Elitsa Dermendzhiyska: What Doesn’t Kill You

This review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review What Doesn’t Kill You.


An explorer spends a decade preparing for an expedition to the South Pole; what happens when you live for a goal, but once it’s been accomplished, you discover it’s not enough? A successful broadcast journalist ends up broke, drunk and sleeping rough; what makes alcohol so hard to resist despite its ruinous consequences? A teenage girl tries to disappear by starving herself; what is this force that compels so many women to reduce their size so drastically?

In this essay collection, writers share the struggles that have shaped their lives loss, depression, addiction, anxiety, trauma, identity and others. But as they take you on a journey to the darkest recesses of their mind, the authors grapple with challenges that haunt us all.


What Doesn’t Kill You is a fascinating collection of essays which are all incredibly well written. As with all collections, there were some essays that resonated with me more than others, but they are all written in a very accessible way that means that each reader should be able to take something from them, even if they do not have personal experience of the issues in the essays.

This collection covers a wide range of mental health issues from panic attacks to depression and addiction to memory loss. There are also writers from a range of cultural and social backgrounds. Although I have mental health issues myself, this book highlighted that everyone’s experience is different and it gave me a greater understanding of the daily battles of each writer.

I am glad to have read What Doesn’t Kill You and I look forward to reading more from each contributing writer.

What Doesn’t Kill You is available from Amazon.


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