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You Are Not To Blame

Author Interview
Rita Wright Author Interview

Under the Fig Tree shares your personal story of loss and helps others cope with and prevent suicide. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The book was important to write for several reasons. Firstly, the book was written to give Anna’s art a voice. Many people, who find sharing their feelings challenging, describe their inner self by mediums such as art, writing, music and other creative avenues.

Although Anna has shown fashion designs and illustrations via BBC world service and fashion houses, her graphite work, which speaks of her emotional turmoil, is yet to be exhibited – but can now be seen in this book as an introduction into the complexities of her troubled inner world.

What is one piece of advice that has helped you the most after losing your daughter?

One piece of advice that helped me was to find an outlet for my grief was by speaking with others who had lost a child to suicide. Being alone with your grief is dangerous. You must interact with others and realise you are now part of a bigger picture.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about suicide?

A common misconception  – three words – blame shame and Stigma (BSS).

These perilous internal messages that are prevalent in suicide.

You are not to blame. There is nothing shameful about your loved one taking their life.

The Stigma needs to be erased globally.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

I hope the reader will take away the above and find meaningful ways of coping via communication whether they are suicidal thoughts or post suicide survival.

Author Links: Website | Facebook

This book is a searingly honest personal story of suicide. As Rita Wright navigates her way through the loss of her daughter, Anna Wright, she demonstrates how anxiety, panic, and depression do not have to end in death. Suicide prevention, and survival after losing a loved one through suicide are the core elements of this book. Learning how to express dark and suicidal thoughts before we reach crisis point from which there is no coming back is the central message. Understanding how creativity leads to a clearer understanding and has the potential to save lives is paramount. This is a personal and professional insight into why some people can manage their emotions, whereas others, with an inbuilt fragility, melancholia, and what she refers to as a genetic ‘naked nerve’, seek relief in death. Under the Fig Tree is a dramatic true-life, twenty-first century story of one girl whose feelings and troubles are replicated worldwide, demonstrating how chronic trauma or being constantly drip-fed negativity and frustration have dire consequences. Today, suicides, like Covid 19, are at pandemic levels. People who have never suffered from mental health issues are falling foul to depression and anxiety in a world that has changed irrevocably. Lack of global funding makes charities and foundations imperative if we are to relieve our agony.

Under the Fig Tree

Under the Fig Tree is an emotionally-resonant story about suicide. Written by Rita Wright, she details how Anna M. Wright, her daughter, committed suicide after her struggle with depression, anxiety, and a panic disorder. The goal in telling Anna’s story is to aid others in dealing with mental health issues or suicidal thoughts, and to verbalize and express those thoughts so the person suffering does not fall victim to the tragedy of suicide. She emphasizes the importance of not suffering in silence, believing that talking can stop a person from reaching their breaking point.

The author’s writing is gripping, authentic, and covers a relevant topic in today’s society, especially when so many people who have never had any issue with their mental health are suddenly dealing with depression and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The author does an excellent job of telling the story of her daughter in a thoughtful and compelling way without being triggering to readers. She describes her daughter as being born with a naked nerve, meaning she is a person who sees peace in death and shows an ambivalence towards life. She also describes her daughter’s career and success as a fashion designer, painting her as more than a number. Framing her as a real person who has been lost, not just a suicide statistic. She does this by crediting Anna as a writer for the book despite her passing; which was emotionally impactful for me after I realized it.

There is a foundation started in Anna’s name. The foundation focuses on people affected by suicide and those struggling with it themselves. Because Anna was an artist, art and other creative outlets are some of the ways the foundation helps support people. By allowing them to express those thoughts and feelings that Anna didn’t express.

Under the Fig Tree is a vital book for anyone that is struggling with suicide and anyone who has a loved one that is struggling with it. Potent and emotional, this is a thought-provoking book that I’m glad to have read.

Pages: 172 | ASIN: B09R4112MW

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