Bring Me To Light

Disclaimer: Although this book was gifted by Trigger Publishing, this is an honest review of “Bring Me To Light.

Bring Me To Light.

“Eleanor Segall’s life was beginning. An aspiring actress and a family girl, she never though her future would be derailed by mental illness. After a spate of depressive and manic episodes, panic attacks and social anxiety, Eleanor found herself in The Priory at age 16. The diagnosis? Bipolar I disorder.

But Eleanor didn’t let it stop her for long. Now a successful blogger, journalist, and pillar of the mental health and Jewish communities, she writes about finding recovery and hope after being unwell.

Her story of picking herself back up again and surviving against the odds will resonate with many – and it can help you find that light in the darkness too. “

“Eleanor has given a very honest first-hand account into her recovery from mental illness.”

Having followed Eleanor for some time, I was pleasantly surprised when Trigger Publishing offered me a free book ahead of its release.

From chapter one I was able to find similarities between Eleanor’s childhood and that of my own. Eleanor’s childhood was not dissimilar to mine. The family structure, religious undertones, social interaction, school pressures, and mental illness is all too familiar. In fact, on several occasions, it felt as if ‘Bring Me To Light’ was written with me in mind.

“I was born into a family that made me feel safe, loved and supported. Mum and Dad were delighted to become parents, so I was spoilt by the whole family, especially since I was the first grandchild on my dad’s side and the first granddaughter on my mum’s.”

Page 17, Bring Me To Light.

Eleanor touches on many difficult subjects throughout such as religion, mental illness, divorce, death and inpatient treatment. We learn very quickly that her father has also been diagnosed with bipolar. Although suffering from frequent manic and depressive episodes throughout the nineties, he wasn’t formally diagnosed until 2000. His own narrative appears at various points throughout the book, giving us further insight into the effects of the illness.

“During those nine years in which I went undiagnosed, I experienced three manic episodes, each followed by a depressive one. Over time, each manic episode and each depressive episode got progressively worse.”

Page 23, Bring Me To Light; Eleanor’s Father.

She describes how her illness began to appear in high school with frequent symptoms of depression. This was followed by an episode of mania while on a trip to Isreal with her youth group. Concerned about her overly sexual and out of character behaviour, Eleanor’s father was called to come and take her home. After a meeting with her psychiatrist she was given prescribed tranquilsers and sleep. No change was made to her previous diagnoses of depression and anxiety.

It’s only as Eleanor starts back to school that cracks begin to appear. Finally, after experiencing delusions of sexual abuse, she’s admitted to *The Priory for treatment.

(*The Priory is a group of mental health hospitals throughout the UK. It treats different kinds of mental illness)

Unsurprisingly, Eleanor experienced a decline in her confidence and self-esteem following her admission. She describes feeling ‘like a freak’ because of her mental illness, which subsequently leads to social anxiety.

“After all that had happened to me, I had a low opinion of myself. I still partly blame myself for my illness and everything that happened to me in Israel. I was embarressed that I had wanted to kiss boys I had only just met: it just wasn’t in my character.

I didn’t know who I was. Who was this teenager with the crazy, uncontrollable brain?”

Page 54, Bring Me To Light.

As someone who has struggled with mental illnesses throughout her life, I understand these feelings all too well. It’s taxing to spend everyday hyper-aware that others are reacting differently to you due to your diagnosis. Although is difficult to deal with as an adult, as a teenager this increases tenfold. Adults may be unforgiving, but empathy among teenagers is significantly lower.

However, despite everything, Eleanor bounced back! She completed her A-Levels, and would later go onto University. Here she began to flourish in a new environment, and among new people. She continued to pursue her love of acting, got involved in Jewish Societies and expanded her faith. Eleanor even took various trips to both India and Ghana, a milestone by any stretch.

Final Words:

*Please note: The above is not the extent of this story, not by a long shot. I stopped reviewing at this point because I didn’t want to spoil the book for anyone.

Eleanor began blogging while in outpatient treatment as both an outlet for her thoughts and to provide education to others. Like many of those with mental and physical illness, Eleanor’s writing became like therapy. When the words are placed on page or screen, they’re less likely to be bouncing off the walls of our brains. It’s a perfect example of how art, of any kind, can release built-up tension.

Visit Eleanor’s award-winning blog: “Be Ur Own Light

She has also successfully worked with mental health organisations such as Time to Change, Mind and SANE, and has even written for publications such as The Telegraph, Glamour and Happiful Magazine.

“Bring Me To Light” is a wonderful and brutally honest account of living with Bipolar Disorder. For anyone who lives with any illness, chronic or mental, should read this book. Like me, you’ll find yourself identifying with parts of Eleanor’s past.

I found it quite difficult to read some chapters as I empathised quite a bit with her emotions and thought patterns. With that being said I do love a book that makes me feel strong emotions, as many memoirs usually do.

Bring Me To Light will be available on November 5th, 2019.

76 thoughts on “Bring Me To Light

  1. I never get tired of knowing new books, maybe I never thought of them, and then once I read they make me so happy!

    1. Thank you so much for reading the review. I certainly urge you to read it when it’s released. Eleanor was so brave bearing her soul to us like this.

    1. I enjoyed it so much I read it twice (although, once I was taking notes for the review). It’s certainly worth a read upon it’s release date.

  2. Thank you for sharing this I am for sure going to read Be your own light! I come from a family with anxiety, depression, substance abuse and manic bipolar so mental health is always on my mind.

    1. You’ll find this very relatable then. My family is the same in regards to depression etc so it’s certainly being passed on to them. Thank you so much for reading the review 🙂

  3. Very uplifting story leave me with teary eyed while reading it. Experiencing depression is not easy I hope we all can find peace and harmony in our life no matter what situation we are in.

    1. The book is certainly worth a read. I’m not ashamed to admit I may have had a wee cry at one point because it’s just very relatable for me, despite the fact I’ve never suffered from Bipolar. Mental illness and the treatment of it is just a very relateable experience across the board.

    1. It’s certainly worthy of bookcase status. I’m passing it on to friends and family because I loved it so much. It was just so relatable to me.

  4. How inspirational to see someone who had such a difficult life and used it to help others with what she learned. Great review!

    1. It’s a truly excellent book. I got through it in just over a day, and then read it again just for the review. Definitely worth the second reading.

  5. The book sounds incredible. I work with patients suffering from mental illness and I know that tge struggle is real. The tough part is that almost everyone has some degree of MI but go undiagnosed. But they call us crazy. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your insight. A lot of people are in denial about their mental health, like you said, which means they lean more heavily into bashing those of us who have actually sought help. Or at least in my experience.

  6. This sounds like such an interesting read. I think I would enjoy this book and her story is inspiring.

  7. Sounds an interesting read. I love reading books that give an insight into someone else’s life but sometimes I feel as though I am prying into their private thoughts

  8. Hi everyone..Im the author and just want to.say thank you so much Nyx for your kind words and recommendations. I hope it helps many of you…thats why I wrote down my story. Please do read with care too. Thanks again lots of love Eleanor

  9. Thank you for your review of this book. Mental illness is a topic that needs to be discussed and not have a stigma attached to it. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This is going on my reading this for sure! As someone that lives with similar diagnosis, this could be right up my alley.

    1. Although not the same diagnoses, mine is similar. Like you mentioned, it was right up my street and I found myself connecting with the book moreso because of that.

  11. Thank you for this review. I was looking for something worth reading. I am really stressed right now because of my work and I feel it will be a good read for me. 🙂

  12. What an honest review. Gonna check this book now. It’s right in time. Because I am looking for a new set of books to read. Thanks!

  13. What a good read. Thanks for the detailed review, it really pushed my interest. I tend to read a lot when I travel.

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