From Hell to Chal­lah: Ris­ing from frag­ile to fearless.….one grain at a time

September 1, 2020

In From Hell to Chal­lah, Shari Wal­lack shares her inspir­ing, fun­ny, and uplift­ing sto­ry through despair, sur­vival, and men­tal eman­ci­pa­tion dur­ing the chaos of 2020. Her jour­ney begins inside a men­tal hos­pi­tal and con­tin­ues on a trip to eigh­teen des­ti­na­tions through­out the Unit­ed States dur­ing the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic. She details her inner­most thoughts, hopes, and fears while illus­trat­ing how she went from crip­pling depres­sion to joy over a three-month period.

Along with a mul­ti­tude of col­or­ful char­ac­ters, Shari nav­i­gates an excit­ing and unusu­al voy­age of self-dis­cov­ery and heal­ing. Among the use­ful lessons she learns along the way, she dis­cov­ers that cook­ing and bak­ing calm her. She pro­vides the recipes that helped her through her strug­gles, with the hope that oth­ers will find the same much need­ed com­fort. Shar­i’s heart­warm­ing and humor­ous sto­ry from despair to joy shows that hap­pi­ness and pur­pose can be found even in the most dif­fi­cult of times.

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Shari Wallack

  1. What spe­cial tal­ents or skills do you think you could devel­op so that you are pre­pared for anoth­er pan­dem­ic or sit­u­a­tion that requires you to be house­bound and/​or isolated?

  2. What do you do when you feel anx­ious or depressed? Can you find a way to change the sta­tion in your brain, engage in an activ­i­ty or do some­thing to make your­self feel better?

  3. Would you have allowed some­one to stay with you dur­ing a pan­dem­ic? Why or why not?

  4. What are your buck­et list des­ti­na­tions? What keeps you from vis­it­ing them?

  5. How well do you know your own coun­try? What was your favorite place to vis­it and why?

  6. What is your rela­tion­ship like with your fam­i­ly? What can you do to improve any frus­trat­ing dynamics?

  7. How do you feel about psy­cho-ther­a­py, anx­i­ety and depres­sion meds, recre­ation­al drugs and the opi­oid cri­sis in America?

  8. Have you ever been inside a men­tal insti­tu­tion? What was it like?

  9. Are you liv­ing your dream? If not, how do you plan to get to a point where you can tru­ly be joy­ful about your life?