Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Being Inspired By Inspirational Books

Being Inspired By Inspirational Books

I have read a fair few mental health books in my time. I can kind of divide them into three categories; those who are very triggering and too raw, those who are very optimistic and cliche and those who are the best of both worlds; inspiring but also tell the truth about what it is really like to live with a mental illness. 

Thankfully, the two books sent to me, by Trigger Press* for this post, fall into the last category. Both books mentioned in this post; Must try harder by Paula Mcguire and Stand tall little girl by Hope Virgo are inspirational but for different reasons. Both books are actually part of 'The inspirational series' about overcoming adversity and thriving. For me, although the books talk about different topics are both very emotional and important books everyone should read. 

For this blog post, I thought I would round up my thoughts on these two incredible books and their inspiring authors and tell you how I have been inspired to overcome adversity and do something outside my comfort zone and take on new challenges. 

So, the first book I want to talk about is Must try harder by Paula Mcguire. Paula Mcguire was plagued by social anxiety from her childhood into her thirties. She tells her emotional and heartbreaking story of how social anxiety controlled and took over her life. Paula's social anxiety got so bad, she wasn't even able to go to the shops on her own, as a result, she quite quickly became a recluse. 

Paula, couldn't let her social anxiety take over her life. There comes a time where she realised either she was going to beat it or it was going to beat her. After three decades of panic attacks, anxiety and depression, Paula didn't want to lose this battle so instead slowly but surely started taking on new adventures and challenges in her life. Paula started with trying all 17 sports for the Commonwealth games which were coming to her city, as a complete novice. I don't know about you, but I found this so incredible. But this was just the start of the many adventures Paula went on. Paula has done everything from being on the radio to bungee jumping and so much more.

Being Inspired By Inspirational Books

What I love about Must try harder, is how Paula has documented different sections of her story. For example, there are lots of lists about her adventures, questions she gets asked about her anxiety with her honest answers and a timeline of her ordinary day with chronic social anxiety. This makes the book super easy to read and less daunting.

As for Paula's story itself, it is incredibly inspiring. Whether you have social anxiety or any other mental illness, I am 100% sure that reading this book will make you want to go out you're comfort zone and try something new. I know it did for me. If you aren't a fan of sport, trust me, I definitely am not, you don't just have to try a sport. As Paula demonstrates there are so many new hobbies and adventures waiting out there for you, you just have to have the confidence to bite the bullet and go for it.

The other book that I wanted to mention in this post, was Stand tall little girl by Hope Virgo. Stand tall little girl is Hope's own story of her personal battle with anorexia. Hope documents her struggles through from her childhood, to her experiences in a mental health hospital and her recovery including when recovery doesn't always go to plan. Hope's story is so powerful and emotional. I literally cried my eyes out throughout when reading this book.

Hope's story is so raw and heartbreaking. Her experiences with what she went through at such a young age, are devastating and very upsetting. Even though I have never experienced anorexia, I know what it is like to feel hopeless and trapped in a world of mental illness in which recovery always seems like a distant and out of reach goal.

Being Inspired By Inspirational Books

Which is why I find Hope's story of her battle with anorexia so inspiring. Hope didn't and still doesn't let her anorexia beat her. Hope does so much for mental health charities, sharing her story to let others know they are not and never will be alone in their struggles while simultaneously inspiring people to speak out about their experiences about mental health to reduce the stigma.

Both of these books are so inspirational. Paula and Hope are incredible human beings who have dealt with and battled against mental illness and got through to the other side. Paula demonstrates that facing your challenges isn't always as scary as you may think it is at first and in fact may change your life for the better while Hope shows anyone can get through the toughest and hardest challenges in you're life and come out the other side. 

These books have really inspired me to start facing my own fears and overcoming my own battles. I've struggled with mental illness for many a year and as a result, I didn't try new things during these years. Those years of my life weren't about thriving, they were about surviving. But now I am on the other side, I want to start making up for those missed years.

One of the things I have always wanted to do is start a booktube channel. This is a Youtube channel all about books. I love reading and talking about books, but the thought of putting my face out there is kind of scary. I'm much better at articulating my thoughts through words than talking in front of a camera but life is too short to worry and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go for it. Which is why I have started my own booktube channel, a beautiful chaos of books which you can check out HERE

I really hope you check out Paula's and Hope's amazing books and you are as inspired as I was to face your own battles and do something outside of you're comfort zone.

Thank you for reading, as always X

*This post contains items that were sent to me free for review, however, all opinions are my own and I wouldn't recommend anything I didn't love or use myself 


  1. Both of these books sound amazing! I recently started reading mental health books to help with my depression and anxiety. Must Try Harder is right up my alley, will check it out for sure. ♥

    1. They are indeed! I have loads of other blog posts about mental health books which you might want to check out if you are looking for recs x

  2. These books sound great. I’ve always been wary of books surrounding mental health because as you point out they can be too harsh and triggering but its good to know there are some well done ones out there! I’ll definitely been giving these a try!
    Freya x

    1. Absolutely! When I find enough mental health books that aren't done well I will probably do a post on that to let people know of the more triggering ones out there

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