recommend this book!

Bonus: Songs I’m Loving at the Moment

Here are six songs that I have been listening to a lot lately. Definitely check out these songs and check out the other songs from these artists as well!

-The Last Time I Was Yellow is by my roommate and it is one of my favorite songs that she has written. It really speaks to how it can feel when you are struggling, but desperately want to feel peace and happiness.

-Guidance is a really honest look at what the relationship can feel like between man and God.

-Slow is a chill track that details how it can be difficult to move on.

-I love Alec Benjamin, and his newest song Demons is no exception.

-I truly believe everyone should listen to First Last Name for the songwriting alone. She went to Belmont and I still remember how impressed I was the first time I heard it. It talks about the special relationship between a father and daughter.

-Even When You’re Home is another chill track that details a feeling we all feel at some point: loneliness.

Books and music are two of my favorite things, so I always love discussing what I’ve been reading or listening to. Let me know if you have any book or music recommendations! I hope you have a great week!

Rachel (:

Where I’ve Been

I haven’t posted in quite a while. I had planned to take a break at the end of last semester and over the holidays, but I didn’t think I would wait so long into January to post again. This is my last semester of college and that idea has stressed me out more than I thought it would. Getting back into the swing of classes mixed with my internship and a part-time job is a lot. Simultaneously I’m starting to have to think seriously about my future. Thinking about all of these things at once has been a bit paralyzing and unfortunately, I let my blog fall to the wayside. I figured for my first post back, I’d fill everyone in on how my semester ended, what I did over break, and how I’ve been doing mental health wise.

Some of you may recall that coming up to the end of last semester, I was quite stressed. I had a lot on my plate and was unsure what some of my professors were looking for in terms of the projects they assigned. I spent many long hours in coffee shops around Nashville finishing up papers and presentations. Luckily my professors liked my work, and I ended up with the grades that I was hoping for. It was a huge relief! I was really feeling my anxiety in those last weeks and my insomnia was pretty bad, but I was proud of myself for pushing through and finishing strong.

After that it was off to Wisconsin to be with my parents over winter break. First things first, Wisconsin is cold! It was cool to see all the snow and to walk on a frozen lake, but I definitely couldn’t be there long term. I’m very impressed with my parents who seem to be handling it well. I also got to spend time with my brother when we went to his house in Maryland for Christmas. It’s always good to see him and he made delicious cookies that I ate too many of, so all in all break was really nice. But there were aspects of break that were a little hard for me. When I went to Wisconsin, it was my first time seeing the house and my room in that house. My roommate came home with me for the first few days, and it was weird to not be able to answer her when she asked where something was. It was an inner battle to remind myself that it was home when in some ways it felt like I was a guest. Not when I was with my parents, but sometimes when I was getting used to the layout or trying to figure out where we were when they drove me around town. Going home looks different for me than it does for my friends and sometimes I am jealous of that. But, when I’m starting to have those thoughts I try and spin it to be positive. I got to see a part of the country I hadn’t seen before, I got to drink cranberry wine, and I got to spend time with my parents who I don’t see as often anymore. It’s always important to find the positives when you’re starting to focus on the negatives.

In terms of where I am in terms of my mental health, I’m struggling a little. I’m still having trouble sleeping. I was talking to my therapist about how there will be words said and things that happen that make me feel anxious during the day, that I shove to the side because I’m in the middle of class, or at my job, or working at my internship that all pile up and come into my head again when I lie down at night. I told her that it is kind of like when you are flying and you turn your phone on airplane mode and then when you land, you turn it back on and all the notifications and messages ding one after another. That’s how my brain functions at night. This has been getting in the way of my sleep. I’m going to take her suggestion and try some meditation, but we’ll see how it goes. As I mentioned at the beginning, I have felt a little paralyzed with all the things I’m having to think about this semester. Starting to plan a future is scary. Having plans get formed and then fall through and then making new plans seems to be the new norm. I struggle a lot with the concept of the unknown and all of the unknowns lately are not helpful in terms of my anxiety. There is going to be a longer post about this coming soon, but based on what we talked about in therapy last week, it has become clear that on some level I’m still dealing with grief. My cousin Kimberly and my Granddaddy played a big part in my life and I’ve been dealing with their deaths little by little. Coming to this realization in the midst of everything else is difficult, but it’s better to deal with my emotions, rather than push them all down. Even though I’m struggling, I’m trying to focus on the good things happening and making time to do fun things with friends. I want to work to be more present this semester instead of only focusing on the future.

I am looking forward to continuing this blog this year. I have some ideas for my next few posts. Some are hard to talk about and others are just fun. I hope that you all will continue to read. Your support means a lot to me! I’m going to try to post once every two weeks. So be on the lookout! Let me know what you all were up to while I was gone as well! Hope you have a great week!

Rachel (:

Winter Blues

It’s winter. This is both wonderful and terrible. On the positive side, this means Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my birthday. All times where I spend time with family and relax. However, before this and even during (looking at you finals week) these times of celebration, comes big projects, big papers, big tests, less daylight, and more freezing temperatures. Winter is difficult. This time of year is a pressure cooker. I see it in the faces of students that I pass on the way to class. I see it in the faces of co-workers. I see it in my own face when I look in the mirror lately. The most wonderful time of the year isn’t actually always all that wonderful.

I’ve talked about before that as a senior, I was struggling with the motivation to do my work. That feeling has only increased in these last couple of weeks. Having the sun go down at 4:45 has really affected my mood and my overall energy levels. It is a constant cycle of feeling like I don’t care about anything and then worrying about the fact that I’m not caring. I find myself wanting to throw in the towel on my many projects and papers and instead curl up in my bed and sleep for a week straight. That’s not a great feeling, nor is it feasible. I find myself wanting to shut myself in my room and not talk to another human. It’s a feeling that I’ve been calling peopleitis. Also, not ideal considering I have to talk to people on a daily basis. I find myself feeling even more tired than usual. This year, I find that I’m lacking the joy I usually have when planning things like Friendsgiving and Christmas activities. I’m just struggling.

I was talking to my therapist about this when I saw her earlier this week. She was telling me how normal this feeling is. Some people get these kinds of feelings every year and are diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is the first year I have felt like this and therefore I am not diagnosed nor am I an expert but there are more than 3 million cases in the US every year. It isn’t abnormal. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. It usually presents itself in the fall and carries through the winter months. Those between the ages of 20 and 30 are also more likely to develop SAD than adults in older generations. Below are a couple of links that describe seasonal affective disorder in full detail.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/seasonal-affective-disorder#1

It is also important to note that you do not need to be diagnosed with SAD to be struggling during the winter season. A lot of things can cause stress and sadness during the holiday season in particular. For college students, the amount of work we have to do at the end of the semester is overwhelming. Other people may be grieving the loss of a loved one or spending their first holidays without them. Military families have family members that are deployed. People could be going through breakups. Others may be unable to take time off of work and therefore have to be away from family. It may be hard for people to go into work in the dark and then leave in the dark. All of these things are difficult and can be especially difficult when the holidays roll around. So is there anything that can help?

The answer is yes. For those who think they may be struggling with SAD, I encourage you to go see a therapist. Being able to talk to someone who understands this problem can be extremely beneficial and they can give you the help you need. For those who are having a particularly hard time this winter/holiday season, here are a few things that I’m trying to do. The first thing is to not disengage from the world. Instead of crawling in my bed and shutting the door, I try and do things with my friends. I also try to actively participate in holiday events. Being around others who are excited, can sometimes help you get more excited. My roommates and I have decorated the apartment for Christmas because one of them was really excited to do so. I was less excited, but instead of sitting at home, I went with them to shop for decorations. In terms of working on not feeling overwhelmed by schoolwork, I write out a list at the beginning of the week breaking all of my assignments down into manageable chunks. I also build “catch-up days” into my schedule so that if I have a less than stellar day, I am not immediately behind. It isn’t easy, but just doing little things can help you to feel better.

I feel like this week’s post was a little bit of a downer, but it is the reality of what people can go through this time of year. If you are struggling please reach out to those in your support system, or to a professional. I hope that this post has helped in some way and made you feel a little less alone.

Rachel (:

Mental Health Checkups?

Everyone knows that you are supposed to go in once a year to get a physical checkup, but why aren’t we required to get a mental health checkup? Mental health affects you on a day to day basis and can even cause there to be physical pain, so why isn’t it addressed as thoroughly as your physical health? It isn’t just me who asks this question. Below are a few articles that talk about this idea as well as my thoughts on the articles.

Why Don’t Americans Get Regular Mental Health Checkups? It’s Complicated.

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/why-aren-t-mental-health-screenings-part-our-annual-physicals-ncna839226

Mental health is just as important as physical health. I will continue to say that over and over for the rest of my life because I think it is important for others to understand. Your mental health can even affect your physical health. Going to see someone to talk about your mental health at least once a year would be incredibly beneficial. Even if you don’t feel like you are having a tough time, it doesn’t mean there aren’t stresses in your life that you could talk through. Having checkups could also help those who feel too embarrassed or uncomfortable to go to therapy. I especially think this would be helpful for teens. Helping them to deal with all the stressors that come with growing up and giving them tools to ease their anxiety is an important thing to do. I am definitely an advocate for mental health checkups.

Students Can Now Miss School for a “Mental Health Day”

https://www.edutopia.org/article/students-can-now-miss-school-mental-health-day

I’m actually in the midst of taking a mental health day right now. I think it is extremely important to give yourself a day on occasion where you can regroup and catch up on things that life has caused you to push aside. I don’t think it helps students to go to school when they’re having a day where they feel particularly anxious, overwhelmed, or depressed. If they go, they won’t take in the information being taught and they will only get more added to their plate. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and therefore I agree with students having excused absences for mental health days. It’s important to know when you need a break and schools should support students in those decisions. I hope that this becomes the case in all 50 states in the future.

Five Reasons Americans Fail to Get Mental Health Checkups

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/patient-engagement/5-reasons-americans-fail-to-get-regular-mental-health-checkups.html

I really hate that there is such a stigma around mental health because it not only gets in the way of people going to therapy when they need it, but it also affects the coverage provided by insurance. Not everyone can afford to go see someone because you have to be clinically diagnosed before insurance will help you out. If mental health checkups were seen in the same way as physical checkups, this would be less of a problem. But because insurance doesn’t place the same weight on each type of health, people will continue not going to therapy. Stigma must be dealt with before we can move forward.

Mental health is important. We should make sure to pay attention to how we are feeling and act accordingly. Even if mental health checkups don’t become normal, checking in with yourself will remain important. Take a mental health day when you need one. Get help when you need it. Be kind to yourself.

Rachel (:

Reading Roundup #3

It’s that time again! This time around I had a lot of books that were just so-so, but these three stood out among those and I liked them all for different reasons. Hopefully, you feel the same if you decide to read any of them. As always, I love getting book recommendations so feel free to leave a comment below telling me what you’ve been loving recently!

#3 Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I wasn’t sure I would like this book. It was a dystopian YA novel that was recommended to me by a friend. My favorite book series in that genre will always be the Giver series. This book reminded me a lot of the first book in that series. The premise is that at age eighteen everyone gets a procedure that gets rid of love. You can no longer feel love for anyone in your life. Love is considered to be a disease that destroys people. They read Romeo and Juliet in Health class (haha) and have their own handbook that they study in school laying out the rules and regulations. The city is separated from the Wilds (where people who survived the bombings live without the cure) and they are said to be dangerous. Lena, the main character, has been looking forward to the procedure. While her family history is a complex one (and one of my favorite subplots) she has a sister who is cured and living a perfectly happy life. She has never questioned whether or not love is as dangerous as they claim until she meets Alex. While a lot of this book is fairly predictable, the characters are well developed and there are no real lulls in the plot. It is always moving. I also just really like the theme. Love is always going to exist even if you try and stop it and watching that concept unfold really makes you think about how important it really is. It is the first book in a series and I look forward to seeing if I like the next book as much as the first!

#2 Hideaway by Nicole Lundrigan

This book is suspenseful, quirky, and pretty dark. It wasn’t what I expected it to be which made me love it even more. Gloria seems like a doting mother to the outside world, but she is actually pretty emotionally abusive. She is going through a separation with Telly who has his own set of flaws. Rowan and Maisy are the typical brother and younger sister, but Rowan does feel more protective because of his mother’s antics. The story revolves around Rowan who runs away with a man named Carl (a really interesting character battling a mental illness) and Gloria trying to win back Telly’s affection. It all goes downhill from there. It gets pretty dark as it continues, but the writing is quirky and you almost don’t notice how horrific it really is. The characters all have interesting arcs and the simultaneous plots are well done. It all comes to a climax that is both unexpected and gut-wrenching. I’m a sucker for a suspenseful book, and this was not a disappointment. It looks into the idea of family and what you’re willing to do to keep it together or to get out of it. It also illustrates that strength can come from unlikely places. Definitely read it if you love the thriller/mystery/suspense genre!

#1 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My roommate wanted me to read this book and I did no real research into it before I read it. It surprised me how much I enjoyed this book. The book tells the story of Evelyn Hugo, an actress who had a long career and was also always in the news because, by the time she retired, she had seven husbands. At the beginning of the book, she calls on Monique Grant who is a low-level writer at a magazine and says she wants to give an interview for the first time in years, but only if it is Monique. There are two twists in the novel. One comes near the beginning and it changes the tone of the book. The second comes at the end and knocks you off balance. It is incredibly well written. What stands out for me is the character development achieved in the book. The characters are rich and in-depth. You understand them and hurt for them as the story goes on. They feel like real people. It also talks about the complexity of a human being. It plays with the idea that everyone has good and bad in them and sometimes people do bad things because they decide it’s for a good reason. It shows how doing something to save your family from hurting, can hurt somebody else. It also discusses topics that are relevant to today’s society. It talks about the LGBTQ community and discrimination. It talks about the inequality that exists between men and women at work. It looks at depression, domestic abuse, and alcoholism. It doesn’t shy away from anything. Evelyn Hugo is finally telling her life story and she is telling her whole truth. Nothing is held back which is what makes this novel so great. She is unapologetic which means that the book is that way as well. When you read the title and start the book, you may have thoughts on what it might be like, but I assure you that perception is wrong. What unfolds is a story focused on love, both romantically and for your family, and what you would do to protect that love. It is one of the most honest books I have read which makes it a must-read!

Thanks for reading and as always leave some recommendations below! I love discovering new books and reading things I wouldn’t have picked for myself. Follow me on GoodReads to see all the books I’m reading. https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/101673175-rachel-hutchings

Rachel (: