One of the most significantly time consuming “tasks” in my life is reading. I’ve had a love of reading since I was about eleven years old, the age at which I began spending hours laying in bed reading multiple novels in a single day. While I no longer have the free time to enjoy full days spent in bed with my books, I do still spend quite a few hours each week with my nose stuck in a book.
My obsession with books began with the “Series of Unfortunate Events” collection and has since grown to include a much more diverse mix of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry works.
Most recently I read a book entitled “Never Ending” by Martyn Bedford which explores concepts such as grief, trauma, family dysfunction, and courage.
In a nutshell, the main Character, Shiv, is sent to an inpatient treatment facility to confront the death of her younger brother and the role that she played in the accident which killed him.
I don’t want to give away too much about the actual plot of the book, especially since I think that you should read it yourself, but I want to talk about the themes in the book because I think that there is a lot that can be learned from the experiences of Shiv throughout the story.
Dealing with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a difficult task, especially when the sufferer feels as though they are to blame for the trauma. For me, this story really allowed me to take a closer look at the impact that trauma can have on the thought processes of an individual without it triggering any distressing flashbacks or PTSD symptoms. I have not personally experienced the kind of loss that Shiv goes through so I was able to look at trauma from the outsider-looking-in perspective which is usually relatively difficult seeing as how I myself survived a traumatic experience.
I really liked how this book portrays the recovery process as being raw, painful, and incredibly difficult. The reader really gets to see the inside of Shiv’s mind and understand what she is feeling and thinking. In my experience not many books are able to do this accurately so I think that readers could learn a lot from this. More specifically, if you have experienced a trauma and want your friends and/or family to understand more about what you’re going through, perhaps reading this book could help them understand just how difficult it can be to overcome PTSD. Alternatively, if you have a friend or family member who has been struggling through the recovery process, perhaps reading this book might give you some insights into how you can be a supportive person for them or even just give you a better idea of what they might be going through.
With that being said, everyone who experiences a trauma will have unique circumstances and they will face unique struggles in their recovery journey. It’s important not to pigeon hole someone into one “type” of recovery. No two people are exactly the same so it makes sense that each and every individual will go through their own unique coping strategies. This book can certainly be a tool to help people understand PTSD, but it should not be the be-all-end-all in terms of defining what is and is not acceptable behavior for someone recovering from a traumatic experience.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I felt connected to Shiv in a way that I don’t often connect with fictional characters in books. If you’re an avid reader looking for a new book or someone who is interested in learning more about trauma I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of this book from your local bookstore (or order it online…whichever works)!