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Publication Date: 16 Aug 2018
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Words: 40000
Page Count: 160
Author: Rachael Newham
ISBN-13: 9780281078080, 9780281078097

Learning to Breathe

My Journey With Mental Illness
By Rachael Newham
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ISBN: 9780281078080
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It begins slowly, so slowly that I hardly notice at first. My chest tightens and my heart begins to beat a fraction faster. I try to draw breath, but instead I choke on oxygen I can’t inhale. As I realise that I can’t breathe, the panic wraps itself around my mind.
I can’t make myself draw a breath.

Rachael was aged just six when she had her first suicidal thought. Over the next decade, life would become increasingly fraught with depression and self-harm, and her outlook only bleaker. Before her eighteenth birthday, Rachael would twice try to take her own life.

And yet amidst this darkness, a flicker of faith lived on.

This is Rachael’s story of her journey into, and out of, the darkness of depression. With unflinching realism and complete honesty, she shows us what it looks like to live with mental illness, and how God can find us and rescue us even in the most desperate of places.
About the Author
Rachael Newham is the Founding Director of ThinkTwice, a mental health awareness charity and a graduate of the London School of Theology. She is an associate at Mind and Soul, a trainer for selfharmUK, and regularly writes features and articles for Premier Youthwork magazine and Threads.
Press Reviews

Learning to Breathe is a companion I would recommend for any Christian who is struggling with the desolation of mental illness. Woven with the threads of her tears and God's love for her, this is a truly precious read.

- Rev Will Van Der Hart, Director, The Mind and Soul Foundation and Pastoral Chaplain, HTB

Depression is something that is unique to each person in their experience, yet overwhelmingly familiar in the telling. Here, I have read so much of my own panic, fear and pain as I journeyed through Rachael's life. It is a beautifully written, hope filled tale, that is informative, encouraging and easy to read for those whose brains feel lost in that familiar fog of despair. It highlights God's love and gentleness in the pain and gently points to the fact that recovery can mean many things, it doesn't always mean everything is 100% bliss and peace.

- Katharine Welby-Roberts, blogger and author of 'I Thought There Would Be Cake'

This is an unflinchingly honest account of an epic struggle with severe depression. Interwoven with biblical and psychological reflections, Rachael’s story is testament to God’s faithfulness, the love of her family and friends and her own breath-taking courage.

- Jo Swinney, author of 'Through the Dark Woods: A Young Woman's Journey out of Depression' and 'Home: The Quest to Belong.'

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