Last year I came across this book and was immediately intrigued by the synopsis, which is as follows.
“I’m going to tell you why we came back from the caravan holiday without Simon and how I spent the next ten years living with him. About Nanny Noo’s typewriter and why dead people still have birthdays. About the shock of the fall and the blood on my knee.”
It took me a while to get it but I finally picked it up from the library and I am so glad that I did.
The shock of the fall written by Nathan Filer follows Matthew, who is trying to come to terms with his brothers death while also dealing with his own mental illness.
It is written as a memoir of sorts which I feel captures the thought process (or lack there of at times) of someone suffering from a mental illness so well.
As someone who suffers from mental illness I really feel like this book gives the reader a more realistic insight into what it’s actually like to live with such diseases and I also loved the fact that Matthews loved ones had such honest reactions to what they could see him dealing with, so often in books about mental illness the loved ones are skimmed over or just forgotten. Families and loved ones play a huge part when it comes to coping with mental issues, they can make things worse or they can make things better (Sometimes both things simultaneously) and I really loved that the book took the time to show just how hard things were for everyone involved.
I was almost at the end of the book when this paragraph jumped out at me….
“Mental illness turns people inwards. That’s what I reckon. It keeps us forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or a cut thumb will grab your attention, holding it so tightly that your good arm or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.”
That is one of the best descriptions of mental illness I think I have ever read, I also think it’s fucking beautiful. Mental illness does make you selfish at times and personally it has helped me by becoming more aware of that so I can try not to make life a living hell for MY loved ones……It’s a work in progress kind of thing, I’m working on a rewards system for myself….it’ll be great.
The shock of the fall is a very raw and honest book and it doesn’t sugarcoat anything so if you are looking for a warm and fuzzy book this one isn’t for you…….obviously….but I highly recommend that you check it out at some point because it is worth the read.
And if you have already read this or if you know of any other books about mental illness that you think I should check out, please let me know! I really love reading about stuff like this, I suppose it resonates with me a bit and makes me feel less alone……plus I’m obsessed with crazy stuff…..Shhhhh.