HELENA — Helena author, Skye Saarela, experienced discrimination and mental health issues growing up, which he details in a new book that Skye hopes other people with similar experiences can connect with.
Ever since Saarela was little, he found a passion for writing, music, and art as a healing outlet for the struggles he faced growing up.
Saarela wanted to share the poems he wrote about dealing with mental illness in a book, to share to the readers that they are not alone in this battle.
"I've written poems before, I've done music, I've done that. but I'm like, why am I writing these and not, you know, I mean, there's other people out there who will probably feel the same way I do. and if I can do that being, you know, a gay queer person of color, you know, that's awesome. and I think a lot of people need to hear that," said Saarela.
Saarela moved to Helena with his family at the age of 10, he is a Filipino American, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Saarela's book, A Light in the Darkness: Finding Solace Within Yourself, includes three chapters. The Darkness, The Voice, and The Light, to get a glimpse into Saarela's journey with dealing with mental illness, and some may feel the same way.
"I wrote these, you know, within my from within, within myself. and those are raw, real emotions, you know? and I just yeah, I when they read it, I want them to feel like, you know, they're not alone," said Saarela.
Mostly, he wants the message to be heard that at the end of the day, it's surrounding yourself with people who like you for your true self.
"You can live anywhere in the world. just surround yourself with, like, people that do love you and support you and want the best for you. it, you know, and I think that's what everybody wants at the end of the day is just to feel safe. so, um, but live your truth, be happy and, uh, just be a good person," said Saarela.
Saarela's working on a new book, A Darker Shade of Blue, that will be out on Halloween.
"We're not robots. We have our own minds, our conscious is our souls for a reason. But honestly, as a human being and caring for other people, it's like, it's not bad to help somebody find help," said Saarela