A Kickstarter for Mental Health

Jake Orlowitz
Nov 8 · 4 min read
Cover Mockup

I never expected to wind up in a mental hospital. I was class treasurer, member of the homecoming court, varsity wrestling champion, head of my academic class, and a distinguished college graduate. But life threw me an unexpected turn. After college my mental health suddenly declined. Anxiety turned into phobia. Depression turned into despair. Frustration turned into rage. Irritability became wild mood swings I went from being a happy, social person, full of life and humor, to someone who desperately wanted to avoid the world and couldn’t tolerate its onslaught of stimulation and slights.

***Welcome to the Circle*** is my story and the multitude of lessons I’ve learned along the way. Through 27 accessible, intimate, and insightful essays, poems, lists, and practical guides, I will share what I went through in a way that can reach the reader at the core. More than just memoir, Welcome to the Circle is a meditation on the mental health journeys all of us must take to become better humans. It is full of useful advice about how to navigate mental illness in all its difficulty and unpredictability, either for you or for the ones you love.

Mental illness is not a dead end; it can be a powerful beginning. In the 7 years since I was hospitalized, I found effective treatment with both therapy and medications. I reconnected with family and friends around the globe. I started a successful global initiative for Wikipedia. I met my strong, brilliant, and beautiful wife. I became a loving stepfather. Along the way I learned and practiced how to help others find their own way into recovery.

My mission is to impact each person who has personally experienced or witnessed the struggle of mental illness. To end the stigma and shame that prevents people from getting the help they need. To show that recovery is possible, that mental illness can be survived, and that it can be transformed into a dynamic and thriving new chapter of life.

Your support will help share this message with the world, so that you can grow, and so that you can better understand and help others along your path. My goal is to make a positive change in people’s lives, to shift society towards compassion and acceptance, and to move each of us towards a fuller realization of our precious and vibrant potential.

Here’s what early readers are saying about the book:

“These pieces reflect deep compassion and committed empathy. I read it in one sitting.” — Maggie D.

“The way it is written is just beautiful. The writing is full of emotion and one can feel that it’s sprouting directly from the heart.” — Satdeep G.

“Fantastically raw.” — Gabe O.

“I was laughing and crying. It is educating me on many levels.” — Susan O.

“The writing has an intelligence, a vulnerability, and the most perfect use of English vocabulary. What what all of it has in common is an openness, an honesty, a kindness, and an ability to grab the reader. The style is so refreshing and unusual, especially in today’s world.” — Kathy G.

“This book moved me.- Sue C.

***Welcome to the Circle*** is an inviting and engrossing mix of writing styles and work lengths. The topics cover will mental illness and loss — the hard parts — and well as redemption and gratitude — the uplifting parts. The focus is intimately personal at times, or broadly applicable to treatment in general. The collection will be imbued with variety and themes of experience, reflection, guidance, and hope embedded throughout.

I want anyone to be able to read this book in some form. Mental health is more important than profit. Because I want you to really feel and learn what this book is about, I’m keeping a draft version of the entire work available online for everyone anywhere…

You can see the draft online version right now: welcometothecircle.net

Here are 7 reasons you’ll want to read Welcome to the Circle:
* You are personally struggling and want to gain insight and hope
* You love someone who needs help, but you don’t know how to help
* You want to learn what mental illness really looks and feels like
* You need advice getting someone into treatment or onto medication
* You believe our society can grow in its compassion towards mental health
* You’re on your path to recovery and want to stay healthy and keep growing
* You crave innovative writing and want to support independent creators

Please contribute in the way that works for your budget, needs, and dreams. Support mental health. Support recovery and hope.

Please also share this campaign with your friends, family, colleagues, and peers. Help make it a success by posting about it on social media or sending the campaign link to people you care about.

Thank you so much for your support, your belief in me, and your collaboration on this journey of healing. Because of you, Welcome to the Circle can come to life.

CONTRIBUTE: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jakeorlowitz/welcome-to-the-circle-the-mental-health-book?ref=creator_nav

The J Curve

It gets better. First, it gets worse.

Jake Orlowitz

Written by

Internet citizen. Founder of The Wikipedia Library. Seeker of well people and sane societies. Read my book: welcometothecircle.net

The J Curve

It gets better. First, it gets worse.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade