Running Like China
From a talented emerging Australian writer, a brave, honest, unforgettable memoir about mental illness that breaks the silence and shatters the taboos to give hope to all those struggling to find their way through.
'When I was eleven years old Mum told me, "One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name." Even before I heard these words I was always a child who crammed intense joy into tiny pockets of time.'
One day Sophie Hardcastle realised the joy she'd always known had disappeared. She was constantly tired, with no energy, no motivation and no sense of enjoyment for surfing, friends, conversations, movies, parties, family - for anything. Her hours became empty. And then, the month before she turned seventeen, that emptiness filled with an intense, unbearable sadness that made her scream and tear at her skin. Misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue, then major depression, then temporal lobe epilepsy, she was finally told - three years, two suicide attempts and five hospital admissions later - that she had Bipolar 1 Disorder.
In this honest and beautifully told memoir, Sophie lays bare her story of mental illness - of a teenage girl using drugs, alcohol and sex in an attempt to fix herself; of her family's anguish and her loss of self. It is a brave and hopeful story of adaptation, learning to accept and of ultimately realising that no matter how deep you have sunk, the surface is always within reach.
Running Like China shatters the silence and smashes the taboos around mental illness. It is an unforgettable story.
Sophie Hardcastle is an exciting young writer currently based on the Northern Beaches in Sydney. After writing her first (unpublished) novel at fifteen, Sophie was misdiagnosed with Major Depression the following year. She was admitted to hospital four times over the next two years. She completed her HSC while in hospital, and received an ATAR of 98.25, received a Premier's Award for All-round Excellence and was fast-tracked into Sydney University's Sydney College of the Arts. In 2013, Sophie was admitted to hospital again and diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder.
During the course of the next year she began to accept her chronic illness and realised nothing is safe, so she may as well do what she loves - writing. Sophie is determined to help change the lives of thousands of young people living with mental illness. She is working with Batyr, a not-for-profit agency that trains young people with mental illness to visit schools and universities to share their experiences and break the stigma surrounding mental illness. She is also working with Headspace to do the same. Sophie is now working on a novel while continuing her art studies.
Running Like China
Author: Sophie Hardcastle