Staying Sane

A Struggle of Survival

Non-Fiction - Memoir
248 Pages
Reviewed on 09/04/2018
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Author Biography

Emma Volesky was born in Helena, Montana. She has been diagnosed with three severe mental illnesses and has fought them throughout her life. Finding inspiration to write her book about her struggles and successes was one of the biggest accomplishments that has ever come to her. She now resides in Everett, Washington with her boyfriend and her Australian Shepherd Rev. She uses her time advocating for mental health.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Staying Sane: A Struggle of Survival is a nonfiction coming of age memoir written by Emma Volesky. Emma first experienced hallucinations when she was eight years old. She watched, horrified, as sticks danced around her bed at night, and formless white shapes crawled up the walls. Were they real? She had no way of distinguishing what was real and what was a hallucination. Her aunt had committed suicide before Emma was born, and while she had been diagnosed as having depression at the time, she was also, like Emma, bipolar. Living with mental illness was a continuing struggle for Emma as she was growing up, despite the love and acceptance of her parents and six siblings. There were the mood swings, the intense episodes of hyperactivity and the endless humiliation caused by the inappropriate things she would say at social gatherings. Most of all there was the pain, unending and so unbearable that suicide often seemed to offer the only relief. Emma would be hospitalized on a number of occasions. Sometimes it was necessary to help her survive her need to destroy herself, but other times, it was to adjust the dosages and combinations of the different drugs that kept her mind balanced.

In Staying Sane: A Struggle of Survival, Emma Volesky shares her story of living with mental illness, a condition she didn’t ask for yet she bore the stigma throughout her years in school. While many of us ruefully remember just how cruel kids in school can be to the odd one out, Emma’s experiences were particularly awful, and I could empathize with her desire to run out of class and her growing hatred of the educational process. This was particularly saddening as Emma’s love of reading and scholastic aptitude made her a natural for academic pursuits. Fortunately for us, she’s also a gifted writer who lets us see her world so vividly. It’s not always an easy ride, but, overall, I couldn’t help but feel her strength and determination coming through on every page of this most illuminating and honest memoir about living with mental illness. I’m especially looking forward to reading more works by this talented author. Staying Sane: A Struggle of Survival is most highly recommended.

Amazon Customer

This book is amazing as it takes you inside the daily struggle of a person with mental illness. Thank you Emma for sharing your story!

Amazon Customer

This book is amazing as it takes you inside the daily struggle of a person with mental illness. Thank you Emma for sharing your story!

Amazon Customer

Excellent book!

Amazon Customer

Excellent!

Amazon Customer

An excellent review of an individual experiencing mental illness from early childhood to adulthood. I could not set this book down once I began reading it!

Amazon Customer

This is a very honest view of Emma's struggles growing up with mental illness. It provides insight through the eyes of a child that most don't understand. Well done Emma, well done.

Amazon Customer

So proud of you Emma for all you've overcome and for helping others with this book. I'm proud to say that I know you and your wonderful family. I know you'll keep doing great things!

Amazon Customer

Emma is a wonderful young woman who has the courage to share her "struggle of survival." She does so beautifully in her book,
Staying Sane: A Struggle of Survival. I recommend it for anyone living with mental illness themselves, and for family and friends.

Worth it

This book is a book I would highly recommend to people who don’t have a clue of what it is like for a person with mental illness, it truly captures the depth of how chaotic the mind could be. Being a person who personally knows the writer I would say “she is one strong girl, who has been through more than what she deserves” this story of hers is one you should read. A truly inspirational person she is.