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Must Read: Washed Away: From Darkness to Light by Nikki Dubose

Our student intern Maya Jefferson, writes a detailed review on Washed Away: From Darkness to Light by Nikki Dubose.

Maya Jefferson, Student Intern

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light reflects a story of recovery and determination. Dubose allows us not only into her world, but similarly, into her thoughts, feelings, and emotions. She opens up about important conversations surrounding mental illness and the modeling industry that teaches a standard of “beauty” that is not always healthy and realistic. The memoir provides honest reflection as we see the stages of childhood, adolescence, adulthood and what Dubose takes away from each stage of her own life.

From childhood, we see the struggle to be in a world full of negative circumstances. Dubose understands the impact of events within her childhood that shaped the outcome of adolescence and adulthood. One that is starting to affect more and more families and children is divorce, which Dubose spends a great deal of time reflecting on. However, she continually provides her individual perspective regarding how such specific circumstances and phases of her life continued to facilitate her mental illness. What’s most inspiring is the vulnerability of Dubose to open up about the struggles surrounding her and those within her family. She mentions demons of addiction, abuse, and eating disorders, and how they affected each member. The novel also understands the need to change the modeling industry, as Dubose was a young model, conflicted with the idealism of perfection, falling deeper into her own anorexia. In the final chapters, noted as her stage of recovery, there is inspiration and triumph of saying goodbye to old habits, negative thoughts, and washing away her former self.

This story embarks on a beautiful journey of life. Though many dark moments and the feeling of innocence being taken at a young age, Dubose reflects and acknowledges the growth and strength it takes to overcome. This memoir can be an inspiration for many. It teaches the importance of holding onto recovery regardless of demons faced. There is an encompassing breakthrough for conversation especially around eating disorders, childhood abuse and mental health. From Dubose we can increase our own confidence and determination to make sure we turn our darkest hours into something brighter.

This was an amazing read! As someone who is interested in future professional work in mental health therapy, it showed me an amazing story of overcoming the various mental health obstacles. I think that in life we are faced with many challenges, and it is how we use those challenges that determines the darkness that clouds our worlds or light to take its’ place. I took Dubose’s strength of changing the negativity, fear and failure into something positive, as the main message of the novel. There were so many important take-aways; therefore, I believe each reader will have his or her own message that will stand out to them.

I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who wants to feel inspired from a story of success and for anyone with personal demons whether that includes an eating disorder, depression, or substance abuse. The road to recovery may be long and dark; however, it is worth it in the end because it shines brighter than the past.

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

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