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Manchester Author Uses Poetry, Spoken Word to Express Mental Health Struggles

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A Manchester author is trying to get more people to acknowledge mental health struggles by talking about them through spoken word and poetry.

“A Soft Place to Land” is the name of a book by Nadia Sims as well as a personal ode for herself, and anyone struggling with mental health issues.

The 32-year-old, who grew up in Hartford and Bloomfield, began battling depression and anxiety as a student at Princeton University, eventually becoming overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy.

“I just didn’t know as much as other people. I didn’t feel as smart as other people," Sims said. "Trying to keep up with my classmates really put me in a dark place. I spent a lot of time coming to grips with the fact that I was not okay. And I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t make myself okay.”

It was during that time that she began therapy and also picked up a pen to express her feelings on the page.

“The poems started coming that said this is how I feel," Sims said. "This is the honest truth about how I feel. And it became this collection and there I just found a little grace. I found some grace for myself and I was like 'well what if I share it?'"

Sims has been sharing that message through community open mic, readings, and recently, a showcase of other creators. Her hope is that more people will see their challenges reflected on her pages to feel safe to talk about them.

“The message is: give yourself a little grace. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to be strong," she said.

You can purchase “A Soft Place to Land” here and follow Nadia on Facebook here.

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