Mental Health above Wealth

Author Sherman Alexie recently released a memoir entitled YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME about his often troubled relationship with his mother, who passed away in 2015. While it’s been almost two years since her death, Alexie has been delving deep into her memory, their relationship, and his struggles, even more now that he has been on tour.

In a heartfelt Facebook post this week, Alexie wrote a long explanation to his fans as to why he won’t be continuing his tour, and why it is so necessary for him to take time to work on his mental health in the upcoming days. He writes,

Dear readers and booksellers and friends and family, I am sorry to disappoint you. I am sorry that I will not be traveling to your cities to tell you my stories in person.
But I will be writing.

When I told Diane, my wife, about my mother’s ghost and about my plans to cancel so many events, she said, “Maybe it’s your mother taking care of you from Heaven.”

“Maybe,” I said.

“But I think it’s probably your subconscious taking care of the rest of you. I think it’s probably you being a good mother to yourself. You are mothering you.”

I think more people should be open and honest about times when they need to step back and deal with things in a more productive way. While I’m sure Alexie’s absence from bookstore signings and talks will be noticed, I’m also sure that his fans will understand his need to step away. As more and more of the world’s young and talented have difficulties walking away from the spotlight when they need it most, this is a refreshing change. We wish him the best of luck, and all the time he needs.