I attended Adam Silvera’s book signing for his new book History is All You Left Me at Anderson’s Bookshop in La Grange, IL.
But this isn’t an event recap.
To be honest, this event was only 8 days ago, and I don’t remember ANYTHING that Adam talked about during the Q&A style format. I know Harry Potter was mentioned, but I seriously don’t remember anything.
I suffer from depression and anxiety. Within the past couple of weeks, my depression intensified greatly. I started losing all motivation to get out of bed. Then, my anxiety intensified.
The day of the Silvera event, I left for the event really early because my anxiety was starting to really amp up, and when that happens, I need to be in the general proximity of where an event is going to be held even if I’m 3 hours early. As I was going there, however, I also felt a strong desire to go back home instead.
My anxiety just kept increasing. By the time Adam was talking, I was in pre-panic attack mode. I thought I could stay in the moment. I even at one point tried to ask a question, but someone else got called on instead. I tried to stay in that moment and just let that go, but that is the exact moment that my mind lost it. As Adam answered that last question, all I could think was, “I need to leave right now. I need to leave right now. I need to leave. But if I run out now, being in the front row, I can’t come back. I need to leave. I need to leave. I shouldn’t have come. I need to leave.”
They started lining up the numbers, and I had the first number. However, I couldn’t do it. I left my book and coat behind, and I quickly left the store. I walked out into the rain, and as the rain poured over me, tears flooded my eyes. I couldn’t stop crying, and I couldn’t slow down my breathing. I almost crumpled over against a random building because I couldn’t deal with this panic attack anymore.
After some time, I did go back, and I sat on my phone for several minutes, trying to calm myself back down further, before finally joining the very back of Adam’s signing line.
Let me tell you this.
Adam Silvera is one of best humans.
Adam remembers me from our past meetings and our interactions from Twitter. He also knew that I had been struggling. He also had just learned that I put his book down that day (and I still haven’t picked it back up) after I couldn’t handle it. (I attended a funeral for an 18 year old two days after this signing—the book includes a funeral at the very beginning of the book.)
Even though I knew that Adam was absolutely exhausted, he poured himself into me for about 5 minutes. He greeted me with a huge hug, and in that hug, he asked me how I was. When I couldn’t answer that question, he kept hugging, and he asked again, making it extremely clear that he was asking for a real question. I admitted how much I had been struggling. I admitted that I had had a panic attack during his event. (He admitted to figuring that something was wrong during that.) He asked me about the 18 year old. When he signed my copy of History is All You Left Me, he wrote me the longest book inscription that I have ever seen in my life. He assured me that there is no pressure to ever finish his book if I cannot handle it. As we said goodbye, he hugged me twice more.
Adam Silvera is just a genuinely good person. He is the type of author that is needed in the YA world. Additionally, Adam being unflinchingly honest with his own struggles with mental health allowed me to be honest with him about mine. While I’m pretty open about it in certain areas, I’ve met some people quite unkind about it. Adam, however, is just a good and caring person. I’m glad the YA world can claim him as he is a needed person and a needed voice and a needed author.