Although the punk scene is an exciting place, oftentimes inspiring and full of life, there is a dark side of trauma, drug addiction, and mental illness that bubbles under the surface. If you were like me in the early ‘80s, untreated trauma led me to some dark places of homelessness, violence, addiction and despair. Sometimes, punk rock was an outlet for my depression. Other times, I used it as a crutch to criticize anything and everything because everything sucked and nothing mattered.
You’re Crazy, compiled and edited by Craig Lewis is a pretty incredible book. I watched Craig reach out to people in the punk community, asking them to tell their unvarnished stories. You’re Crazycompiles horrific stories of addiction, hospitalization, rape, violence, depression and anxiety, relapse and recovery, and many other stories.
Reading a book like You’re Crazy is difficult to read at times. Some of the stories are full of death and sadness and that’s never easy to reconcile. However, it’s not all “war stories” or wallowing around in sickness. Many of the contributors actively are looking for solutions to their illnesses. Nevertheless, You’re Crazy sheds light into the darker corners of punk rock and mental illness. By bringing these stories to light perhaps it will encourage punks to seek help.
Craig Lewis has also created a mental health workbook entitled, Better Days.If you are currently suffering from addiction or mental health issues, or are in recovery and desire a “tune up,” Better Daysis a useful solution-based workbook. –Steve Hart (Better Days Recovery Press, Punksinrecovery.com)