De Angelis cites some startling statistics: depression affects approximately 19 million American adults; 22 million suffer from alcohol or drug abuse; 22% experience insomnia on a nightly basis. "We have more comforts, more possessions, more of everything than ever before in the history of humankind. Yet in spite of all this, we appear to be more miserable." De Angelis argues that many people mourn for the lives they thought they would have, rather than making the most of the lives they do have. She does not discuss the fact that depression, alcoholism, and insomnia can have real physiological causes, no does she discuss ways these diseases can be treated. The focus of De Angelis's book is the choices that many people can make for themselves; they can choose to be happy rather than dwell in the miserable past or think wishfully about what they believe they have missed.
Barbara De Angelis has written a number of self-help books and she is a sought-after motivational speaker. After reading this book, it is easy to understand why. The book is very uplifting. She uses many real-life examples and intersperses them with words of wisdom from various philosophers, both Eastern and Western. She has the ability to use her words to make her readers feel as though they can truly take charge of their lives. There is no room for pity in De Angelis's world. She asks that we acknowledge personal pain but not dwell on it. Rather, she insists that we use the pain to learn about life and about ourselves. In doing so, we can emerge stronger and embrace the future.
De Angelis, B. (2010). How did I get here? Finding your way to renewed hope and happiness when life and love take unexpected turns. New York: St. Martin's Press. (Kindle edition).