Carry On, Warrior
A Book Review
Written by Elise Baum
Carry on, Warrior is the first book of creative personal essays I’ve read. Glennon Doyle Melton is a blogger, and this book is a compilation of both selected works from her blog (momastery.com) and new essays about learning to love yourself, flaws and all. There is a slight theme of Christianity throughout the book, but it’s written in such a way that if that’s up your alley you can appreciate it but if not you can read around it to get what you need. I think that’s the sign of an amazing memoir and personal essay writer; when one is able to share their beliefs and experiences while leaving people space to find whatever they need from the writing. This is not an easy task.
Melton’s story is about finding love for herself through her journey to sobriety and faith. The essays twist and turn through her intense history both with eating disorder and addiction, culminating in her coming to terms with these and all aspects of herself. I personally don’t have experience with alcoholism, or the same religious beliefs as Melton, but this work is a truly original take on finding a complete sense of self and a love for the difficult and crazy journey along the way. This is an uncertain path that we, as often floundering adults, can all relate to, and reading Melton’s work helped me feel less alone in this adventure. Melton reminds us that we are supposed to be messy and imperfect and those are the parts of ourselves we need to hold onto and cherish.
While the story in this book is a very personal one, it has gained acclaim because it is also universal. Melton gives you space within her own personal journey to process your own and realize that those scary thoughts and confusing emotions are not something to be ashamed of. That was the most important lesson I learned from this book; the importance of moving away from shame. There is no need to be ashamed of our mistake or misfortunes because they make us who we are. They are vital to get us where we need to go. We so often shame ourselves without anyone even needing to do it for us. Melton’s work inspired me to breathe and to be one with both the beautiful and the ugly, and love them equally.
This book has changed so much about how I view myself and how I care for others. It also created a deep love affair between me and creative personal essays, and I believe this is one of those works of writing that has something for everyone. You don’t need to have a history with eating disorders, alcoholism, or a deep relationship with God to gain a knowledge of yourself from this book. My advice is to take a deep breath and allow yourself to take what this book has to offer, because I guarantee there will be a peace that wasn’t there before by the time you turn the last page.
For more, check out Elise's instagram account @books_by_women!