I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Sarah Woods is Unborderline is 105 pages of autobiographical fiction which demonstrates that recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is possible. The author, Monica Ashton Agius, is passionate about mental health and is deeply concerned with the impact that mental illness has on us all. This book, although fiction, has such a ring of truth to it that one can't help feel that Sarah Woods is a real person.
This story is powerfully written in the first person and you can 'hear' Sarah voicing her doubts and pain. Having said that, I did not find it dark or depressing as Sarah managed to find ways and means to deal with and conquer her condition. There is a humour and lightness to the book, even though it deals with dark and difficult subjects. Throughout the story, we meet a cast of characters with interesting names such as 'Smug Lawyer', 'Grumpy Tradie' and 'Unavailable Teacher', who amongst others, have helped to shape Sarah and her journey.
Sarah Woods Is Unborderline is easy to read and well organised into thirteen short chapters, an introduction, prologue and epilogue. The chapters have titles such as 'Anxiety', 'Triggers', 'Codependency' and 'Grace'. At the end of some, there are tips used by Sarah to manage her triggers, self-soothe and practise mindfulness. I am sure I will revisit this book to refresh myself regarding the coping strategies that 'Sarah' uses when things start to overcome her.
Regardless of our mental health or otherwise, we all need reminding to be more gentle on ourselves and to stop having unrealistic expectations of ourselves and those around us.