Review: Michelle Balge – A Way Out

A Way Out
Michelle Balge

“Michelle is able to share her experiences [with depression and social anxiety] in a way that allows others to go along for the ride with her: the highs, the lows, and the amusingly unexpected. It artfully conveys Michelle’s journey through mental illness and toward mental health. Beyond the haunting honesty, A Way Out delivers heart, humour, and hope.”

This book will leave you feeling breathless and raw. The author’s honesty is breathtaking and painful, and will make inroads on your heart. What Michelle has written will resonate with other people who have been or are depressed, and hopefully make people feel less alone. Her descriptions of how she felt when deeply depressed may feel familiar, equally so the pages on her social anxiety.

Sometimes the writing style was irritating. I would have preferred for all of it to be in past tense, and not have giveaways of what the future held. It’s a little difficult to explain what I mean by this, but if you pick it up you’l quickly realize what I mean, The words themselves though and the portrait they paint is unarguably both bleak and hopeful at the same time.

What I really like about this book is that Michelle shares the WHOLE story, not just the things that work. It’s a realistic (I’d hope so, since it’s non-fiction) look at what it really feels like to be depressed and anxious, and to try different methods to combat it. The author even lists some strategies that helped her – which include medication! So many novels I read about depression/anxiety suggest that people that need medication to treat these conditions are pathetic/lesser beings compared to those who can manage with ‘just’ lifestyle changes. Remember that every person is an individual.

I don’t think I would reread this non-fiction at this stage in my life, but others might. If you have even a passing interest in understanding mental illness or have a similar mental illness that you would like to understand someone else’s perspective on, great this book. I would compare this to Two Years of Wonder in terms of author honesty and accessibility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.