Now and then, childhood friends stay in touch (or reconnect) well into adulthood. Sometimes, they don’t spend much time together but their friendship holds something special still. Such is the case with Lindsay Ensor, who has guest posted here before.
I tell you this for two reasons, as I review her recently released memoir, The Girl Inside: Silent No More. First for transparency – though my review is 100% honest, despite knowing the author well. Second, because admittedly some of the pages that gutted me gave perhaps a stronger reaction because I was there. I was there at the church cantata rehearsal on the day Lindsay’s life changed forever. I was there as she grew up with confusing medical issues and confusing life issues. I may not have even realized all of it at the time, but looking back, I was there.
It doesn’t matter if you weren’t, though. If you have ever suffered from mental illness – depression, anxiety, eating disorders, drug abuse, anything – this book will astound you at how the words from your head suddenly appear on the page in front of you. Lindsay is relentless in her pursuit of awareness and advocacy, and has told me on more than one occasion that she wants people to know they aren’t alone. She works very hard at doing just this throughout the book. Her raw, transparent sharing of the voices in her head, the struggles with stigma, the lengths she went through to hide her struggles, her suicidal ideations and thoughts that only those of us who have been there can understand… it’s all there. All packed into a book that is, one hand, an easy read. It’s short and it is mostly “just” her story – though you know around here, I think that’s probably the most incredible, meaningful gift someone can give.
But in addition to her story, Lindsay adds in just enough information on mental health and various disorders, treatments, etc that make this perhaps an even better read if you don’t suffer yourself, but know someone who does. I think that, unless the person you love is this open with you, it’s truly impossible to know what many of us have thought, felt, and dealt with at times in our lives. And I can assure you, Lindsay isn’t alone in her stories either.
I highlighted and underlined and marked up line after line, section after section – and I don’t really write in books. There is just so much in The Girl Inside that is relatable, so much that is powerful. I don’t know if this will be your new favorite book. It’s a quick read (an intentional choice by Lindsay). It’s one of those that might leave you a little uneasy. I think it’s an incredibly important read though, if you’re seeking to understand a life with mental illness – or if you understand it all too well, and feel nobody else does.
Get the book on Amazon now, in paperback or Kindle.
From the publisher:
Lindsay is a survivor. She has survived a lifetime of bipolar II disorder, bulimia, anxiety, addiction, and multiple suicide attempts; she experienced most of this in silence. After having spent over 150 days in both in-patient and residential treatment facilities, she decided to share her story in hopes of reducing the stigmas against mental illness.
Her life experiences, coupled with her education in psychology and counseling, have given Lindsay the knowledge, desire, and passion to advocate for mental health awareness. It is her desire to help people better understand mental illnesses and lead them to healing so that they, too, can be survivors.
And my editor’s note:
Yeah, yeah. I already wrote a lot about the book. 🙂 But I want to add to the cover excerpt to say this – Lindsay is also a wife, a suburban mom, a college graduate, a church goer and Christ follower, a talented musician… the list goes on and on. I think it’s important to mention that even people who “have it all” and “have it all together” may suffer in silence.
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