Through the Hourglass

By Libby-Mae Ford and Cara Lisette (co-editors)

Exploring the past, present and future reflections from those recovering from a mental illness

Mental health | Non fiction
38% funded
254 supporters
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The Book

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A bespoke ceramic mug. Plus a signed first edition paperback, eBook and your name in the back of the book
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Ask Libby and Cara

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Zoom and a Natter

A zoom call for one hour with Libby and Cara to talk all things about the book, along with mental health and well-being and answering any of your questions. Plus a SIGNED first edition paperback, eBook and your name in the back of the book.
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The Hourglass Bundle

A bespoke ceramic mug PLUS an enamel pin PLUS tote bag PLUS everything at the Signed Book level.
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Give ten signed copies of the book to a school of your choice PLUS the ebook PLUS a one-hour virtual visit from one of the contributors PLUS the school name in the back of the book.
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Give twenty signed copies of the book to a school of your choice PLUS the ebook PLUS a one-hour virtual visit from one of the contributors PLUS the school name in the back of the book.
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Your name printed in the front of the book thanking you for your contribution, plus 5 signed first edition paperbacks, the eBook and your name in the back of the book. [Only 3 available]
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Corporate Patron

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We all reflect on the past, muse over the present and hope for the future; it’s a natural and healthy part of being human. But what is it like to spend your time thinking about the past, present and future when you’re in recovery from a mental illness?

Through the Hourglass takes a look into the lives of 25 people who are at different stages in their recovery journeys. Each has a different story to tell, reflecting, considering and hoping about their own lives and the world around them by writing raw, beautiful and real letters addressed to themselves.

In a world that attaches a huge stigma to mental illness, Through the Hourglass gives 25 individuals the chance to share their experiences by writing letters to their past, present or future selves. Reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly, facing up to their histories and potential and being truly honest, these are letters of hope, courage, bravery and sorrow, giving a voice to those who are not often heard.

The book is divided into three sections - past, present and future – and explores thoughts and feelings both familiar and strange. It will leave you feeling an array of emotions from happy to sad, hopeful and comforted, and maybe even inspire you to write your own letter. Which self would you address, and what would you say to them now?

The book will include the following letters:

Anthony Sowole, who now enjoys walking around London feeding the birds, writes a letter to his past self who went years without leaving his room.

Tejaswi Subramanian, who identifies as agender and asexual, writes a letter to their present self.

• Writing to her future self about her hopes and dreams allowed Abigail Porter to open up during lockdown instead of close down.

John Townshend writes for the John in the future to share what he has learned about how to live his best life.

Selasie Djameh writes to their future self in the hope of destigmatising mental illness among young people in Ghana.

Charlotte Shields, who has struggled with an eating disorder, writes a letter listing all the things she loves about her body: feet, legs, stomach, face, brain and more.

• Writing her letter enabled Chiana Khindey to reflect and see the progression in her life up to this point.

• Writing a letter to her younger self has helped Emily Nuttall to see the lost, scared, confused teenager she once was as well as the strong woman who continues to fight on the road of recovery.


  • A high-quality, first edition paperback book
  • B format
  • Approximately 160 pages and 35,000 words
  • More great contributors to be confirmed - watch this space!
  • Exclusive pledge levels!

*Book designs, cover and other images are for illustrative purposes and may differ from final design.

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  • Libby-Mae Ford avatar

    Libby-Mae Ford

    Cara Lisette avatar

    Cara Lisette

    Libby is a 24-year-old cisgender woman living in Newport, South Wales. She loves to read, write and paint and thinks the bigger the cup of tea the better. When she’s not writing, reading or painting, you’ll find her cuddling her cats whilst watching Greys Anatomy. She has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, along with other mental illnesses since a young age and is currently navigating her way through adult life whilst figuring out how to recover from these illnesses.
    She is currently studying Psychology in the hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist and has a passion for raising awareness for mental health and well-being. She use’s her twitter and Instagram to talk about her own struggles and hopes to one day be able to help others. Libby is passionate about using your own voice to help destigmatise mental illness and enjoys doing this by writing blog posts, Instagram captions and novels. She has been working on several books for the past few years, and Through the Hourglass will be Libby’s first non-fiction anthology.

    Cara is a mental health campaigner from Hampshire, England. She runs a successful blog in which she documents her journey through living with mental illness. She also loudly champions mental health awareness on her social media and has several years experience of public speaking, sharing her story up and down the country.
    Cara was first diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in her early teens but has battled with it long into adulthood. She also struggled with her mood throughout adolescence and eventually received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder when she was 25. One of her biggest passions is being part of a movement that is changing the way society views mental illness and breaking down the stigma attached. When she’s not writing and campaigning, you can find her crafting, watching sitcoms, or bullet journalling her way through recovery. She is most at peace when around animals and is rarely without a cat on her lap and a hot chocolate in her hand. Through the Hourglass will be Cara’s first non-fiction anthology.

  • Dear Libby,      

                How does it feel to be three years old? I don’t remember you being quite so young. What I do remember is mum telling you to behave or she’ll throw you to the gypsies and they’ll eat you. She denies saying this, but it’s etched into your brain. Strange isn’t it? The things you can’t quite remember, and the things you can never forget. You have a whole life ahead of you, this is just the starting line really. You may have only been alive three years, but it’s been free from pain and in my books, three years without pain is pretty damn good. I imagine right now you are thinking of being a dancer, or a singer or maybe even an astronaut. Your ambition and passion is precious, hold on to it. You’ve got a few tough years ahead of you, but I want, no need, you to know that you are loved. Say it with me, I am loved.

  • 16th April 2021 Help us reach 100%!!!

    Hello lovely people, 

    We hope that you're all doing well and staying safe with restrictions in the UK easing. 

    A message from Libby:

    Hey!! I hope that you're all having a lovely day. It's very sunny here in Newport, so I am hoping to sit in the garden for a little while with a book. Remember to be wearing your spf if you'll be sitting in the sun!! With everything being so chaotic and hectic…

    13th January 2021 A quarter of the way to 100%!!

    Hello lovely people, 

    Firstly happy New Year. We hope that you had a lovely Christmas if that is something that you celebrate and that the New Year has been kind to you.

    Thank you so much for everyone that has pledged since our last update. We have now reached 204 supporters and hit the big 25% funded, meaning we are a quarter of the way there so thank you so so much for your continuous support…

    28th November 2020 Libby and Cara's Top Tips for looking after yourself over the festive season.

    Hello lovely people, 

    Thank you to everyone that has made a pledge since our last update!! We are now only 14 supporters away from 200 and 2% away from hitting the 25% mark which will bring us to a quarter of the way there, so thank you so much for all of your support. 

    With Christmas only around the corner, we thought it may be helpful to share our favourite top tips for looking after yourself…

    9th November 2020 EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

    Hello lovely people, 

    Libby here, I hope you're all having a good day. Thank you to those who have made a pledge since the last update. Your continuous support is always appriciated and the Through the Hourglass team are very grateful. 

    Over the past four months, since launching the crowdfunding page, I have had a few dips with my mental health, returned to university and started therapy. As…

    6th October 2020 Looking after your mental health!! - And book update.

    Hello lovely people!! 

    I hope that you are all well and staying safe. Thank you so much to those that have pledged so far!! We have almost hit 150  pledges which is AMAZING!! 

    I am very excited to announce that we have had a little revamp of the pledge levels and there are now some additional pledge levels. There are two new pledge levels for individuals, these are: 

    1. Read with a friend…

    4th September 2020 THANK YOU FOR 100 PLEDGES!!!

    Hello lovely people, Libby here, the editor of Through the Hourglass. 

    I have been meaning to write an update since we hit 100 pledges, but as I am sure a lot of you will understand, living with a mental illness is difficult at the best of times and to be completely honest, my mental health hit a rough patch a few weeks ago and I am just starting to feel more myself again, so I apologise for the…

    22nd July 2020 WE REACHED OUR FIRST MILESTONE - A note from the editor and writers

    Hello lovely people, 

    I hope that you have all had a wonderful day, and if not I am sending my love and support. Remember, each day lasts 24 hours before a new day comes bringing with it a fresh start and a new adventure. 

    Firstly on behalf of myself and the other writers, I want to thank each and every one of you that have pledged to help make this book a reality. There are currently 43…

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