Book Report: The Book I Wish I Had Written . . . The Do-It-Yourself Guide To Fighting The Big Motherfuckin’ Sad by Adam Gnade

Once loyal readers may have noticed I have not been posting too much recently.  Not to say I haven’t thought about it . . . it just seems like between work and home and everything in between my creative juices were tapped just keeping things going.  Life is like that, no?  I have been reading, however.  Lots.  From business inspiration stuff from Hill and Tracy to life inspirational stuff from Izzo to spiritual inspirational stuff from Toltec, Buddhist and Christian traditions . . . Hell, I’ve even been clearing my clutter with Feng Shui!  It is all good, and I am a better and wiser person for it.  None of it, however, sparked my creative writing juices like the 27-page zine I was turned on to by a family member.

My biggest complaint about the titles available in the Self-Help genre is that they are too long.  What sense does it make to write a 500 page self help book on ADHD or Depression when your intended audience struggles to get through a paragraph and remember what it said?  People will continue to buy such things, however, with the hope that the next one will be THE BIG ONE . . . the one that lifts you out of the mess and sets you back on track.  That attitude (and the hype of the publishing world that promotes it) inevitably leads to disappointment and a renewed sense of inadequacy in many of the people who buy such books. And who writes those books, anyway?  Mostly people like me . . . well intentioned professionals who have lots of book and ‘in the trenches’ experience working with people who suffer.  The books are written with the hope of helping people make the next step . . . get a little better . . . move on in life . . . but they are often too complicated and, as a reader of such things myself, it almost seems as if the writer were speaking from on high.  From a “better place” that one can only hope to achieve someday.

The Do It Yourself Guide To Fighting The Big Motherfuckin’ Sad (hereafter referred to as TBMSad) is written from the practical perspective of someone who has struggled for years with Depression, and the ancillary feelings that come along with it.  He summarizes his life experience with Depression, making it clear that he is someone who has been there.  Someone who has struggled through and achieved some measure of peace with it.  Depression continues to be a presence . . . but not the definition of who he is.  He is, as a Japanese proverb says, a man who has fallen down seven times . . . and gotten up eight.  What he has learned through the falling and the rising comes through in his text as a call to Fight the Fight.  To do what you need to do to get to the next day.  To keep yourself open to the knowledge that This Too Shall Pass.  That beyond the dark is a sliver of light that is worth sticking around for . . . worth living for.  TBMSad is not a definitive text on surviving Depression.  It doesn’t have all the answers.  It doesn’t preach and it doesn’t tell you how to live your life.  TMBSad does remind you to remind yourself that, in the midst of the dark, you WILL see the light . . . you WILL make it to the other side of Sad with a little more wisdom and knowledge than when you went into it.  It will remind you that it is worth it to Fight the Fight.  It does this better than any book or article I have ever read, and I encourage you to visit the link below and get a copy . . . and one for someone you love.

–Dan Hartman, MD



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