New book penned by late Potsdam man details battles with depression, alcoholism
BY ADAM ATKINSON
North Country This Week
POTSDAM — A new book focusing on mental illness penned by a former Potsdam man who committed suicide in 2019 has been released.
“We Got This, Kids: A real-time and raw glimpse of alcoholism, depression, and loss during a search for more sunrises,” written by the late Andy Marsjanik of Potsdam, has been distinguished as Amazon’s #1 new release about depression. The book is available on Amazon and at select bookstores.The book tells Marsjanik’s story.
Described as an ordinary guy, Marsjanik was a man who lived alone, worked alone and for over four decades drank alone, said a press release from the publisher.
The book is composed of Marsjanik’s real time journal entries and his thoughts about living with depression and alcoholism. Marsjanik who had been sober for three years was facing depression and was using journaling as a treatment and self care.
He had intentions of compiling the journal into a book to be published eventually, but took his own life before he was able to do so.
His sister Amy Law of Wichita, Kansas, along with editor Jeff Deck completed the project after Marsjanik’s death, dovetailing the journal entries with interviews from friends and others who were close to him.
“A small group knew he was working on his writings that he hoped would eventually evolve into a book of some nature. His goal was to begin chronicling how he felt in real time while addressing his long term substance (alcohol) misuse,” Law told North Country This Week.
Law said her brother had shared the book with a handful people, including herself and their brother Mike.
She said at the time they had discussed with him about how a book may help people in similar straits and how it might showcase who he was.
“After he passed, the sense of urgency became clear that sharing it with others for him was the path we had to pursue,” she said.
Law described how difficult it was reading her brother’s journal after his death.
“It was eye opening and heartbreaking because of the retrospective turn it took. He exposed his truest self in the book and the burn and sting of just having lost him hurt even more with every word,” she said.
Putting together the book into a journal revealed several things Law said.
“That I cannot shout loud enough to anybody listening to how much depression lies and how you have to hang on. Andy's mistake was a result of those lies and hindsight proved them wrong--all of them. It's important not only for sufferers to increase awareness and knowledge of this, but also their families,” she said.
Law said she would give anything to go back in time and listen to the “faintest alarm” in her head that was sounding over her brother’s situation before he died.
She said she hopes those who read the book walk away with a better understanding of the nature of depression and that they learn about what kind of person her brother was.
“Every possible human emotion is embedded in this book along with a surprising and welcomed journey of knowledge and thought provocation. His work is brilliant. His mind was extraordinary. His humor was chart topping — it was difficult to understand how he could be so darn funny — all of the time, and last but not least, his kindness and how he shared it. Almost all who knew him are better because of that,” she said.
“We Got This, Kids” is getting praise from professionals in the mental health community, from academics and from average people who read it.
“People seek me out on social media,” said Law. “They thank me for getting Andy’s message out and say how helpful the book has been to them. It gives me joy to know that Andy has indeed met his goal of ‘helping just one person, and then some.’”
Order the book on Amazon at https://amzn.to/38V5Wrw