I Don’t Want to Be Crazy | book review


It’s Christmas Eve, and what am I up to? Am I wrapping presents, or baking cookies, or going to bed early so that I can be well-rested for a long day tomorrow filled with family and friends and socializing? No, of course not. I’m staying up until 1am rapidly finishing a book I started less than 24 hours ago. That is my life.

Title: I Don’t Want to Be Crazy
Author: Samantha Schutz
Publisher: Push
Publication Date: July 2006
Rating: 4.5 stars

Everybody knows what it’s like to feel anxious. Everybody knows what panic feels like. But anybody who has an anxiety disorder, or has had panic attacks, or has experienced anything of the sort, will relate to this book on a deep level. I downloaded this book not expecting much, but was intrigued due to my own issues with anxiety. I was hoping I’d be able to relate. And believe me, I related to this book more than I wanted to.

This book is a poetry memoir, and it is beautiful. Schutz writes about her life beyond her senior year of high school, and eventually beyond college, all the while struggling with an anxiety disorder. While reading this book, I felt just as anxious as Samantha while she experienced her anxiety. I almost had an attack just reading this. People who don’t have anxiety may not love this book as much as I did, and may not be as touched by it, but I still think it’s worth a read. The poetry is beautiful and flows fantastically, and Samantha is such a relatable character. Even if you don’t have anxiety or panic disorders, some of you can still relate to the feelings of graduating high school, starting college, traveling abroad, finding a job once school is completely over, the harsh reality of relationships beginning and ending…so many things are packed into this novel. All these things resonated with me on deep levels. I couldn’t put the book down. I’m not diagnosed with anxiety, but I believe I have it. I’ve had panic attacks before, and could relate to Samantha in many of her situations. I may be a junior in college, but it’s my first year living on campus, and seeing Samantha transition each year inspired me and terrified me. I have plans to study abroad next year, something that Samantha does, which gives me a little more courage. Honestly, this book means a lot to me. I feel as though I’m rambling in this review – probably because it’s one in the morning on Christmas and I had a long day of work and have spent the past few hours filled with anxiety while reading this book, but, it was worth it. I urge you to read this book, whether you have anxiety or not, whether you’re in high school or college or recently out in the “real world,” as parents like to call it. I Don’t Want To Be Crazy is a wild ride, and the fact that it’s a true story makes it even more powerful. But it’s the relatability you feel while reading that makes it all worth it. True, this book made me feel anxious and scared and all the bad things I like to try and bury, but it also made me feel hopeful, powerful, and a little optimistic. Please read this book.

And I hope everybody has a merry Christmas. I hope you all get some good books this year. Sadly, I have a feeling nobody bought me any…

Favorite Quote: “Coming home for winter break is like regression.”

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