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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

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on 28 September 2013
Ok, I know, I should wait until I have finished the book, but I wanted to share the impact it has had on me already. I've looked at it for 30 minutes and so far I have laughed twice, cried once and gone out in the garden barefoot once, much to the confusion of my cat. I'm starting to suspect that this book will touch me more than I thought. Cat Treadwell has a lovely sense of humour shining through words of wisdom and painful truths shared by her contributors.

More when I have read the rest!
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on 2 November 2013
Depression is a difficult subject on which to write well. Part of the problem is that it is a complex issue, badly understood by those who have never experienced it, but another part is the harm that can be done to those going through it, phrase something badly in a book about it and you could crush an already vulnerable person. When I heard that Cat Treadwell was writing about it, I knew her book was going to address it well, with understanding and compassion.

Picking up this book, I expected something wonderful. Cat was already one of my favourite writers and I have seen how well she deals with issues concerned with depression in the past. The book has exceeded my high expectations.

For anyone who goes through depression, there are times when all they want is to know somebody understands what they are going through. At other times, they need ways to cope, hope that there is some way to get out of the shadows and some indication that something good may come from all of it. All of these things are found in this book, along with the warmth and kindness that makes Cat Treadwell such a fine priestess. In one of my worst depressions, I thanked my friends who had been through the darkness for coming back into it with torches to find me - in this book, that's what Cat does.

Her words on despair and suicide are especially well-chosen and are likely to reach those who feel there is no hope and make them reconsider. Her personal experiences and those of others will make people feel less alone. I think everyone should read this book. I believe most people meet depression in some form at some point in their lives, but even those who avoid it would benefit from learning from a book like this just what we go through in the bad times.

Although the book is written from a Pagan perspective and by a druid, the advice in it is applicable to anyone. It's a gentle book, supportive and helpful. Emma Hotchkin's illustrations fit it so perfectly, as does the cover by Tom Brown. There is nothing about this book that I don't love and from my heart, I thank Cat for bringing it into the world to help those who may feel no help exists.
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on 1 October 2013
Message to Cat Treadwell...I went to bed to read my book at 8 last night plan was to skim read, midnight came and went....bloody hell what a ride! I started to read from the perspective of trying to see into another person's bubble......then realised, I had been in the bubble for a long long while and the alien place was outside...I daren't write a review yet ...they will think you paid me for it x. I don't think I am the only "depression free " person who is going to resonate with your writing like this !
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on 9 January 2014
Cat Treadwell's Facing the Darkness is a brilliant little book, filled with wisdom in insight into what is often neglected in our society. When one suffers from grief, depression, anger, hurt or regret they are often pushed to the side, furthering their condition and reinforcing it.

Facing the Darkness allows the reader the opportunity to really engage with whatever it is that they are feeling, facing it and opening up paths through until they have journeyed to the other side of their situation. It is not a book about light and positive thoughts - it engages deeply and empathetically with the reader, knowing that the darkness is not something to be feared. Each and every one shares in the darkness, which is but another aspect of our very own selves, something to be honoured for what it is and what it can teach us. We do not seek to rid ourselves of our demons, but to work with them, to better understand them and thereby giving the reins of control back into our own hands.

Cat provides exercises and meditations, spellwork and just plain good advice in this book. She speaks as one who has been there, who has faced her demons and who continues to face them bravely, with honour. Writing from a place of deep perspective, the book is very readable whatever your situation. She has summarised each section into short chapters, with practical advice at the end of each, so that even if you do not feel you are able to read a lengthy tome, you can still benefit greatly from these little nuggets of wisdom, experience and insight.
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on 31 October 2013
Cat talks about her experiences with depression, anxiety, unhelpful thoughts and suicidal ideation through the lens of a Druid. I'd say this book was pagan-flavoured, rather than Pagan and should be accessible to anyone who considers themselves spiritual. There's no preaching or lecturing, just heart-felt honesty.

The book is divided into five sections based on the traditional elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. They seem dauntingly huge at first, but each is broken up into smaller sections which is great for times when you cannot focus. There are experiential exercises, but they feel more intimate than your typical self-help book, and most sections feature words from other Pagans sharing their experiences of mental ill health.

I think this is a delightful book to include in your personal self-help library.
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on 2 October 2013
This is a brilliant book, written in a very truthful way, about those times in most people's lives when things just get too difficult. I would recommend this book to everyone, those who have suffered with depression and those who haven't.
Definitely one to read!
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on 19 November 2013
Facing the Darkness - Cat Treadwell

If I broke my leg, I'd be put to bed and be given flowers and chocolates. Broken legs show. They swell, they have spectacular bruising, x-rays can be proudly displayed and casts signed in multicoloured pens.
Mental illness isn't like that. It doesn't show. Those of us with mental problems and illness are often told to `pull yourself together' or `get a grip.'
Facing mental pain is a very lonely place to be, but Cat Treadwell's gentle little book Facing the Darkness is the ideal companion.
Cat invites the reader to reconnect with nature's rhythms and cycles as a way of finding healing patterns within our psyches. She reassures the reader that our paths are well-trodden and we are never as alone as we feel. She shows that the earth's natural dark times can offer rest and healing - and dawn always comes.
The book is constructed with poems, short meditations, thoughts and tales, all woven together on elemental themes, beginning with the reassurance that the earth under our feet is there for us to grow into and find support and nourishment.
As with all of Cat's books, although this is written from a Pagan (Druid) point of view, it will be appreciated by anyone with an open mind.
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on 27 December 2014
Originally I got this book as a Kindle edition and found it excellent, but harder to use in electronic form. So I put it on my Christmas list and it arrived as a present. The content is obviously the same but there's something deeply reassuring about holding a book, and being able to flip through, find the pages you want to focus on that you can't do in the same way with an electronic book.
To quote from the book: "Much of modern spirituality focuses on light. 'Bright blessings' 'May the light shine upon you'...best intentions. Too much light is blinding. Being dragged into the light, exposing every tiny aspect of yourself to scrutiny, can be overwhelming. We are animals- sometimes we need to flee into the darkness to hide, to heal.".
This understanding that we need darkness is at the core of this book, and if you are of an open and inquiring sort of spiritual mind, then this book could be an excellent resource for those times when we must needs retreat.
I would suggest that it is best read first when not in crisis, so that you can come back to passages later without feeling adrift; your spirit will remember what you need to come back to.
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on 26 November 2013
Facing the Darkness - a difficult subject for any author to discuss, yet Cat Treadwell's wise words are truly a welcome hand in times of need. Each section offers understanding, stories, and practical meditations or activities, but perhaps most importantly a friend.

The book is easy to dip in and out of, and indeed, it is suggested that you shouldnt read it all at once, (I did!) Ideal for that quick referral, maybe in times of need, or maybe for inspiration. All the subjects are thought provoking - I particularly enjoyed the 'Magic' section for example: offering an alternative view from waving a magic wand, broomstick rides, or simply snapping your fingers and 'Hey Presto'.... Real magic, Cat suggests, is changing consciousness. You need to change your perception of yourself in order to accomplish things....sounds like commons sense to me!

The book is written from a Pagan perspective, which in itself is, I believe, unique. This framework offers an abundance of quality and reference that might just maybe be that single candle flame in a few lonely and darkened lives.

Thank you Cat!
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on 18 April 2016
This book sits, unlike many others that are in boxes, in the bookcase where it is always easily found. There is a reason for that - it's one that I find myself coming back to again, when I'm in need. I have, and will continue to recommend it professionally.

Cat has written from a Pagan perspective, but the lessons that she teaches can apply to anyone of any faith (or no faith at all). It is clear she is writing as someone with an intimate understanding of depression. The book isn't long, but it is very much to the point and provides some clear guidance and activities. At no point does the reader feel like they are a victim, or that they should be ashamed of what they are feeling.

There are countless books on depression, and many of them try to provide people with depression guidance and a path forward. Few of them succeed. Facing the Darkness is one of those few. I highly recommend reading by anyone who is facing or has faced depression.
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