You Will Get Through This Night -- Discussion

Our two favourite full time internet nerds who never go outside!
Post Reply
User avatar
lefthandedism
simply stressed bisexual
simply stressed bisexual
Posts: 1589
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:16 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: New England

This thread is devoted to discussion of Dan's book, You Will Get Through This Night. Discussion of Dan's book will also continue on the main threads as members choose.

This thread will focus on doing a deeper dive into the the book itself (like a book club!), as well as serve as an archive of important/relevant/insightful material. Anyone should feel free to crosspost between here and any main thread, or quote material from the main thread that is worth keeping here (be sure to include the original poster's authorship).

There aren't any additional rules. So, everyone: what did you think of the book? :thisnight:
"If you're left-handed, ask a friend."
"Why am I left-handed?"
"Everybody makes mistakes."
User avatar
fioebae
crusty sponge
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:20 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Cardiff

I have yet to read enough to form a full-fledged opinion on it’s content, but just wanted to say that the design/physical make of the book is A++

It has such a nice texture and weight about it, idk it just feels so comforting to hold and physically experience. There is just something about a physical hardback, especially one without the dust jacket like this one, that is so grounding to me.

I know people have lots of opinions on the cover (I personally have the UK edition and love it) but the internal graphics/page breaks/subheading underline slashes etc are just really give a nice calming feel to it as you read and you can tell how carefully it was all considered.
User avatar
kavat
angel bean
Posts: 1079
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:36 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: scandinavia

I've only listened to the audiobook so far but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I often don't like when authors voice their own audobooks but he has so much experience in writing scripts and reading them out loud. It's like listening to a 6h long dinof video, complete with music and sound effects (the horny jail bonk made me actually laugh out loud). The 5 min focus segment was great as well, and the q&a/bloopers. I could have done without the asmr though, I did not need to hear him whisper about synthetic cherry flavors.........

As for the actual content, I think he did such a great job at creating a good resource and starting point for caring about your mental health. It's going to be very helpful for so many people, whether they know of him or not. Very proud of him.
User avatar
shan
procrastinator
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:00 am

I'm not finished reading yet either since I'm taking it slow and trying out the different techniques before moving on. I'm taking notes as I go though so I'll likely post an entirely too long opinion when I do finish :lol:

Initial thoughts are that I'm enjoying it and happy to be finding new techniques that I actually haven't come across before. I'm also someone who needs the reminder of things I've already been told because long-term implementation of these types of things are most definitely not my forte.

I'm in the 'Tomorrow' section at this point (roughly half way through the book) and the one thing I've been a tad disappointed by is the personal anecdotes promised in Dan's promos of the book. I can't say definitively since I haven't finished it but so far the personal stories have been about as impersonal as a personal story can be (if that makes sense). Most of them have been very bare-bones tales that could be taken from nearly anyone's life and don't really have much 'Dan' to them. Eg. Starting a Law School assignment at 3am the day it was due. Law School here being the personal 'Dan' element of the anecdote. I can completely appreciate why he's done this, since the point isn't to entertain 'phans' but to appeal to the wider masses but that doesn't mean I'm not feeling a little jibbed by the way he sold it with an emphasis on personal stories. Who knows though, maybe he makes up for it in spades during 'The Days After' section and I'll take this all back in a week.

The cover design has been growing on me too but, as someone who's a bit precious when it comes to spines, a hardcover without a dust jacket is my nemesis. I'm doing my damnedest not to crack this thing but it's only going to get harder from this point on :?
Megancita75
#relatable
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:43 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: USA

Here's my review, though there are more specific discussion points I'll probably post about later:

The book is quite good for its intended purpose (introduce people to practical tools that can help improve mood and self-understanding) and intended audience (people new to these concepts). It really is an introductory primer to some very foundational ideas—at least in Western psychology—about how to manage and understand thoughts and feelings with the goal of being kinder, more understanding, and more accepting of oneself. The most compelling parts were the sections where Dan anchored an idea or concept to his personal story, and also the sections where very concrete explanations and examples were provided for a certain therapeutic method.

From Dan’s point of view, I can fully understand that writing this likely felt extremely exposing and vulnerable; even if he doesn’t ultimately reveal a ton about his specific personal experiences, just acknowledging that all of these techniques are something he’s had to work with — mindfulness to get out of his overactive and high-alert brain, reframing to release himself from harsh and unrelenting negativity, self-compassion to learn how to love himself — has got to have felt scary and raw. As a reader, I definitely can appreciate that act of bravery even as I think the book would have been stronger with more personal examples to drive home the different sections of the book.

I really liked the book design, both the physical book and the structure. The black and yellow scheme has really grown on me, I really liked that it didn’t have a dust cover, and the black quote pages throughout the book were very aesthetically pleasing to my eye.

I found the This Night/Tomorrow/The Days After That organizing structure quite smart; it’s such a palatable, non-overwhelming, manageable way to present this sort of information and I think the metaphor of it all provides a great mental hook to help the information stick.

I was familiar with all of the general mental health concepts already, but there were multiple specific bits that were really good reminder to me or that sparked a new way of thinking about an issue. In particular, the section on improving your physical environment and surroundings resonated with me and the discussion of working to understand the “rules” you have about life that may be distorting your thinking is definitely something I need to continue to actively work on. I have been doing one of the mind-body exercises (the 54321 one) almost everyday because I find it so enjoyable and useful, and I probably felt most inspired by the book’s discussion of the importance of striving to be more present in the real world.

The parts of the book that were less successful for me or that I struggled with all revolve around specificity and writing style. I know this is meant to be a general introduction, but I found some of the language too abstract or fleeting for my taste. One example of this would be the concept of “happiness” as the outcome of doing this mental health work. I used to be obsessed with achieving happiness, but over the last few years have personally abandoned that goal as being too simplistic and unhelpful. Instead, I find the idea of “contentment” much more useful to pursue. I don’t think Dan is saying that working on your mental health will result in a constant, unalloyed state of happiness, but I do wish he had spent more time defining what he means. There were other sections, particularly toward the end of the book, that I think also suffered some from the same abstraction. I know that’s likely a balance he and the consulting psychologist were trying to strike between providing digestible and actionable advice versus deep dives into philosophical or existential questions, but imprecise language in my opinion can lead to misunderstanding or frustration as a reader.

I knew going into this that I was going to have some problems with Dan’s writing style. There were lots of sections where I was immersed and not aware of the writing, which is always the ideal experience for me as a reader. Other parts I’d get distracted and pulled out of the narrative with too many comma splices, convoluted sentence structure, and tonal shifts. I would love to know more about the editing process for books like this in general, as this is a case where, for me, just a slightly heavier hand by the editor would have smoothed out a lot of these issues without sacrificing Dan’s voice.

Reading this book humanized Dan for me in ways I wasn’t expecting. I think I understand his inner world in a different way that I had before, as being much more rigid, tightly controlled, and fear-based than I’d previously thought. Which, honestly, is very relatable.

I also think the book is quite comforting in that it’s clear Dan is still working on a lot of his issue, and like most of us, will be doing so for the rest of his life. We’re all in this mess together, and that’s always important to remember.

It’s not perfect, but I absolutely think the book will be very helpful to some readers and that it will be a gentle, encouraging companion for them. And by that measure, it’s a success.

I have lots more thoughts about the book and Dan, so this is just a general summary.

Also, dude wrote a whole-ass book! Kudos!

(X-posted to tumblr)
User avatar
shan
procrastinator
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:00 am

I’m sorry in advance for a too long and likely too personal collection of thoughts on YWGTTN after finally finishing it last night (being concise has never been my strong suit).

As someone who has seen more than my fair share of psychologists over the years to deal with anxiety and depression, I was pleasantly surprised to learn some new techniques from the book that I’ve found to be effective in the last week or so and am likely going to implement in the long run. I found the knowledge I was lacking to be almost exclusively in the ‘This Night’ section of the book. I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience with therapy but, for me, the main focus always seems to lie in the ‘Days After’, centring on ways to analyse and adjust your thinking. What tends to be skipped for me is how to remain functional when things are bad. I always seem to get the same three suggestions: sticking to a routine, diet/exercise, and breathing exercises; the breathing exercises being the only one helpful for in-the-moment cases of anxiety or panic.

Some of the exercises I found to be relevant and beneficial for my everyday life were;

54321: A great addition to breathing exercises that focuses on grounding you to your surroundings. One I’m definitely going to keep in mind for public speaking and other guaranteed panic- or anxiety-inducing situations.

The 5-minute rule: an incredibly simple but very effective technique to just get started when you are a phenomenal procrastinator such as myself. My job is 50% writing and I struggle to sit down and start almost every time. I’ve tried other things like organising SUAW sessions with friends while working from home but I found this to be really effective when you have to just get it done. I’ve also found it very useful when I’m feeling a bit stressed and panicky about starting to tell myself ‘just 5 minutes’ and if those feelings haven’t gone away, I can stop. So far it’s worked a charm at tampering those feelings of intimidation.

The value - effort matrix: Another tool I really appreciate and came at just the right time for me personally. I’ve had multiple major negative life events in recent months that have also required extended time off work to deal with. I found this extremely beneficial for prioritising a seemingly endless list of personal and professional tasks into what needs to be done first as I start transitioning back to normal life again. I also found it a great way to identify tasks that were high effort but high value that I could then take and make a plan to break these down and tackle them in a manageable way. Combined with the 5-minute rule, I’ve found this to help tasks feel a little less overwhelming and insurmountable, instead becoming something I can actually see myself achieving.

Taking note of mood: I’m fairly sure a psychologist did recommend this to me once but I didn’t give it the effort required and follow through. I think it’s something I autonomously do to an extent but, giving this a proper go, I did find that tasks I struggle to start often led to a better mood than I gave them credit for. Waking up early to take the dog I’m currently caring for to the dog park might feel like torture but once I’m there it actually has an amazingly positive effect on my mood. Others were pretty expected; reading RA and AITA subreddits will always drastically decrease my mood even if it can feel a bit reassuring when your low that everyone isn’t living the fairy-tale existence they like to portray on insta and fb. Ultimately not worth it.

For the last two sections of the book, I was already aware of everything Dan spoke about, but I still enjoyed reading them. The reminders are always appreciated as just because I know something is beneficial for me doesn’t mean I do it. I will say some of the things mentioned I really do believe are better done with a therapist to begin with before attempting them for yourself.

An example of this is the ‘you are not your thoughts’ section discussing the CBT technique of questioning if the thoughts you have are accurate. When you’re in a really bad place it can be incredibly difficult to see any positives in your situation or yourself as a person. The first time I was exposed to CBT, a few thoughts were easy to say ‘hold on, that’s not true and here’s the evidence for why’ but there were a couple where I genuinely couldn’t come up with anything to question a negative thought I had and therefore no evidence to prove that the thought was wrong. If my psychologist wasn’t there to intervene and say ‘what about x and y?’ I could have inadvertently strengthened a dangerous, incorrect thought process. I would hope that, taken in conjunction with Dan’s repeated insistences of seeking professional help, someone in a crisis wouldn’t try to use these techniques alone but I do really think it would have been worth it to put in a disclaimer before this content. This is absolutely a worst-case scenario kind of thing but that prior experience in therapy did set off little alarm bells for me.

Follow up on the personal stories: What bothered me most about the lack of personal anecdotes was the way that Dan promoted the book to us specifically on YouTube etc. as full of personal stories and using this as a major selling point. I will say that there were some longer, albeit still few and far between, anecdotes in the second two sections of the book. Mostly though, once I got out of the mindset of expecting them, I actually found that I enjoyed the book just fine without constant Dan-isms. I think the expectation that there would be these fabled stories took away from the first reading because I was disappointed when they weren’t really there. If he hadn’t put so much emphasis on this in the lead up to release it would have been a nice little surprise to come across them every now and again. It also probably would have helped people read the book a bit slower and take it in rather than trying to scour the entire thing as quickly as possible for any new nuggets of information (which took considerable effort for me not to do too).

Overall, I really did enjoy the book a lot and think what Dan has written is a fantastic resource of easy to understand tools set out in a way that is practical, useful, and actually reliable. I think the way it has been set out is perfect and Dan has successfully written it so that the book can, in my opinion, cater well to a much wider demographic than his pre-existing followers. I agree that his choice of ‘random’ phrasing occasionally took me out of the book, but I love the care and research Dan has put into it. I also love that a well-regarded psychologist was consulted on everything and had complete authority to scratch out anything that wasn’t correct. I’ll happily be passing my copy onto my mum and will be giving my spare to one of my best friends who is a psychologist working predominantly with adolescent and young adult clients. Hopefully if she likes it, it may be a useful resource she can recommend to those who need it (I’ll see if I can get some thoughts from her down the track). This book is a fantastic achievement for Dan and I think he did his goal of making mental health knowledge accessible justice.
User avatar
shan
procrastinator
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:00 am

Bonus collection of random notes taken and quotes I enjoyed while reading (page numbers from the UK edition):

Page 123: Dan doesn’t like to display many personal photos and achievements around the house because they don’t make him feel good. I wonder if there is a connection here to why they’re commissioning art from friends as an alternative of photos? Potentially personal photos are a source of stress for deppy because of the value they place on keeping their personal lives to themselves. If they displayed photos around the house, they would need to be removed before filming and could be a risk in candid snapshots meaning maybe the fear of something not meant to be seen being accidentally caught in the background of a shot is not considered worth it?

Or maybe he just doesn’t like photos, who knows?

Page 131: ‘If you painted your entire room red, and now feel more tense than you did last week, go get some calming neutral / green paint, and some taste’.

Page 137: Dan calls out his mum for waking him up too early as a teenager. He’s expecting his family to read it. This had me thinking about the lack of engagement his family seemed to have with his YouTube content (other than his grandma). From what Dan has made it sound like over the years, there’s a good chance the only thing his parents have seen from his YouTube career are the tours. I wonder if he finds it more validating to work on projects grounded in traditional forms of entertainment (books, tours, radio etc.) and if they’re easier to share with his family than successes based around YouTube videos.

Page 158: Mindful meals - Dan suggests making a game or competition of cooking. I am fully convinced that Dan and Phil have mock cooking competitions and absolutely rate each other’s meals like Gordon Ramsey.

Page 188: ‘Send that smoke-signal to your future soulmate’ - Dan tweeting Phil in 2009. Sidenote: multiple references to soulmates in this section, interesting from Daniel ‘soulmates don’t exist’ Howell.

Page 194: Dan reached out to people online he saw as potential close friend material (other performers as well as strangers from video games he played) in an effort to expand his social circle and found some people weren’t interested once they realised discussing mutual interests was all he was laying on the table. Because, you know, he’s already bought a house with his soulmate. (My nosey side would love to know who they were though)

Page 195-196: I think Dan may have stolen Phil’s University dorm story? I haven’t gone back to verify but I could swear that Phil was the one who left lollies by his dorm room door and Dan spent the first few days in his room with the door shut playing video games. I’m genuinely not sure if they’ve been together so long that they no longer know who’s story is who’s anymore or this was intentional?

Page 196: Life partner section ‘taking compromising photos of them accidentally littering’ sounds far too specific to not be something that actually happened to deppy right? Makes me wonder if there are little inside jokes only the two of them would get sprinkled throughout the book that go over everyone else’s heads…

Page 207: ‘whether it’s a spectacular idiot or just a friend getting on your tits’ - Dan on the importance of muting in social media.

Page 236: ‘Don’t you know that you’re toxic’ - of course he’d find a way to squeeze a toxic reference into a relatively serious book on mental health.

Page 265: Sick burn on his life coach family members with the paragraph saying to make sure that whoever you see about your mental health is registered with a professional body and has the qualifications. Very correct and very important that he said it but it's not going to bring anyone closer together!

Page 295: On questioning thoughts of permanence;
‘I will never be able to act on my romantic feelings, because I am secretly a massive homo and everyone will judge me’
‘Wrong - one day, I will vigorously act on my feelings’
User avatar
fruitcriminals
cheeky #spon
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:45 am

shan wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:05 am Bonus collection of random notes taken and quotes I enjoyed while reading (page numbers from the UK edition):

Page 123: Dan doesn’t like to display many personal photos and achievements around the house because they don’t make him feel good.
I guess if you’re depressed and closeted during the time of the photos or when you won an award that’s all you’re going to be reminded of when you look at them?
shan wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:05 am Page 158: Mindful meals - Dan suggests making a game or competition of cooking. I am fully convinced that Dan and Phil have mock cooking competitions and absolutely rate each other’s meals like Gordon Ramsey.
Who can steal Phil's game ideas? Dan - valid. Buzzfeed - not valid.
shan wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:05 am Page 188: ‘Send that smoke-signal to your future soulmate’ - Dan tweeting Phil in 2009. Sidenote: multiple references to soulmates in this section, interesting from Daniel ‘soulmates don’t exist’ Howell.
Soulmate means boyfriend, meaty legs means that phat aSs, partners in crime means we stole each others heart.
Thank you for listening to my very silly conspiracy theory.
shan wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:05 am Page 194: Dan reached out to people online he saw as potential close friend material (other performers as well as strangers from video games he played) in an effort to expand his social circle and found some people weren’t interested once they realised discussing mutual interests was all he was laying on the table. Because, you know, he’s already bought a house with his soulmate. (My nosey side would love to know who they were though)
This bit SENT me. What is this man on about. Of course everyone he dm’d would think he was being horny. Do we think this part was serious? I can imagine why people ghosted him when they realised there was no sex to be had, they think they're going to get the D but the D turns out to be a discussion about the upcoming grand prix. You'd flip a table wouldn't you.

I *could* absolutely see Phil doing this. The response to Tom Daly offering him diving tips made me cackle. And SETH oh Seth, manages to call Phil both sexy and handsome and Phil just acts like aww what a nice compliment from an acquaintance. Exposing live on stereo that Seth slid in his dm’s pretending to need plant advice was peak Phil banter.
shan wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:05 am Page 195-196: I think Dan may have stolen Phil’s University dorm story? I haven’t gone back to verify but I could swear that Phil was the one who left lollies by his dorm room door and Dan spent the first few days in his room with the door shut playing video games. I’m genuinely not sure if they’ve been together so long that they no longer know who’s story is who’s anymore or this was intentional?
Martyn gave this advice to Phil, Phil gave it to Dan. <3
shan wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:05 am Page 196: Life partner section ‘taking compromising photos of them accidentally littering’ sounds far too specific to not be something that actually happened to deppy right? Makes me wonder if there are little inside jokes only the two of them would get sprinkled throughout the book that go over everyone else’s heads…
I concur. Although Phil did ask Dan if the bit about people you live with was about him, and...Phil ffs who else does Dan live with. I think a lot of parts are just Dan calling himself out and some calling Phil out. Like:

"but if you start feeling jealous, then perhaps on some level you know how you could be better. It’s just as hard to talk about with others, but if you discuss your feelings with the people who may be part of it, it can help if they talk you down and allay your fears. Getting these feelings out in the open (preferably in a nice conversational way – not a dramatic ‘causing a scene in the bread aisle’ way) can bring people closer together."

- Local man removed from waitrose for hurling homophobic abuse and a large baguette at popular YouTuber amazingphil. -metro

"I’ve realised that I’m speeding on the Autobahn and I’m under attack. Perhaps one day when my adoloescent ‘mission’ is complete and I’ve done all the things and had all the attention and sex, I’ll calm the hell down – I’m not there yet, but I like to think one day I’ll just arrive. Or maybe, I just need to work on that third one."

Telling your mostly female, mostly not straight audience that you want to have a lot of sex in a book about mental health.
- Sir this is a Wendy's

I am assuming the ten pages Dr Heather deleted were his random sex chat rather than any poor mental health suggestions and for that I must commend her.

.
User avatar
fruitcriminals
cheeky #spon
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:45 am

fruitcriminals wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 2:26 pm
Martyn gave this advice to Phil, Phil gave it to Dan. <3
Tell a lie, I remembered he has told this story many times and it changes from Phil passing on this info and him ignoring him and playing games with the curtains closed to him actually doing it. So you're probably right he's just living vicariously through Phil's memories.
Post Reply