Today’s #SameHere🤙Share comes courtesy of Celeb Alliance Member: Joe Williams. Joe is a former NRL player and pro boxer from Australia. Below, a review of his book he recently published, ‘Defying the Enemy Within’ written by Erin Macauley, “Crazy’s” Co-Director of Advocacy. Both Joe and Erin are from Australia. However, if you looked at them together (as you can see in this pic), you would think that’s where the similarities end. Instead, due to common mental health battles and other challenges faced in life, their stories are very relatable and explain why Erin was so enamored with Joe’s book.
Moving forward, we will be gifting books like Joe’s, written by our Celebrity Alliance Members, to those who share their #SameHere🤙Hero stories with our community. If you’d like to pick up Joe’s book after reading this review, you can find a link on his profile page. Enjoy!
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A Review of: ‘Defying the Enemy Within’ by Joe Williams
What does a 36 year old white female have in common with a 34 year old Indigenous ex NRL player and professional boxer? Almost everything.
In his gripping and emotionally raw autobiography, Joe Williams opens up about his life from childhood to the present day, detailing both his successes and his hard times with complete honesty. His detailed and completely open narrative about his struggle with addiction is not spoken from a place of ‘poor me,’ rather from a spot where he can educate people about how addiction and recovery changed his life course. That and his diagnosis with bipolar disorder make ‘Defying the Enemy Within’ a must-read for anyone interested in, or touched by, the topic of Mental Health.
Not only does this book give insight into Joe’s upbringing, it explains to the reader how and why the values of his culture are so important to not only his life, but to anyone following along.
Why did this book so strongly pull me in and how do the events discussed compare so similarly to my own personal path?
We both used substances as a way of escaping our mental demons that chased us, until we realised that we needed to change our lifestyle and face up to our mental health complications head on, and deal with them in a more positive and programmatic way. The wellness plan Joe includes in his book is a reference that can be used for everyone and is one of the main highlights. It is a go-to actionable plan that absolutely anyone can do, anywhere, any time.
‘Defying the Enemy Within’ is a book you can’t put down once you get started. Joe is somebody who is changing lives every day, and the work he does within the Indigenous community is imperative, particularly within the remote regions he travels to, delivering his message of hope, resilience, recovery, and culture.
This is a book that crosses any perceived notions of race – because the struggles that Joe has faced are struggles that so many people everywhere face, daily. It is relatable, meaningful, and makes you realise that if someone who seems to ‘have it all’ from the outside can go through this, anyone can.
Anyone looking for a first-hand account of mental health struggles and triumphs should read this book – for the wisdom Joe imparts about his struggle with addiction, mental health, recovery, as well as his relation to the indigenous community in Australia.