Light and Darkness
I could write a long piece on how I feel about the way people’s perceptions toward mental illness and mental health are severely damaging, but it isn’t going to change much. There are those who know what it feels like to be weighed down by it, and there are those who just don’t want to hear about it. They believe if they can’t see it, they don’t need to think about it. They also think that, because most people who suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. are still functioning members of society, it’s some kind of weakness or that the people living with it just need better meds or to “get over it.” After all, everyone gets sad, right?
In this series, I tried to give voice to the real thoughts that run through your head when you live with constant self-hate. Perhaps from the outside, you look fine. Maybe you even have plenty of days when you feel fine. At least mostly. What sucks about depression, though, is the way that it doesn’t always have a reason for appearing. Things start to pick up and then… bam. You’re back in the hole.
Personally, I find it strange how people can be so sympathetic to a physical illness, but be so hateful toward one they can’t see the symptoms of as they manifest. We throw around words like “crazy,” “bipolar,” even “moody,” but sometimes, it isn’t even logical. Gmail loses a message we send and the response is, “sorry I didn’t read that; my email was being bipolar.” Can you imagine saying, “sorry, my email had AIDS?” Now, believe me, I am not making light of terminal illness, either, and I’m not even the kind of person who gets offended most of the time when people speak without thinking, but it’s reflective of our attitudes. Depression is also a terminal illness, whether people realize it or not. Not only does it have physical side effects, but suicide is a serious possibility as well. People who are sad do not understand the endless feeling that you really would be better off not living.
All of this is a part of this series – but it’s also a series about hope. Jack is depressed. He’s not going to meet a girl and suddenly stop being sad. He’s not going to “get over” watching his father kill his mom. These are not things that happen in real life. What he does find, however, is someone who stands by him when he sinks to his lowest, and is there when he’s okay as well. He finds a girl who gives him a reason to keep living – and even when she isn’t enough, she doesn’t give up on him. He finds someone who helps him to let go of the burden he carries, even if only slightly, by sharing it with her. For all the talk that Lily is whiny and annoying, I just want to say that people who live with someone with depression know how strong you really need to be. She’s not a superhero. She’s not special. What she is, though, is a girl who loves enough to keep loving, even when the person she loves pushes back and tries to close her out.
I see life as a series of steep hills and deep valleys. When you’re in the valley and it’s dark all around you, sometimes the top of that hill looks unreachable. But when you reach the light and open air of the peak, and someone’s there with you to hold onto that light for when you fall again, it almost seems like the valleys are not bottomless.
THE FLOWERING SERIES
This series is about growing up, about “flowering” into the person you become. It’s also about love and how it starts with one chance encounter and turns into a lifetime. Jack and Lily don’t have it easy, but they have each other. They’re not billionaires or rock stars or undercover agents; they’re just college kids looking to be a little less alone in the world.
Now complete in one volume. Includes the short stories, "Her Brother's Best Friend" and "Morning Glory;" the novels, Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, Blue Rose, and Orange Blossom; and the novellas, Star of Bethlehem and Ambrosia.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She's written works in various genres - romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn't as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she's been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships - romantic, familial, friendly - because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn't matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future - human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah's stories.
Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.
When Sarah isn't writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.
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Light and Darkness - Guest Post from Author Sarah Daltry Reviewed by Joshua Cook on 11:45 PM Rating: