A Hell of Mercy: A Meditation on Depression and the Dark Night of the Soul


by: Farrington, Tim
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description n this unflinching look at depression and the human struggle to find hope in its midst, acclaimed author Tim Farrington writes with heartrending honesty of his lifelong struggle with the condition he calls "a hell of mercy." With both wry humor and poignancy, he unravels the profound connection between depression and the spiritual path, the infamous dark night of the soul made popular by mystic John of the Cross. While depression can be a heartbreaking time of isolation and lethargy, it can also provide powerful spiritual insights and healing times of surrender. When doctors prescribe medication, patients are often left feeling as if part of their very selves has been numbed in order to become what some might call "normal." Farrington wrestles with profound questions, such as: When is depression a part of your identity, and when does it hold you back from realizing your potential? In the tradition of Darkness Visible and An Unquiet Mind, A Hell of Mercy is both a much needed companion for those walking this difficult terrain as well as a guide for anyone who has watched a loved one grapple with this inner emotional darkness. From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. The size of this little book—an expanded essay—belies its power. Acclaimed novelist Farrington ( The Monk Downstairs) drills deep into his soul to ponder his own lifelong coexistence with depression. It is a meditation: the author lays bare his stream of thoughts, experience, details, a few pretty good jokes and many insights drawn from the consummate spiritual writer on interior darkness, John of the Cross. Farrington is well-read and draws from other writers and artists as well as the Spanish mystic in showing his way through the dark wood. He writes about his slow crawl to regular, functional life with beauty, cleverness, bone-breaking honesty and a deep, hard-won appreciation for the holy. Medications help; faith helps even more, and that costs a lot more than pharmaceuticals ever will. This book may be too unbearable for some who are depressed. For others, it could be a small voice in the darkness and a lifeline for those unsung sufferers living with someone who is depressed. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From School Library Journal Novelist Farrington ( The Monk Downstairs) offers a wry, almost stream-of-consciousness musing about his struggles with depression throughout a large part of his life. Bordering on a devotional of sorts, the book includes frequent quotations from John of the Cross and many other spiritual writers. Farrington also fills his book with funny anecdotes and jokes that illustrate points he is making. Ultimately, this is a personal diary of one man's journey to the other side of the black chasm of depression. This meditation will be most useful to someone who is facing similar struggles. Farrington's description of the Stations of the Cross for children is alone worth the price of the book. For large public libraries or specialized psychology/self-help collections.—Margaret Cardwell, Memphis Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Review “These days that there is meaning in suffering is not a particularly popular position. But Tim Farrington with intellectual rigor and great candor lays out his relationship to both religious suffering and clinical solutions. A Hell of Mercy is an important book.” (Darcey Steinke, author of Suicide Blonde and Easter Everywhere) “This book, as lyrical as it is profound, is a brilliant testament to that most enduring of hopes--out of death grows life. For all of us craving salvation, this is essential reading, a mysterious atlas of the sacred.” (Eric Wilson, author of Against Happiness) “With a poet’s eye and a seeker’s heart, Tim Farrington explores the often-interwoven threads of spirituality and depression. Farrington is both a guide and a muse: his h


Product Code: 9780060825188
ISBN: 0060825189
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication Date: 2009-02-03
Number of Pages: 128 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1
Dimension: 5.59 x 0.79 x 7.48 inches
Shipping Weight: 0.3 pounds