You Are Not Alone

You are not alone with a drawing of a group of people with their arms around each other

Before we get into it, I want to let you know that this is probably a more serious blog than you are used to seeing from the library. As such I want to put two mental health resources front and center before we get into it.

988 is the Missouri suicide and crisis lifeline. 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

And here is a link for the directory of certified community behavioral health clinics. Not the most exciting page to look at, but a possible starting point for those who feel they need treatment or would like an official diagnosis.

Being a teenager is rough all around, but for some of us it’s rougher than others and that’s real. You’re not imagining it. Let me repeat myself, you are not alone. They say it gets better, but for some of us, it never does. At least, not without some help and some tools. In case you haven’t guessed it, this one goes out to all my neurodivergents out there.

I’m sure that it wasn’t the first time my depression showed, but it’s the one that stands out in my memory. Like someone had turned on a light and now the shapes resolved themselves into tangible forms. But since this is depression we’re talking about it was probably like an evil black light or one of those horror movie lights that flicker off and on as the clown gets closer, um, let’s leave this metaphor alone. Back to the story, due to various life events we temporarily occupied two different houses and as my mother was driving me from one house to another, I was well into my second hour of uncontrolled crying. My mother asked me what was wrong and I told her I didn’t know. That’s it, that’s the moment, but when I look back on it having no reason was the very reason itself. I was/am clinically depressed and in my case it was still years down the road that I would benefit from medication and behavioral training.

Now, I know that not all neurodivergence necessitates or even allows for treatments. This is my story and yours is your own. But neurodivergence always separates us from others. It’s there in the word divergence. To deviate. If there is some straight path that other people are walking then we can’t see it, or can’t find it, or just can’t seem to stay on it. But, that doesn’t mean we are alone.

So how can I, the library, help you be not alone? It may surprise you, but the answer is books:

Where to Start

How I wish I had something like this. A guide put together by a non-profit mental health coalition intended to help you figure out just what’s going on. What works for anxiety may not necessarily work for depression or bipolar and so on. Plus, you may not even know the name for what you’ve got going on yet and that’s okay.

The Many Half-lived Lives of Sam Sylvester

Another perk of our modern times is that autistic non-binary teens get to solve crimes too! Sam teams up with their friends in the LGBTQ community to solve a murder mystery with a host of varied and quirky characters.

The Art of Insanity

Centered around a girl struggling to control her bipolar disorder, this novel touches on a subject familiar to many neurodivergent individuals. “But you don’t look like you’re depressed!” aka masking. Sometimes we get very good at putting on a good face and convincing everyone around us that we’re just like them. But Natalie also has to face the same problem that many of us have when things that are out of her control happen and it becomes much more difficult to mask.

I Am Not Alone

Okay, okay you see why I couldn’t resist adding this one to the list. Alberto has schizophrenia and has to ask himself the same question that many of us may ask ourselves at some point “Am I a monster?”. Another crime solver, but one where the main character isn’t just a suspect, but suspects himself. It’s also another book that shows how much we can benefit from a little outside help.



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