A Vulnerable, Relatable Self-Acceptance Chronicle

Today I want to shift away from my own thoughts on self-acceptance and focus on someone else’s—those of artist and writer Tori Press in her book I Am Definitely, Probably Enough (I Think): Revelations on the Journey to Self-Love, which came out in 2020. You might know Press from her inspiring Instagram posts (at @revelatori) sharing her experiences with mental health.

Press’s book, while less than 200 pages long, packs in an intriguing and relatable chronicle, as she becomes aware that the belittlement and perfectionism she heaps on herself is not her real voice or her real self. This leads her towards therapy, which allows her to discover how to accept all aspects of her being.

Indeed, the relevancy this book has with things so many of us have been through with mental health and behavior is what struck me the most of Press’s writing and drawings.

Along the way on every page are illustrations that employ clever metaphors to get Press’s points across well. I’ve never seen as apt a comparison as Press makes when she depicts common struggles like relationships, daily tasks, and self-care as jagged rocks her drawn character is left wondering how to handle. Later on, Press draws a literal pool of standing water invading her therapy room after a session in which she opens the figurative floodgates of her emotions.

Relatability is an amazing asset for a book like this to have because if there’s one thing about discussing mental health topics that concerns me, it’s how to present them in ways that are accessible to our everyday lives. “Unconditional self-acceptance,” while a useful concept, is a mouthful of jargon that doesn’t stir a gut reaction. It’s a lot of fancy syllables strung together.

Since this book is grounded in self-acceptance, it doesn’t pretend that navigating mental health challenges are easy. This lack of sugarcoating is another aspect of Press’s book I appreciate. It is rooted in reality. Press’s vulnerability is admirable. She mentions that therapy didn’t “fix” her, as though there was anything wrong or broken at core with her. Press touches upon how accepting ourselves means allowing hard experiences, the valleys in life, and how to learn from them. This book doesn’t conclude with its author somehow being happy all the time, after all. Progress, Press realizes, is almost never linear, but even the zigzags one experiences when battling depression or a lack of self-acceptance is something to appreciate.

Overall, I can’t salute Praise enough for making a topic like self-acceptance as accessible as possible to her readers. Even if you are aware of and knowledgeable about these concepts, this book is still a valuable read because of the elegance of Press’s ideas and the emotional chord struck by empathizing with her journey.