When I feel like I’m going mad I write. A lot of my worst fears have come true- fears that felt so big I could barely hold them in my head. I was convinced that when they’d happen, the world would end- but the world didn’t end. In fact, it pushed on and demanded to keep spinning through all sorts of mayhem and I got through it. Because I persisted, I learned lessons about how to be a stronger, kinder, better human- lessons you can only learn by going through these sorts of things. This is for the people with minds that just don’t stop. For those who feel everything seemingly a thousand times more than the people around them. When we sleep at night, I hope that we write novels in our heads of what to tell the other when we wake. Here are some words I wrote.
Dorothy Miranda Clark, better known as Dodie, is twenty six, an Aries star sign and lives in Epping, Essex. She was born in Enfield, England and spent her childhood there. She’s currently a British Youtube and Instagram personality, not to mention a Singer Songwriter and Author. Jack of all trades! Her channel has amassed an impressive two million subscribers with three hundred and forty million channel views. At twenty two she announced she’d be releasing an autobiography, Secrets for the Mad. This was written as a memoir, her wish being to put pen to paper, tell her stories and share lessons she’s learned in a way that is memorialising. Dodie began writing to self soothe, as a balm for her discomforts, especially when she felt scared, alone or unsure after entering the Youtube world as the face of Doddleoddle.
Throughout this time, she realised the great importance of standing on her own two feet and coming forward as the hero she needed. Her aim with Secrets for the Mad was to reach out to others with minds that never stop running, who act with curiosity, question incessantly and feel profoundly. She rose to fame for reasons I’d rather like to- for being real, authentic, unafraid. She refused to see the world as mere black and white, letting herself be drawn into the nuance that fills life with colour. She’s incredibly self aware, adept at talking about the drawbacks and tribulations she’s experienced alongside the positives and achievements. Owning who you are, quirks, vices, tendencies and all is no easy feat. To do so without projecting judgement on yourself whilst keeping an open mind is even harder. Dodie sums her music up as hugely emotive, minimalist pop. This highlights the line she chooses to walk between the subtle and significant as well as the overlap.
Her book is packed full of beautiful song lyrics, poetry, stories, childhood memories, photographs, drawings and life lessons as well as funny bits and pieces. My experience reading her book was rather raw in a way. I started off not knowing very much about Dodie and her truth. I’d listened to her music on and off and acknowledged that she was a fantastic songwriter but that was it. There were a lot of confessions to be found within those bound pages- they were deeply personal and highly intimate in nature. I immediately found myself growing closer to this stranger, someone who I’d likely never meet. A newfound sense of respect for this woman had been instilled in me. She had become someone I looked up to. Much of her writing struck me- and stuck with me. Dodie’s soft, melodic voice and fairly minimal instrumentation leaves little space between her heart and tunes, lending her lyrics more weight and depth.
There was a strong focus on Dodie’s mental health journey, a topic close to my heart. I read many parts wishing I’d have come across them earlier during times of particular struggle. She spoke about her battle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders and depersonalisation. These themes resonate strongly with me as they speak to experiences from my younger years. A constant yearning for greatness, a need to be understood and seen. I have struggled in the past with perfectionism and obsessive compulsive disorder. I can be quite rigid with schedule and always have a preferred way of accomplishing a task. If things don’t go to plan, I feel low. People like Dodie are so human. I love her because she reminds me of myself- of my true and flawed yet no less beautiful nature. Her courage is solid as ever.
A much needed reminder- it’s impossible to be perfect and entirely possible to be imperfect but good enough still. Dodie’s fame never reached her head. Instead, it served to affirm and further encourage her to be the person she’d set out to. To serve as a role model and guide for people across all stages and walks of life. She is my sort of person and there is certainly a lot of comfort to be found in that. Musical Dodie seems to access all the right words to say exactly what she intends. Even knowing this, I couldn’t believe how well written her book was. Going into this book, I was worried that it would be unstructured and lack flow but that wasn’t the case at all. It was cohesive yet still creatively presented, each piece linking to the next while retaining its element of surprise. While I don’t usually reach for Youtuber books, I am so glad I took a chance on Secrets For The Mad- I can guarantee you will feel the same way.