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Tumbling: Poetic Thoughts from an Anxious Mind

Title: Tumbling: Poetic Thoughts from an Anxious Mind

Author: Elizabeth Joyce

Format reviewed: E-book/PDF

Length: 58 pages

Inside flap/book description:

Elizabeth Joyce struggled with tumbling thoughts for decades, but only after a year of psychotherapy did she realize her inability to rein in her mind was a result of multiple anxiety disorders and bouts of Major Depressive Disorder. In tumbling: poetic thoughts from an anxious mind Elizabeth invites us to explore the intimate thoughts tumbling around in her anxious mind through a collection of poetry and prose written throughout her life. She packs a powerful arc into the short, chapbook-size collection, touching on her darkest moments and culminating in her ultimate hope. Anyone struggling with their mental health will appreciate this impactful read as an affirmation they are not alone, and those with loved ones who struggle with mental illnesses will get a glimpse into their world. In sharing her story as a child, friend, spouse, and parent who struggles with anxiety, Elizabeth’s true hope is to chip away at the long-standing stigmas surrounding mental health by raising awareness and understanding.

Brief summary:

Elizabeth Joyce invites us to explore the intimate thoughts of her anxious mind in this collection of poetry and prose.


I am someone who has had profound bouts of depression and anxiety my whole life. Most recently, my struggle with Postpartum Depression (PPD) finally brought me to seek help. With that introduction to my mental health, one could see how I easily Identified with this book. I loved this book so much, because I related to almost every single one of her poems. This collection wrote out what I have at times been desperately trying to explain to other people, and to myself.

I honestly loved this short collection so much. I wish I had stumbled upon this when I was a teenager. I think it would have helped me to reach out and seek help much much sooner than I did. This is an important read for everyone. Like she says, it’s important for those with anxiety and those who love someone with anxiety. I would like to add that it’s important because it gives a name to the monster that so many struggle with who don’t realize that they are under attack to begin with.

Short Synopsis (with spoilers):

A collection of poems and prose starting with an introduction into her mental health history. The tone changes from dark to grey to light when she starts going to therapy.

What I liked

The change of tone is so brilliant. Going from such an extremely bleak place of loss and sharing the journey to therapy and healing was such a transformative experience. This has given me such a sense of comradery.

What I thought the author did well

This particular paragraph from How Many Hours Have I wasted spoke so deeply to me:

“How many hours have I wasted
Questioning reality,
Unsure what I could believe,
Deranged by heightened anxiety”

It instantly took me back to my basement apartment in my early 20s feeling debilitated sobbing on the couch. If only I could reach back through time and toss this at me, I think it could have helped so much to read something that told me that someone UNDERSTANDS.

Honestly, Bravo to this author for being so vulnerable and sharing so much of her soul. This book will make such a positive impact on the world.

What I didn’t like

Honestly, I think the only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the cover art.

Thoughts I had while reading this book

“I could have written these poems because I relate to them so much.”
“I feel so seen.”
“I feel so validated.”
“I didn’t realize other people have the exact same thoughts.”
“The visual of anxiety shining a light on the bad, while the good hides in the shadows, is SO POTENT.”

Who is this a good book for?


Similar books

I can only think of the Bible in terms of importance. Not to be dramatic, but this should be required reading for High School.

Find the book for sale (with review): HERE

Goodreads review: HERE

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