Local author Christalee Froese will be celebrating the launch of her book Journey to Joy on August 9 and 17 here in Kimberley.
In Journey to Joy, Froese brings to life her recovery from depression, chronicling the two years she spent restoring the joy she’d lost. Both humorous and heartbreaking, Journey to Joy follows the author’s joy project during which time she tackled a topic related to happiness for 21 days each month, for 24 months. In her book she brings to life several scenes in Kimberley, shining the light on those who helped her long the way.
Froese currently calls Saskatchewan home, but spends her summers in the East Kootenay. Many will recognize Froese’s name, as she was formerly the Editor of the Kimberley Bulletin. We caught up with her over the phone to chat about her book and her journey to happiness.
Froese will be reading from her book in the Platzl on Thursday, August 9 right after the Farmer’s Market and she will also be offering a mini joy workshop at the Kimberley Library on August 17 at 3p.m..
““It’s terrifying putting out a book that reveals your insecurities and your struggles, but I think people who deal with depression and anxiety need to know they’re not alone,” said the Saskatchewan-based journalist. “I really just want to open up the dialogue and let others know that you can make a full recovery, you can find joy.”
Froese says she starting writing the book five years ago and it turned into a memoir, “one woman’s story”.
“It started off as more of a journal, a self-help project,” she said. “It was a cool September night and I thought to myself, tomorrow I’m going to start this. I need more joy in my life. They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, so I decided to journal for 21 days straight. That was really helpful, so I kept going with different topics, peace, food…after 24 months of writing I looked at my notes and that’s what became the bones for the book. [I thought] this is valuable to me, but it might also be valuable to someone else.”
Journey to Joy has only been out for four months, but Froese’s first print run of over 1,000 copies sold out within three weeks. Not only that, but Froese says she’s received some surprising feedback as well.
“I’m surprised by how many people have reached out, how many people are suffering from depression and a lack of joy in their lives. I’m hoping that people read it and feel inspired to make a change,” she said. “People think ‘I’ll never get better’ but this book is proof that you can get through it, and experience more joy than ever before.”
In terms of her own journey, Froese says she surprised herself there as well.
“I started on a whim. What really surprised me was that what helped the most was finding joy in every day things. I thought I’d have to do something big, like go on a trip and go relax on a beach. I did those things… but you don’t have to do an Eat, Pray Love trip to find joy,” she said, referencing the best-selling novel and movie. “The sunset, having breakfast with your family and really being with them; it’s the little, simple things.”
Froese says that she is “so excited” to discuss her book in Kimberley, especially because that is where her healing really began.
“Kimberley is amazing and I found such a supportive group of friends who did a lot to help me when I was feeling really low,” Froese said. “Anyone who I have, or had, a connection with – it would be really great to reconnect.”
Meet Froese on August 9 at 7:30p.m. at Arrow and Axe for her book launch bash. The event is free and includes a reading from her book, appetizers, wine cocktails and a book signing.
If you’re feeling the need for “an injection of joy”, as Froese put it, then head to the Kimberley Public Library on August 17 at 3p.m. for a book reading and eye-opening mini joy workshop.
For more information or to purchase the book, visit www.bookjourneytojoy.com.