A Different Catharsis

I stumbled upon Anna Akana’s So Much I Want to Tell You several months ago, and was immediately hooked. That led me to reading all of her books, subscribing to her YouTube channel, and just having a ton of admiration and respect for her raw honesty and fearlessness.

Anna’s sister committed suicide when she was just 13-years-old, which undoubtedly shattered her world. She used comedy as a catharsis, and continues to use her humor to break through stigmas, share her grief, and inspire us to remain strong during tough times.

I also most recently read Surviving Suicide, which is a compilation of entries she wrote during that time. One excerpt that drove home was when she declared, “I can’t handle the thoughts in my own head anymore. So I’m trying to keep myself occupied with books. So far I average a book a day. I need something to keep away the terrible depression.”

I’m already on book #14 this month, and find that even reading (which serves as a healthier outlet than other destructive reactions) can be a struggle to pursue, but a discipline that can be mastered. So far in 2018, I’ve found laughter in Gabbie Hanna’s Adultolescence, suspense in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, colorful illusions in Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, vulnerability in Rudy Francisco’s Helium, and entertaining reminiscences in Katharine McGee’s The Dazzling Heights. I’m delving into these intimate moments with these narratives, and learning from the authors themselves; and for that, I am grateful.

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