Welcome to the Circle

(And the sequel!)

"These pieces reflect deep compassion and committed empathy. Incredibly moving. I read it in one sitting." 

-Maggie D.

"The writing is full of emotion and one can feel that it's sprouting directly from your heart." 

-Satdeep G.

I never expected to wind up in a mental hospital, yet life threw me an unexpected turn. Mental illness is not a dead end, however. It can be a powerful beginning.

Mental health isn't easy to talk about. I wrote this book to help people on their personal journeys of illness and recovery. I wrote it for people whose loved ones are struggling. I wrote it to deepen compassion and acceptance for how mental illness can interrupt lives, but doesn't have to be their defining tragedy.

This is my story, and the multitude of lessons I've learned along the way. Dive into the essays, sit down with the poems, tick through the lists, and dig into the guides. I truly hope they add insight, understanding, empathy, and practical knowledge to your life.

I want to invite you into the conversation I've been having, for the last 7 years, about mental illness and mental health, recovery and redemption, life and loss, gratitude and hope.

This journey doesn't have an end-point. It's a conversation that spans a lifetime, and even generations. To heal and to grow, we need to pull up our chairs, sit down, speak our stories, and listen to the people around us.

Read the online version for free: 


Buy the paperback book right here:


Welcome Back to the Circle

"Interwoven with story, insight and wisdom, this book truly

-Jeff M .

"By the time I finished reading, I found myself a little less alone in my own experiences and a little more understanding of the world around me."

-Mike R.

Hi, my name is Jake Orlowitz and I wrote this book, Welcome Back to the Circle. I wrote it to further tell my story, and I wrote it, again, for you.

We don't talk enough about failure. We also don't talk enough about what happens after recovery. When illness is gone, or faded into the past, when symptoms recede or are well-managed, when trauma releases its grip…what then?

The simple answer is, you build a life. Of course it's more rich and more complicated than that. Therein lies the rub, and the joy.

This book is about the after-after of going off course. When you have found your way again, but it's a new way, something unexpected and altogether better and different.

This book starts off with fire, and ends with fire-forged community, apt bookends for how crisis build as it destroys.

I hope you'll enjoy any, or every, piece in between, that they inspire you to tell more of your own stories, and to build the life you want.

Welcome back to the circle. Thank you for being here.

Read the online version for free:


Buy the paperback book right here: