‘This Too Will Pass, Anxiety in a Professional World’ by Richard Martin
‘This Too Will Pass’ by Richard Martin is a memoir, published by Trigger Publishing. Trigger Publishing was set up in 2016 by the Shaw Foundation to specialise in telling the stories of those who have suffered with mental illness and recovered. They have some really cool authors on their books, so I would highly recommend checking them out.
I originally purchased ‘This Too Will Pass’ because in May we have Mental Health Awareness week in the UK, and I wanted to mold my reading around that. Picking a topic, and a number of different types of books/publications is one of the ways I am trying to get my ‘to be read’ pile under control – I’ll let you know how it goes! Martin’s book caught my eye for a number of reasons. Mostly, because my Mum has throughout my life said ‘this too shall/will pass’ alongside ‘it will all be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright it’ not the end’ so I wanted to see what had made Martin chose that for the title of his book.
I was also drawn to Martin’s work as he was very open about his “highflying legal career”. As mentioned in my review of Sarah Langford’s ‘In Your Defence’ I studied a legal undergraduate degree and felt as though it was an environment I wouldn’t feel comfortable in. Partly, because of nature of what a lot of modern UK law is like, but also due to the type of macho, hard as nails type persona a lot of successful solicitors/barristers present. So it appealed to me that here was a clearly successful legal professional, being open, honest, and human about their struggles with mental illness.
Open, honest & human.
Those are the three words I would use to sum up Martin’s work. His use of diary entries & post-event commentary made for a really captivating read. By combining the two forms of writing, he stopped it being too overly emotional & raw, without compromising on the human aspect of the story. Throughout the book I connected with what Martin was talking about; partly because his symptoms of mental illness were very similar to some of the ones I have experienced, but also because it doesn’t feel like he is trying to hide anything from you. I liked the way in which he spoke about his experiences in his French house. I often find when I am abroad – especially in a place that feels familiar – a sense of slowness, that just feels natural. Learning to achieve this pace of life, and balance other commitments back home is not yet something I have mastered, but knowing that this is something other people are dealing with is extremely comforting.
Towards the end of the book, Martin gives a clearer summary of the different types of treatment that he had/has. This was a really helpful section of the book, and a nice addition to the discussions about recovering from mental illness. Martin was clear that he had used medication and that it worked for him, but also that there are other parts of the treatment process: multiple types of talking therapies, exercise, changing habits etc.. etc.. By being open about all types of treatment, it felt to me, like Martin helped legitimise them.
Mental illnesses are not yet something that we fully understand or comprehend as a society. There is still a stigma attached, and globally there are different cultural understandings & apprehensions. If the likes of Trigger Publishing and Richard Martin can begin to help push those discussions to the forefront of societies minds then I feel we are moving in the right direction.
“And the thing about mental illness is there are no rules, no one can tell you what you can and cannot manage, and when it’s your first encounter with it, you have no experiences to fall back on”
‘This Too Will Pass‘ in Facts:
Author: Richard Martin
First Published: 2018
Publishing House: Trigger Publishing
In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email@example.com. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.