FIRST, WE MAKE THE BEAST BEAUTIFUL: A NEW JOURNEY THROUGH AN
No. of Pages, 312
The book will resonate best with anyone who wrestles with the devastating impact of mental illness. I truly empathize with Wilson’s struggles. She finds meditation, exercise and learning to sit with her discomfort to be invaluable tools for healing, instead of the impulsivity, perpetual change and a pervasive desire to flee whenever anxiety becomes intolerable. Wilson also realizes that age and time give her greater perspective on how to ride out her relentless worry episodes. She finds more balance and self-acceptance, and is able to dwell with her anxiety when it arises, rather than just trying to eradicate it. At one point, Wilson mentions being awake for several days at a time at the height of her anxiety. Certainly, protracted periods without sleep can bring on mental fragility. With significant sleep loss, mental and physical impairment would be expected. Wilson clearly wants to understand her complicated relationship with anxiety, and she succeeds. Wilson’s memoir is engaging, earnest and somewhat frenetic. It is filled with insight, research, grace, near-constant searching and moments of hard-won wisdom. Wilson mentions anxiety, depression, mania and obsessive compulsive disorder. However, she is highly intelligent and deeply compassionate and honest, communicating her own difficulties and life experience in a bid to help others with similar problems.