Next month I will set off on my first official Europe book tour during which I will be presenting workshops to mental health professionals on Superhero Therapy and Therapy Quest.
Here are the tour details:
That expression, “depression hurts,” doesn’t quite do it justice.
It doesn’t hurt.
Ever heard the expression “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Chances are that there is at least one name that someone called you, at least one rejection that you faced that stayed with you for years. You might have stayed up at night wondering what you could have done differently, wondering how you will be able to recover from the devastating emotional pain you are feeling.
The past two years have been extremely challenging for many people. Year 2016 can be categorized as the Year of Death – we saw more celebrity deaths than we normally do, having lost such inspirational people as David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, and many others.
Then 2017 happened. We saw drastic political changes and political unrest. We saw violence and the uprising and vocalization of white supremacy and a rapid increase in hate crimes and hate expression.
But we also saw love. And we saw hope. And justice.
Did you ever feel like you don’t belong? Like you are somehow different from the people around you? Did you ever wish you could escape to Hogwarts and find connection like Harry Potter did? I did.
I spent most of my life feeling like an outsider and wanting so badly to belong. Not fit in. But to truly belong. To be a part of something that was bigger than myself. Loneliness has been my biggest tormentor and my closest friend. I remember trying to explain to my family that I was feeling lonely even when I was around my friends. I remember feeling more connected to the characters in the fantasy books I was reading than to the kids around me on the playground.
Jessica Jones, a popular Marvel superhero is known not only for her physical strength but also for her psychological resilience. Years after she gains her superpowers, Jessica is psychologically manipulated by an evil villain, Kilgrave (A.K.A. Purple Man). Kilgrave uses his influence over Jessica to force her into a sexual relationship with him, as well as to force her to do things she normally would not do.
“The opposite of a hero is not a villain, it’s a bystander.”
-Matt Langdon (The Hero Construction Company)
Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard from the Harry Potter series, plans to extend his control over the wizarding and the Muggle (non-magical) community by wiping out all Muggles and Muggle-borns. Similar to Voldemort, Emperor Palpatine (Star Wars) seeks to exert his control over the Galaxy by wiping out the Jedi. A similar theme too is seen in the X-Men, who are persecuted for their mutant abilities.
Some people get up and go to work. Other people have to fight a dragon to get there. Or a series of dragons. Not real dragons, of course. Metaphoric ones – the dragons of despairing depression and agonizing anxiety, the dragons that burn us with shame about our supposed “not-good-enoughness” at the pit of our stomach. Those dragons.