‘Hello Me, it’s You is a collection of letters by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues. The letters are written to their 16-year-old selves, giving beautifully honest advice, insight and encouragement for all that lays ahead of them.’
When hearing about the premise of this book, I was intrigued. I know that when I was 16 and suffering with a deep depression I felt alone and that no on in the world felt this way, that it wouldn’t get better. I really wish I’d had this book. Each letter is written by a different person telling their younger selves what they wish they had known and what is to come. It was interesting to read, partially because of a lot of the letters written were by people my own age, writing back, it definitely made me think about what I would want to tell to my 16-year-old self.
Each letter was deeply emotional and took a different direction. While some authors felt that they would simply tell their past selves that things get better, others gave advice on what they were going to go through and how to cope or ways they would cope eventually. I think that this is a book to pick up and put down because it can be quite heavy reading. There are a lot of issues discussed, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, general feelings of a lack of self-worth. Of course, these are issues that need to be spoken about, but as someone who has been and currently is going through mental health issues it can be hard to read about these things, so I found myself taking a break here and there. If nothing else this book should remind you that self-care is important.
I will admit there are some point where I wondered if you would really tell your past self just how bad things will get, but I think that really depends on you as a person. Of course, all of this is hypothetical, we know that we can’t go back in time and tell our past selves anything, however, what is incredible about these letters is that it could speak to someone who feels like they are alone. Each and every one of these letters is unique and will be able to speak to young people who are struggling and encourage them to either talk to someone or give comfort that they are not alone.
I gave this book 4 stars. It was a brilliant idea and I think it could help a lot of young people through some really difficult times. More books like this are definitely needed to show people that mental illness does not mean that your life is over. It also doesn’t mean that you need to live in fear, nor do you have to live alone.