‘Washed Away – From Darkness to Light‘ is the heart-breaking memoir of Nikki Dubose; a woman who has survived so much it is hard to fathom how it fits into one book. We meet Nikki in her early childhood and follow her on a journey of abuse – emotional, physical and sexual – which extends long beyond her younger years and into her adulthood. Against the odds Nikki drags herself through Eating Disorders, body dysmorphia, dissociation and substance use and into a successful modelling career – which seems to offer still more fuel for her self-destructive fire. Don’t worry, we leave her on a good note – she does find recovery.
The content of the book certainly doesn’t lead to this being ‘easy reading’, and even I (a Counsellor) had to put the book down a couple of times. Nikki writes very well, with evocative metaphors that can really allow you to put yourself into her shoes. I would therefore encourage anyone who is personally sensitive to any of the mentioned topics to be cautious when deciding to read this book. However, if you have no personal experience of mental health illness, some of Nikki’s words really offer you the opportunity to imagine how that might feel.
Nikki shows great bravery in honestly opening up to us her lifelong traumas in such vivid detail. I would love to have had the opportunity to read about her recovery in the detailed and articulate way she talks about her struggles. Maybe that’s to come in a future book. I’ll be watching out.
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