by RIKKILYNN SHIELDS, Editor
Manhattan College sophomore and philosophy major Julia Danielowski has a past that she isn’t letting define her. During a battle with depression, Danielowski decided it was time to do something with what she knows and what she has experienced, in a way that is beneficial to others who are either experiencing something similar, the same, or people who are unfamiliar to depression overall.
Danielowski’s book, “The Great Part About Depression,” documents the journey of her personal journey dealing with mental illness. Growing up, Danielowski always felt as if she was different from others. However, she decided to make her mission to conquer depression itself. The goal of her book– to get across the idea that mental illness doesn’t have to be a death sentence.
“I was inspired to write my book because I think that people find depression and anxiety to be very taboo subjects to talk about and I want that stigma to go away. So many people suffer and they’re all so afraid to speak out about it because they think they’ll be labeled crazy or a psycho when mental illness is just as uncontrollable as diabetes or allergies,” Danielowski said.
While Danielowski was going through her journey with depression, she began documenting her experiences, thoughts and feelings with hopes of eventually turning them into a book. However, a few years ago, Danielowski was still unsure of what she was feeling herself, so she put the process on hold since realizing that things were still very new to her.
In the Fall of 2017, Danielowski took an English Course with Dr. Emmett Ryan where she had the opportunity to compose a series of short stories. From those stories, Danielowski was able to complete her book in its entirety, publishing it in full this past January.
“Writing the book definitely changed me. It really allowed me to reopen painful wounds and look at them more clearly since time has passed. It also made me realize how proud I am of myself. I’ve come a long way from who I was 5 years ago, and I’m beyond happy to share that with others,” Danielowski said.
While her book has only been out since January, the feedback Danielowski has received so far has been nothing but positive.
“A lot of people have been telling me they really related and understood what I was going through. My hopes and dreams for the book have already been fulfilled! I went into the process being okay with the idea that maybe nobody would read it. But if it was read, it was one worth reading. So many people have supported me and read my work and it makes me so happy to be seen as an outlet to talk about mental illness. My main goal was to help just one person, and I think I can say I’ve accomplished that,” Danielowski said.
After finishing her undergraduate at Manhattan College, Danielowski plans to attend law school. As for a second book, while there is no plan for a second one in the near future, she is open to writing another one in the future.
“This [book] was very special to me, but I wouldn’t say never! My best advice for the book writing process would be to not get overwhelmed. It’s a lot of work, and time but if organized and spread out correctly, it’s an amazing and fun process that is super rewarding!”