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Author Topic: Recommended self-help/life advice books  (Read 2366 times)

Eevee

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Recommended self-help/life advice books
« on: October 05, 2016, 11:12:37 am »
I suppose for anyone to effectively recommend something appropriate to my situation, I must let you into my situation at least a little bit. Please, please, please take your time to read through this. This is my last resort before seeking professional help (which I can't even afford, so go figure.)

Well. This year has been shit. I foolishly got into a relationship with someone I knew I shouldn't have. While I was not harmed, I still absorbed his toxicity - in other words, his anger, nihilism, his disregard for life and a state of constant worthlessness and anxiety which had latched onto my already present mental health issues.

It was not until I broke it off, that I had to deal with the full scale insanity. As we were friends 8 years prior to this short lived relationship, we didn't want to discard our friendship, but that all seemed to turn to shit. I was guilt tripped with constant questions as to why I did what I did, forced to listen to break up induced irrational and vulgar rants against the female gender, and threats of of suicide - sometimes sad sometimes angry. And it was when he inevitably found out I started dating again, was when I started getting constant abuse, threats, blackmail, insults about my choice of men, the stalking leading me to get rid of every form of communication and recreate an online identity from scratch - that he wouldn't find, while protecting the identity of the person I am dating, and unwillingly yet necessarily dragging him through this bullshit, because threats and false accusations were being made against him too.

Yuck. I hated typing all that out. Anyway all this makes me feel like I have a tumor in my soul, and I need to cut it out. I'm depressed, conflicted, I dont value the kindness of others, I am cold, heartless, I have negative judgments towards everyone, the very idea of optimism seems synthetic - and I dont like any of that.  

So, I do have some requirements with these recommendations.
I'm not a spiritual person. I have been in the past, and I can keep an open mind within reason. However, I do not require any sugar coated fluff. I really hope people understand this. I do not take well to angels and fairies. I am in a very dark spot and I need some dark content I can at least relate to, to start rebuilding my sense of self - not thrown into the peachy world of Doreen Virtue for example.

I had an epiphany of sorts earlier, reading interviews of a very spiritual yet depressed musician I am fond of (Sopor Aeturnus), while none of her words are particularly uplifting - simply her belief and philosophy on the occult adds depth and purpose which I know I lack. Having said that, I am not searching for a religion or a spiritual awakening in particular, just anything that doesn't 100% revolve around hatred and something that makes me think about life from even a slightly different angle - so I can fill that gap in ways I find fitting.

So are there any spiritual/not spiritual books or anything anyone can recommend?
And thank you for reading all of this if you did.
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Re: Recommended self-help/life advice books
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2016, 11:42:14 am »
Quote from: Eevee;197110

So are there any spiritual/not spiritual books or anything anyone can recommend?
And thank you for reading all of this if you did.


Not books, but I heartily recommend the following sites, for a non-stop influx of thoughtfully supportive material:

Rebelle Society (completely free)
Elephant Journal (3 free articles a day, unlimited reading for a small annual subscription)

I hope those help. Good luck!
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Re: Recommended self-help/life advice books
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2016, 01:17:59 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;197110

So are there any spiritual/not spiritual books or anything anyone can recommend?
And thank you for reading all of this if you did.

 
A couple of suggestions.

For someone to talk to, I've heard great things from people who've tried 7 Cups - it's an online listening and peer support site. They also have some great resources and other materials on their site. It's free - not meant to replace professional therapy, but to help with people who need someone to listen or help them sort through some things.

You might find Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear of interest - it's writing about listening to your intuition when dealing with abusive situations. (There are places he's better than others, and he wrote it before online stalking was a big thing, but his overall points about learning how to trust your intuition and the patterns of people who become abusive or stalk might be really helpful.)

For the specifically online/online identity bits, The Crash Override Network was set up by people affected by online harassment, and they can help connect to resources, provide support, etc. as well as some technical advice.

For more general things, have you come across Captain Awkward? It's an online advice blog where she takes on a number of different situations. A lot of people I know find it comforting to read, and get ideas for solving bits of what's going on for them from advice to others. People also often mention resources or books they found helpful.

There's also a forum run by people who like the site, called Friends of Captain Awkward (you can get a link from the sidebar of the blog: it has some very specific rules and culture that may or may not work for you, but if you're looking for places you can talk things out, there's people with good advice there, and some threads specifically about comforting reading / things to read when you're trying to get negativity out of your head, etc. I have an account on there, but haven't posted.)

If you're interested in Tarot, Christine Jette has several books on using Tarot for shadow work (out of print, and more pricy) and healing in general (still in print) that you might find interesting. She's not fluffy about her take: the books are more about spreads and interpretation of spreads and how to use them to look at things you might be trying to ignore (and thus aren't healing or dealing with that will feel better once they're addressed.)

For more general things - honestly, a lot of my reading along those lines is science fiction / fantasy or related (or some TV series). Besides SF, I'm a huge mystery fan, and there's a number of mystery series out there that do a good job of people dealing with difficult things, but doing it in a way that's supportive.

As a librarian, I have a big belief that different people need and respond to a given book differently (and a great rec for someone at one point in their life may be totally wrong for them at another time.) But in that spirit, books I've found helpful for me at various points have been Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion and Vorkosigan series, Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, Katherine Kurtz's books but especially her Adept series, Rosemary Edghill's Bast books and stories.

You may have heard of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (made into TV as Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries), but I actually like her Corrinna Chapman books (modern, rather than 1930s) even better for 'reading that makes me think about how to treat people in a way that I can do when I'm chewing on things that hurt me or want to feel like there's hope for the world.') Other TV series that do that for me include The Librarians, Leverage, The West Wing, and Babylon 5. (A lot of ensemble TV shows, actually.)
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MeadowRae

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Re: Recommended self-help/life advice books
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2016, 09:40:22 am »
Quote from: Eevee;197110
I suppose for anyone to effectively recommend something appropriate to my situation, I must let you into my situation at least a little bit. Please, please, please take your time to read through this. This is my last resort before seeking professional help (which I can't even afford, so go figure.)

 
I had an epiphany of sorts earlier, reading interviews of a very spiritual yet depressed musician I am fond of (Sopor Aeturnus), while none of her words are particularly uplifting - simply her belief and philosophy on the occult adds depth and purpose which I know I lack. Having said that, I am not searching for a religion or a spiritual awakening in particular, just anything that doesn't 100% revolve around hatred and something that makes me think about life from even a slightly different angle - so I can fill that gap in ways I find fitting.

So are there any spiritual/not spiritual books or anything anyone can recommend?
And thank you for reading all of this if you did.

 
This shit sucks. I left my abusive ex husband in May. There's nothing about this that is easy, and I give you my condolences.

It's funny that you mention a biography of a musician you admire; because looking at biographical information really helped me as well. J.K. Rowling, Maya Angelou, and Josephine Baker, to name a few.

For books, I became obsessed with the psychology behind Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which helped me understand what my husband was, and why he did this to me, and why I did the right thing for myself and my child. For understanding my own psychological issues, I am still reading Women Who Run with the Wolves. She is a Jungian analyst, and although she can get a bit off track at times, she always brings it back to relevance.

I've mentioned her several times on the forum, but Kelly Ann Maddox's youtube videos were immensely helpful to me when I was going through the shit. She isn't afraid to get dark, and she does offer counseling services and tarot readings online. She's been through trauma herself, and I think that informs her material quite a lot.

I am not sure if you have this service in your country, but I called a domestic violence helpline in my area. At first, I felt silly calling them, thinking that I had not "been through enough" to need the service, but after I spoke with a counselor, I realized that my feelings were valid, I had been through some shit, and that I deserved some help. Just hearing another person confirming that did a world of good.

Also....and I know this is a very difficult part of the journey...if you have family/friends/a coworker to confide in, do it. Some people may offer you band-aids when your soul needs surgery, but keeping the information to yourself is so much worse.

Good luck, and Blessed Be.
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missgraceless

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Re: Recommended self-help/life advice books
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2016, 10:24:49 am »
Quote from: MeadowRae;197168
This shit sucks. I left my abusive ex husband in May. There's nothing about this that is easy, and I give you my condolences.

It's funny that you mention a biography of a musician you admire; because looking at biographical information really helped me as well. J.K. Rowling, Maya Angelou, and Josephine Baker, to name a few.

For books, I became obsessed with the psychology behind Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which helped me understand what my husband was, and why he did this to me, and why I did the right thing for myself and my child. For understanding my own psychological issues, I am still reading Women Who Run with the Wolves. She is a Jungian analyst, and although she can get a bit off track at times, she always brings it back to relevance.

I've mentioned her several times on the forum, but Kelly Ann Maddox's youtube videos were immensely helpful to me when I was going through the shit. She isn't afraid to get dark, and she does offer counseling services and tarot readings online. She's been through trauma herself, and I think that informs her material quite a lot.

I am not sure if you have this service in your country, but I called a domestic violence helpline in my area. At first, I felt silly calling them, thinking that I had not "been through enough" to need the service, but after I spoke with a counselor, I realized that my feelings were valid, I had been through some shit, and that I deserved some help. Just hearing another person confirming that did a world of good.

Also....and I know this is a very difficult part of the journey...if you have family/friends/a coworker to confide in, do it. Some people may offer you band-aids when your soul needs surgery, but keeping the information to yourself is so much worse.

Good luck, and Blessed Be.
Going on MeadowRae's idea (and Meadow, I remember you posting everything back in May and prayed to Quan Yin for you. I hope you and your child are doing much better.) of biographies, musician Amanda Palmer has an autobiography out called "The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help." Even though it's technically an autobiography, it's filed under self-help books in stores. And she's not really all that spiritual at all, but it helped me realize that it's okay to actually ask for help, whether it's financially or getting out of a bad situation, like an abusive ex.
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MamaThistle

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Re: Recommended self-help/life advice books
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2016, 09:30:29 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;197110
I suppose for anyone to effectively recommend something appropriate to my situation, I must let you into my situation at least a little bit. Please, please, please take your time to read through this. This is my last resort before seeking professional help (which I can't even afford, so go figure.)

Well. This year has been shit. I foolishly got into a relationship with someone I knew I shouldn't have. While I was not harmed, I still absorbed his toxicity - in other words, his anger, nihilism, his disregard for life and a state of constant worthlessness and anxiety which had latched onto my already present mental health issues.

It was not until I broke it off, that I had to deal with the full scale insanity. As we were friends 8 years prior to this short lived relationship, we didn't want to discard our friendship, but that all seemed to turn to shit. I was guilt tripped with constant questions as to why I did what I did, forced to listen to break up induced irrational and vulgar rants against the female gender, and threats of of suicide - sometimes sad sometimes angry. And it was when he inevitably found out I started dating again, was when I started getting constant abuse, threats, blackmail, insults about my choice of men, the stalking leading me to get rid of every form of communication and recreate an online identity from scratch - that he wouldn't find, while protecting the identity of the person I am dating, and unwillingly yet necessarily dragging him through this bullshit, because threats and false accusations were being made against him too.

Yuck. I hated typing all that out. Anyway all this makes me feel like I have a tumor in my soul, and I need to cut it out. I'm depressed, conflicted, I dont value the kindness of others, I am cold, heartless, I have negative judgments towards everyone, the very idea of optimism seems synthetic - and I dont like any of that.  

So, I do have some requirements with these recommendations.
I'm not a spiritual person. I have been in the past, and I can keep an open mind within reason. However, I do not require any sugar coated fluff. I really hope people understand this. I do not take well to angels and fairies. I am in a very dark spot and I need some dark content I can at least relate to, to start rebuilding my sense of self - not thrown into the peachy world of Doreen Virtue for example.

I had an epiphany of sorts earlier, reading interviews of a very spiritual yet depressed musician I am fond of (Sopor Aeturnus), while none of her words are particularly uplifting - simply her belief and philosophy on the occult adds depth and purpose which I know I lack. Having said that, I am not searching for a religion or a spiritual awakening in particular, just anything that doesn't 100% revolve around hatred and something that makes me think about life from even a slightly different angle - so I can fill that gap in ways I find fitting.

So are there any spiritual/not spiritual books or anything anyone can recommend?
And thank you for reading all of this if you did.


First off, I'm very sorry, what you experienced is abuse and you deserve better.

Now, when I personally went through a situation similar to this self help books really didn't help me. Everyone is different, but I tend to obsess over the issue without solving anything. Anyways, I can't recommend anything like that. What did help was finding hobbies or just focusing on things that made me happy and going back to school. This made me feel better about myself and my future.

Funny someone mentioned J.K. Rowling, I reread Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings when I was at my darkest and it did help.
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Eevee

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Re: Recommended self-help/life advice books
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2016, 11:54:20 pm »
Thank you all so, so much on your advice.
I had an oracle reading done today (after many many years) while this subject surprisingly wasn't touched much, she did suggest some kind of healing thing(?), I'll always be skeptical about this stuff, but the way I see it, any advice is good advice, and I need some form of third party assistance, so this works.

I will look into the books/blogs/videos you all suggested.

Thank you!

Quote from: VelvetHammer;197201
First off, I'm very sorry, what you experienced is abuse and you deserve better.

Now, when I personally went through a situation similar to this self help books really didn't help me. Everyone is different, but I tend to obsess over the issue without solving anything. Anyways, I can't recommend anything like that. What did help was finding hobbies or just focusing on things that made me happy and going back to school. This made me feel better about myself and my future.

Funny someone mentioned J.K. Rowling, I reread Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings when I was at my darkest and it did help.
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MadZealot

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Re: Recommended self-help/life advice books
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 01:40:43 am »
Quote from: Eevee;197110

And thank you for reading all of this if you did.

 
I don't have a decent title to recommend.  But I deal with depression on a more-often-than-I'd-like basis, and good ol' reading-for-funsies is my default coping mechanism.

 When I want to unplug I turn to fantasy/sci-fi fare.  Tastes will vary, but I have to second (third?) the mention of JK Rowling.  Great storyteller, and imo, an awesome, inspiring woman.  Then there's Stephen King, whom I've admired for 30+ years.  I've got On Writing and the first Dark Tower book sittin right next to me.  Turns out, King's a , too.  I like to watch that one when I'm cooking (another great coping activity.)  Then there's Lovecraft, who was a weirdly miserable bastard.  I kind of identify with that.  

Escapist TV also helps.  Jennett mentioned Babylon 5. Great scifi, brainy & full of Big Ideas.  It's also wide-eyed-optimistic.  I just powered through all 5 seasons.  For varying reasons the series finale made me think of my ma (again) who crossed the veil about a year ago.  I was a wreck for a couple of hours, but ultimately felt better.  
So, hey, TV can be therapy too.

Also-- slightly off the path here-- I've found real therapy to be more effective than I'd initially hoped.  I know money's an issue (isn't it always) but are there low-or-no-cost options available?

Fwiw, I'm really really sorry all that shit found its way to your doorstep.  But I'm also really, really, really glad you're looking for ways to fight back the dark.  That's brave as fuck.
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Freesia

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Re: Recommended self-help/life advice books
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2016, 05:04:23 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;197110


It was not until I broke it off, that I had to deal with the full scale insanity. As we were friends 8 years prior to this short lived relationship, we didn't want to discard our friendship, but that all seemed to turn to shit. I was guilt tripped with constant questions as to why I did what I did, forced to listen to break up induced irrational and vulgar rants against the female gender, and threats of of suicide - sometimes sad sometimes angry. And it was when he inevitably found out I started dating again, was when I started getting constant abuse, threats, blackmail, insults about my choice of men, the stalking leading me to get rid of every form of communication and recreate an online identity from scratch - that he wouldn't find, while protecting the identity of the person I am dating, and unwillingly yet necessarily dragging him through this bullshit, because threats and false accusations were being made against him too.



So are there any spiritual/not spiritual books or anything anyone can recommend?
And thank you for reading all of this if you did.

 
Neil Gaiman has gotten me through some tough times, but I would rather give you some practical advise.
1. Record any conversations you have with this person. If he is threatening you, other people, even himself you will need proof in order to protect yourself.
2. Get out of his sphere. Drop him out of your life. This may be difficult, but for your own safety do it.
3. Protect yourself. Find out what your rights are and use the law to the best of your ability. Do not just believe that he might not hurt you.
4. Do not let this stalker back into your life. Stalking is not to be taken lightly.

I was in your situation 15 years ago. I firmly believe that my ex boyfriend would have killed me if he could have gotten away with it. I spent a year in constant fear of walking on campus at night or in my college town. When I got pregnant I was terrified for my baby. Thankfully my pregnancy turned him off and he never bothered me again. I was lucky.

Please take my story to heart. Leave this person and do not look back.

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