FADE TO WHITE
The story behind the story and other sparks of light
Fade to White is a story that I needed to write for my own mental health. Five years ago, when I first started this book–typing out a scattered mess of words–I used my own experiences with anxiety as a starting point. For months, I couldn’t leave home without a constricted heart, unsettled stomach, and a duffel bag full of emergency supplies in the event of an impending natural disaster. Writing within the confines of my less-fearful home seemed like a good alternative. It was safe. It made sense. Until it didn’t.
Read the full author note HERE or at the front of your copy of Fade to White
You can’t get rid of mental illness by pretending it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t go away with a round of medicine and a day in bed. It ebbs and flows and never really disappears. That doesn’t mean you can’t improve. Like most physical illnesses, you need to address the underlying causes if you want to really heal.
I realized this only after much coercion from loved ones. I tackled my anxiety with a holistic mindset. I considered my biological state in partnership with my doctor, I attended group counseling for the cracked-porcelain state of my headspace, and I surrounded myself with friends who didn’t require explanations or put out their own DIY solutions. It helped. But there was still something deeper that wasn’t being addressed.
I was afraid of everything – from being T-boned on the road to having my pimple called out by the coffee shop barista. I was beyond irrational, but if you hinted at my crazy, I’d guilt you into recanting your claims through tears and lies. I was a wreck. I wasn’t healing even with all the bio-psycho-social factors considered. Then, one night while journaling, I had a moment of clarity. It was a simple truth I’d known since I was a teenager but had forgotten. Most, if not all, of my fears were lies.
This is where faith came into my healing and why it needed to be a part of Fade to White and Thea’s story.
As a character, Thea shares only a few of my life experiences, but many of my ebbs and flows. She is not based on one person, but rather encompasses a radiant group of young people I have journeyed with over the past ten years. The actual details of Thea’s life are fictional, but the emotional highs and lows are real. Her story tackles heavy themes on purpose. Life is never perfect, and we are not expected to be perfect within it. Sometimes as Christians, we forget this truth.
Fade to White is a story I needed to write for my own mental health, but I sincerely hope it provides more than personal catharsis. Maybe it will allow for laughter within the struggle. Maybe it will inspire someone to write down their own story. Maybe it will build compassion and empathy for mental illness. If nothing else, I pray it will remind someone they are not alone and that there is hope within their brokenness.
CONTENT WARNINGS: mentions of suicide | mentions and descriptions of self-harm |mentions of depression | mentions of suggestive sexual comments
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