Compassion Costs Nothing

As most of you will have seen, earlier this week Demi Lovato was hospitalised for an overdose. Demi has spoken publicly about living with Bipolar Disorder and Addiction and released song Sober in June. She hasn’t hidden from the public that she is living with an illness and doing the best she can.

When I read that she had been rushed to hospital it weighed heavy on my heart. I hoped that mental illness hadn’t taken another young life. I also knew that the internet would be full of narrow-mindedness and, of course, there was. While the majority was positive with an outpouring of love some didn’t want to know. They threw around hurtful words in regards to something that they knew nothing about. They seemed to be completely void of compassion.

compassion (noun)


Some would argue it’s ‘just because she’s famous’ that people care and, yes there are some but I think it just highlights that no matter how successful, no one is immune to mental illness. At the centre of this is a young woman in her twenties with a health condition that could very easily take her life. So many people around the world are suffering and, if anything, I hope this reminds people that this is and illness.

Compassion costs nothing, caring costs nothing. There are people you know who are likely working their way through a mental illness and trying to understand and not just write people off could really save someone’s life. Is this the most eloquent post I’ve written? No, probably not. It’s just something I needed to say. I truly hope Demi recovers. This is just the tip of the iceberg and we have so much more to do in terms of talking about mental health and I for one will keep talking, keep learning and keep loving.




How To Murder Your Life – Cat Marnell


Cat Marnell is living the dream, a career at some of the top magazines in the country, a knack for writing with her finger on the pulse, travel and glamour. That is the woman that people see when they don’t look too closely. Underneath all of that she’s coming apart at the seams. Cat is a drug addict. In her tell-all memoir Cat doesn’t hold back from the highs and lows of a glittering career, rubbing shoulders and getting advice from the best of the best in the magazine industry alongside the long nights she has spent taking prescription medication, Cocaine, Heroin and whatever else she can take. It seems there is nothing that she won’t discuss, in intimate detail.I received a copy of this memoir through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and honest I shall be. I’ll start off by saying that Marnell does not hide away from the fact that she is a

I received a copy of this memoir through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and honest I shall be. I’ll start off by saying that Marnell does not hide away from the fact that she is a self-confessed ‘privileged white girl’, in fact, she appears to wear it like a badge of honour. It might have been my first indication to put this book down and run away without looking back, instead, I thought she was being honest and that I should give her the benefit of the doubt and continued through the book. Marnell gives us an introduction of her being off of her face at an important company function, before swapping to describing her luxury home and upbringing, the parents who mistreated her and her siblings and the lack of love she received growing up. Talking of the hardships of note being able to talk to her friends, listen to the music she wants and seeing her sister sent away to a boarding school, it would be easy to feel sorry for her.

Unfortunately, there is little throughout the rest of the book to feel sorry for. Marnell has indeed lead a charmed life, often being given chances where she should have been let go of. The whole book goes from one chaotic moment to another, starting with her prescription for ADHD medication, prescribed by her father. After requesting to be sent to boarding school and wanting to try prescription medication, she quickly starts the rest of her life as a drug addict.

What followed made me more than angry, I was furious. While addiction is a terrible and terrifying illness and there are clear reasons as to why she went down this path, the way in which it was written about was quite frankly revolting. There is explicit pride in the fact that Marnell has gotten everything so, so wrong, has been rude, disrespectful and plain nasty and has still gotten all of the benefits of someone who works hard. She takes money off of her parents, grandmother, company and more and still acts like a spoilt brat when she is told to get clean.

I also found it chilling how her addiction and dreadful behaviour towards others was tolerated for so long, simply because she was a ‘good writer’, she wrote openly about being an addict and was constantly sent to rehab but there were no consequences, no drug tests at work. She could have gotten away with murder! The worst part is that throughout it all there is an underlying ‘poor me’ part to the story, which just wouldn’t wash.

I really wanted to enjoy this book but found the author to be selfish and generally unlikeable. I gave this 1 star, because I was offended that someone like this, with no regard for anyone else, could be celebrated in the way she had.



Book Review: Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher


‘It isn’t all sweetness and light sabres’

Carrie Fisher was born into the madness of Hollywood, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher grew up watching her parents sing, dance and act. Is it any surprise that this bundle of joy grew up to be one of the best known actresses of her generation? At the tender age of nineteen Carrie was catapulted into stardom after the release of Star Wars A New Hope as Princess Leia became the heroine girls wanted to be and the beauty the boys wanted to date. In Carries memoir, written to accompany her stage show of the same name, she reminds us that underneath the glamour of it at she had to cope with her own demons; addiction, mental illness and the media.

Now, if you didn’t know already I LOVE Star Wars, I got into it last year after finally watching the original trilogy (after being put off by the prequels on TV) and now I’m obsessed. Finding out that Carrie had written a memoir (she’s actually written a second and had a third coming out later this year) meant I had to get hold of a copy, especially as I knew it spoke openly and honestly about her experiences with  mental illness as well. There’s many reasons why I adore Carrie Fisher and her humor and ability to be open about having Bipolar Disorder is just one of them, before this turns into a post gushing about how awesome Carrie Fisher is let’s get on with the review.

When I started reading Wishful Drinking, I knew barely anything about Carrie Fisher in fact I knew about 4 things. I knew she’d played Princess Leia, that she also had a mental illness, that she was hillarious and that she is in love with her dog Gary. I knew nothing about her addiction, that she was a fiction writer or that she had famous parents. Going into this mostly blind I was shocked and in awe of Carrie and her achievements. The fact that at 19 she was relatively unknown and went on to be such a huge star would mess with most peoples heads, couple that with the rather odd upbringing she had (including having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother) Carrie appears to have developed a thick skin and a brilliant sense of humor. I laughed and laughed.

The memoir has gotten a lot of negative reviews for being ‘too short’ or having a hectic structure. While I can see where other readers get this view I felt that this accurately portrayed what Carrie was saying, the narrative perfectly fit the voice. Also, I’ve now watched the show and seeing as this was a supplement for those who couldn’t see it personally I can understand its length. If you’d like to watch it as well as reading, there are some great clips on youtube to give you an idea of how she performed this on stage, I absolutely loved it and wished I could have seen it live.

I also praise this for Carrie’s honesty, it feels like there is nothing she hides from us. She’ll tell you about her absolute lowest points in life, about the addiction she faced and the love she has for her daughter, Billie. With that in mind Carrie is in no way self pitying, she laughs at the past, her family and the craziness that has been her life. She’ll remind you that sometimes she forgets things because the Electric Shock Therapy she has for Bipolar Disorder wipe out a good portion of her memory. She makes us remember not to take life too seriously.

I gave Wishful Drinking four stars ****. I really enjoyed this as a quick read and an insight into Carrie’s life before, during and after Star Wars. What I like most though, is Carrie’s humor and positivity. I know how awful life can get when you’re sick and how much more you appreciate life when you’re better and Carrie absolutely embodies that. I highly recommend Wishful Drinking for anyone who wants a quick and hilarious read.

The Skeleton Cupboard – Tanya Byron


‘I first became fascinated by the frontal lobes of the human brain when I saw my grandmother’s sprayed across the skirting board of her dark and cluttered house. I was fifteen’ 

Professor Tanya Byron is a well known clinical psychologist, but before she made her name she started just like anyone else new to the job and trying to learn the ropes. The book follows the twists and turns that Tanya faces as she tries to navigate not only her professional life but also her personal reactions.

The best part about this book, for me, is the fact that Byron shows herself as human here. She’s young and trying to muddle her way through and break into a career, becoming a clinical psychologist is not an easy thing to do especially as you need to partition your emotions and focus on the person you are helping without getting too tied up emotionally and being able to switch off at night, while still showing that you care in appointments. There is no coldness in this book.

I’m always slightly hesitant to read books from mental health professionals, because some are totally unsympathetic to what it feels to be on the other side of the chair. I can confirm that Byron is incredibly thoughtful, sympathetic and caring towards not only her patients but also to people with mental health conditions in general. There are far too many professionals who write books and treat people with merely clinical association.

I will warn you that this is not an easy book to read. I was scared, I laughed and I cried throughout because the people that Byron meets become incredibly real to you. There are topics that aren’t easy to read about, eating disorders, abuse victims, drug addiction, violence, self harm, dementia just to name a few but in these you really get a grasp of how vital psychologists are as well as the work they do.

I give this 5 stars *****. This is a well written, thought provoking and educational piece of literature that I feel almost anyone would connect with. Byron is unflinchingly honest about what it is like to train in this field making her thoughts, feelings, mistakes and successes known. I feel like anyone who has an interest in psychology, social work or merely people could learn a lot from this book, especially as it doesn’t throw in jargon that only academics will understand, Byron has truly made this available for all. I highly recommend this book.

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts, have you read it or do you want to? Do you have any ideas for me? Let me know!

Review by Chloe Metzger