Depression. It’s a battle. One that too many people sadly cannot conquer, or even know how to begin to tackle.
Recent studies in Australia show that a person takes their own life every three hours. Men in particular are still stigmatised when it comes to looking after their mental and emotional well being, and this contributes to the fact that there are so many men who not only find themselves in a depressive state, but get stuck there; sometimes for the rest of their lives, or worse still, reaching the point of ending their own lives.
Something needs to change, and stories like Rick’s are exactly what are needed.
Rick Williams would be considered by many to be your average, Aussie male, and there’s no doubt that his story will sound awfully familiar to most young males living in today’s society.
As you read his brutally honest words, share in his pain, confusion and challenges, you will soon realise just how inspiring it is to find out how he has been able to overcome it.
I am the Architect of my own Destruction is the powerful, real life story of this incredible young man’s journey from the absolute depths of depression, to living a full and purposeful life.
WHERE CAN I GET IT: White Light Publishing House, $14.99
WHEN CAN I GET MY HANDS ON IT: Available now!
WHAT CAN I EXPECT: A brutally honest account of one man and his struggle to understand his depression.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: This book discusses depression and suicide, as well as feelings of loneliness, hopelessness and drug use. If you need immediate help with these issues please call Lifeline Australia 24/7 on 13 11 14
Firstly, let me start by saying that this was an incredibly difficult book to read as I know the author personally. Which in no way colours my opinion as a reviewer, however, it did make reading it on the treadmill at the gym a particularly bad idea.
I received a digital copy of Williams book from his publisher and so am privileged to be among one of the first to read it in full. I would like to note exactly how much strength it would have taken to write something like this in the first place, but to also go on to publish it as well, it just illustrates just how determined Williams is to regain further control of his life, his destiny.
As a person who has been around depression constantly from a young age, this book struck a particular chord with me and it resonated deeply. Rick’s words are heartfelt, and brutally honest. I feel that perhaps this started out as a kind of therapy for Williams to relieve some of the symptoms, he says as much in the book itself, but the fact is, it has turned in to so much more than that. I am the Architect of my Own Destruction is a manual of hope. A deep exploration of one man seeing the darkest parts of his own soul and then baring them to the sun in defiance.
Having known Williams personally, the journey he has been on since I’ve known him is incredible, and so at odds with the boy I once knew. But I suppose that was the point he was getting at, its not about how I feel, its about how I can make others feel, especially those who may be battling all kinds of demons that just aren’t visible to anyone else, and sometimes take a long time to make themselves visible to the person they are inhabiting.
The truly perfect thing about Williams maiden publication is that it is a normal guy discussing something that most normal guys find incredibly difficult to discuss, feelings. But he does it in a way that I think a lot of self-help manuals and depression stories lack. He tells his story as if he is out on a weekend camping with mates and he’s getting a few things of his chest. His voice is calm, honest and shapes depression in a brutal light that shines brighter on some days then it does on others, on some people and not on others.
Williams makes use of a couple of really good analogies as examples of situations where his depression needed further clarification either for himself or for his reader. I know I appreciated those, because as someone who as a non-sufferer, may not always have the clearest picture or deepest appreciation of what my family members are going through.
The stand out part for me though was the words that helped Williams see a clearer vision of the future:
“Three Legged Dog”
To help you understand this further, Williams says that these three words brought things into a new light for him because he was able to use them as an example. A four legged dog is happy and loving and embraces life, but does a three legged dog do the same? Of course he does because he’s a dog who is happy and loving and embraces life all the same, having three legs doesn’t make him any less happy or any less loving or any less of a dog. And lets face it, we all love dogs.
On a more practical note, the text itself needed a tad more editing as the were a handful of minor errors that stood out to this editor’s eye.
I’d like to offer personal thanks to Williams for finding the courage to share his story with the world, and to say that as much as this has helped you conquer your demons, it is only just beginning to help someone else with theirs.
If you need immediate help with suicide please call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For more information on depression visit BeyondBlue
For specific help with male depression visit Man Therapy