Confessions of a Wallflower is Juansen Dizon’s first book of poetry. The poems are divided into four sections: the depression, the love, the loss, and the self-love. The reader is brought along on the emotional roller coaster implied by the section names. As much as this book is about facing darkness, it is also about recognizing the power we hold within ourselves to find healing and light.
The poems are well ordered and have a good sense of flow, with many poems often picking up on a word or an idea from the preceding poem. The poems display emotional depth, vulnerability, and self-awareness. There are some powerful metaphors, such as likening love to oxygen and depression to cancer for the soul. Sadness is described as a double-edged sword that is both curse and blessing.
The book touches on difficult topics like wanting to die. In the author’s list of thirteen rules for his life, the final two are “I am required to live” and “I am not allowed to kill myself.” Juansen explores both his depression and his social anxiety, and the isolation this can bring.
The poems contemplate the power of love, both in a positive and a destructive sense, as the book moves from finding love to losing love. The complex thoughts and emotions associated with love are pared down into simple yet powerful words. The concluding section of the book gives attention to self-love, which we all too often don’t pay enough attention to.
Sadness is explored deeply in this book. It is connected to depression, but Juansen also writes about how positive things can come from sadness, including love and healing. He cautions that “sadness cannot be buried with positive thoughts”, something that resonated with me as I have certainly never been able to think my way out of depression.
At the beginning of the book, Juansen writes that he hopes that this book will change him. I think it is a book that has the power to change readers, as well.
You can find Juansen on his blog Lonely Blue Boy.
You can also check out my review of his second book I Am the Architect of My Own Destruction.
Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can find my other book reviews here.
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