My book will be published in the spring of 2024 through the publishing house Nona.
Writing an autobiography has never been something I have dreamed of. Honestly, the thought had never even occurred to me. I have never seen my story as anything special, rather I have tried to hide it. Why would I be remarkable in any way? There are always those who have it worse than I have had it. I have always suppressed my own feelings so as not to stand out or bother anyone. But after sharing my experiences through blog posts, columns and conversations with my amazing followers on Instagram, I decided to embark on a larger project.
In the summer of 2022, I started to formulate my life story in book form. It turned out to be a challenge that I was not prepared for. The words got stuck in my fingers and I stared at the empty screen for hours. It felt like I had a heavy stone on my chest that was pushing me down. I couldn’t find anything in my life that would be worth reading for someone else. When I tried to dig deeper into my past, I awakened memories that I had closed my eyes to for so many years. So it came to a complete stop. It became like a vicious spiral, the more I tried to write, the worse I felt.
I took a break from writing for a week and decided to look through my old photo albums from my entire upbringing that my mother had given me a few years ago. I flipped through pictures that showed glimpses of my life: children’s parties, vacations, old playmates, Christmases and so on. I felt something in my body. It was not joy, but rather a realization. I realized that my story might be able to help others who had gone through similar things as me. Maybe I could also find answers to my big question: why did my life turn out the way it did? Why was I affected by mental illness?
The day after, sometime in June 2022, I sat down at the computer again and started expressing myself with the keys. In my headphones, music from the 80s/90s was playing and in my head my life was playing in slow motion. I chose not to start from the beginning, but from one of the worst days of my life. The day when I felt that I no longer had any control over my life, when I could no longer find any meaning in it.
Now that I saw the words on the screen, I understood how bad it really had been. I knew that I had had a tough time mentally for a large part of my life. But now it became so real in some way. It was as if I traveled back to 2016 and experienced that day again. It took me four or five days to finish writing the first chapter. When I then read through it, I couldn’t continue after a few sentences. I felt a wave of shame wash over me. I thought: How will I be able to show this to anyone? It wasn’t about it being badly written, but about me being afraid to show my vulnerability and weakness. Even though it was several years ago, it didn’t matter. I imagined how people would react: What’s wrong with him? He should pull himself together, he’s just after attention.
I put aside the writing for a few days and wondered if it was worth continuing. Because if I were to feel so ashamed and sad after each chapter, it wasn’t worth wasting energy on it. But I took courage again and read through what I had written. A few sentences into the text, I felt that horrible feeling in my body again. I clenched my teeth and read on. And suddenly something happened. It was as if my mind went from darkness to light in just a few seconds. Can you guess who made the difference? It was my beloved cats Cooper and Kira. I realized that they not only saved me that day several years ago. But they also managed to make me smile in a chapter that was actually filled with pain and anxiety.
I already knew that Cooper and Kira were my two superheroes. But as I wrote about my life chapter by chapter, I discovered something new. Without them, there would never have been a book. They were my rays of light in the darkness, my pillars of support in the storm, my best friends in loneliness. They made me laugh when I wanted to cry, they gave me love when I felt worthless, they made me live when I wanted to give up.
I hope that everyone who has pets will have an aha moment when they read the book. My hope is that the reader will see how much animals mean to us humans, how they can change our lives for the better, how they can heal our wounds. Even though my book has many dark and heavy chapters, I hope that the reader will see all those bright and happy moments. I hope that the book shows the love between me, Cooper and Kira. How we always help each other when someone in the pack is not feeling well. But above all, I hope that our story will inspire others who are struggling with mental illness. For even though I doubted at first, I am completely sure now. Our story is important!