Today’s the day that the beautiful, wonderful A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard is released to the world! 🎉🎉 and to celebrate, Pan Macmillan contacted early readers to attempt to imagine what it would be like to be silent for a day and struggle the same way Steffi does with her selective mutism.
Here’s a list of Steffi’s worst scenarios to be mute for:
5. When you need the toilet
4. When you’re bleeding
3. When you need a new pencil
2. When you look a bit suspicious
1. When your best friend needs you
I don’t think there’s any arguing that those are the worst scenarios to be in (although, I can’t help but giggle that needing a new pencil is a higher priority than when you’re bleeding, so I’ll assume these aren’t in a particular order!) But it really got me thinking, what would be my worst scenarios? So, here goes…
5. When you’re asked for input in class
Seeing as at university, you don’t need permission to go to the loo, the equivalent for me would be freezing up when I’m asked for my opinion on something. What you get out of a uni class is what you put in, so not being able to contribute would significantly decrease my capability to learn.
4. When someone asks you for help
The number of times I’ve been stopped on campus to help direct someone is unreal, and I hate the idea of people thinking I’m ignoring them on purpose! Being quiet or silent can really give people the wrong opinion of you, especially when they assume you’re in control of your voice. I’m cringing at the thought!
3. When you need help
I couldn’t agree more with the whole bleeding thing, so this is the more general version of that! Imagine not being able to ask someone a question to clarify something, or tell someone you don’t feel too good…no one likes to suffer things alone.
2. When you’re with friends
For Steffi, she feels okay when talking to her family and her best friend, but imagine if you were so anxious that talking to your closest friends was impossible. This one would be particularly difficult in my reality, because every time my friends and I meet up, we’re always talking about our passions, whether it’s reading or tattoos or musical theatre. Not sharing my fave things with my fave people would be an absolute tragedy.
1. When your sister needs you
Bee and I share everything together. There’s not one thing she loves that I don’t at least like. We talk from as soon as the day starts to as soon as it ends, and some nights we’ll even stay up later than we should, just so we can keep talking. Not talking to Bee, someone so present in my life at all times, would literally be the worst. My whole life would be completely different, that’s for sure.
So my list is extremely similar to Steffi’s because I think she hit the nail on the head. It’s no secret that A Quiet Kind of Thunder has already made it to my list of favourite books for 2017, and offered me a love for romance that I haven’t experience since Anna and the French Kiss. But, this book offers so much more than a beautiful love story. It’s about overcoming everything that holds you back, learning coping mechanisms, opening up to another person completely and trusting that your recovery or improved mental state will come with time. There’s so much to reassure fellow anxious people, and so much to empathise with.
So, welcome to team #quietkindofthunder! 💖 If you are yet to rush to a bookstore and get yourself a copy of this marvellous book, I couldn’t recommend it more, and if you need more convincing, be sure to check out my review!
What’s your worst case scenario for being unable to talk?
Are any the same as mine and Steffi’s?