The Valedictorian of Being Dead

The Valedictorian of Being Dead  by Heather B. Armstrong

The subtitle “The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live” sure gets your attention, doesn’t it?

Heather Armstrong is a Mommy Blogger.  I had never heard of her until someone mentioned this book to me. I feel that may have actually allowed me to enjoy the book more, as I went into it blind, with no preconceived ideas of her story.

Armstrong openly shares her struggles with clinical depression that led her to an unorthodox and experimental treatment.  She participated in a trial to test an alternative to electroshock therapy. In this experimental treatment, instead of administering electric shock, they put patients into a drug induced coma, coming very close to brain dead for 15 minutes before bring them back out.  Armstrong endured this procedure 10 times in 3 weeks.

Mental illness still has a stigma, maybe because so many people simply can’t comprehend it.  I found her honest explanations and open sharing of her experiences to be eye opening. I can’t even imagine being in such a constant state of suicidal depression that going to this extreme seems like the only way out.  

It’s a great story about the will to survive, as well as a story about family, about science and about hope.

If you want an uplifting story (with and odd and dark title), pick this up and give it a read.

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