Audible Review: Mad Girl By Bryony Gordon


Published 7th June 2016 by Headline

Blurb: Bryony Gordon has OCD.

It’s the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn’t repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It’s caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.
A hugely successful columnist for the Telegraph, a bestselling author, and a happily married mother of an adorable daughter, Bryony has managed to laugh and live well while simultaneously grappling with her illness. Now it’s time for her to speak out. Writing with her characteristic warmth and dark humour, Bryony explores her relationship with her OCD and depression as only she can.
Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.

Review: I have been wanting to read both Mad Girl and The Wrong Knickers for what seems like forever. As many of you now know I walk to work and have devoured some gorgeous treats via Audible and seeing as Bryony herself was reading this I decided audio read it would be.
Wow! Is the first thing I can say having listened to the last of Bryony’s story. I love what she’s done to show that mental illness is a real thing that happens to many people. As she says anyone you pass in the street could be concealing a secret. A quote I have heard loads over the years is….

There’s a story behind every person. There’s a reason why they’re the way they are. Think about that before you judge someone. 

How poignant is that? It’s very true. I don’t have a mental health story but I can relate to OCD and I will. But this sentence makes me think back to a time I was pulled into my managers office over comments made about me. The comment stated that I was helpful but miserable. In asking for the date as to when this had been it had coincided with losing a friend to cancer. I was at work as I had to be I was doing my job but I wasn’t out and out smiles because I had a lot on my mind. 

I’m grateful to my Mum as without her my OCD could have become a lot worse. Anyone that knows me knows if I’m going to an event or on holiday I check for my passport, money and tickets multiple times before I leave and sometimes again on my journey. 

At Primary school one of my teachers Mr Pinnard to be precise was teaching us about germs. In doing so this caused a knock on effect that I’m grateful Mum saw the signs and put a stop to it before it got worse. In this lesson he mentioned germs on our hair, surfaces etc. It got to the point I would touch my hair and wash my hands. You can see how this goes. I now have mild sensitive skin but during my primary school days I had quite bad eczema so you can see that the exessive washing only made them sore. Mum had a conversation with me and my teacher and between them they made me realise that I had taken this too far.

Anyway back to Bryony I love that she doesn’t sugar coat anything about mental illness although her good sense of humour helps as she makes light of it at times. What she’s saying is real and sufferers can relapse just like with any addiction it’s a daily battle. I’m pleased to say Bryony’s story ends well. She is an inspiration in what she has done to not only turn her life around but in creating a group for others in Mental Health Mates. 

I feel greatly informed on the subject of mental health and I can agree that much more needs to be done. It shouldn’t be as hard as it is to get help. I also look forward to reading more from Bryony. 

Do let me know your thoughts on this or any of her other books? 

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