I'm a big reader. It is definitely how I unwind. Give me a cup of coffee or tea, a comfy chair, and a book, and I'm in my happy place. I know not all of you are big readers, but I wanted to give something a try and see what you think. I'm calling it "Book Chapters." It's a book club but not, more like book offerings, suggestions, things I find that really speak to what it is to be human, to hurt, to heal, to embrace joy. If you've been to a bookstore or flipped through Amazon lately, the amount that is out there can be overwhelming, some good, lots not so good, particularly when it relates to honest, quality writing about mental health, in self-help and in fiction. When I find something I like I'll let you know what I've found and why I love it, then I'll give you some time in case you want to see for yourself. I'll come back and blog with more depth and more take-aways in a week or two. Not every book will be for everybody, but if there's something that stands out to you, I invite you to join me.
I had a teenage client years ago, and we would read books together. We'd take turns picking the book, read between sessions, then come back together and talk about it. It will always be one of my most connecting and most treasured experiences.
I want to share that with you.
My first pick-- It's Okay That You're Not Okay: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn't Understand by Megan Devine.
If you are not grieving something/someone right now, this will be a slow, hard read that might bring up losses from long ago. If you are grieving something/someone right now, it will be the best thing you've read and go quicker than you want.
It is real talk from a therapist about her very real, personal experience of grief. She doesn't use cheap, showy language. She doesn't gloss things over and rush to the silver lining. If grief is where you are, this book is the grief mentor and friend that you need. When everything everyone in your life says isn't helpful, this is. When people expect you to be over it by now, this book says, "hell no, you take whatever time you need." In the introduction she hits the nail on the head with what we all need to hear: that grief isn't a problem to be solved but "an experience to be tended." She says that when we shift to this focus, we can then get what we need: "understanding, compassion, validation, and a way through the pain."
If that speaks to you, check it out. We all get different highlights and different nuggets of wisdom even when we read the exact same words. Check back here in a week or two, and I'll share what I got, but I want to give you the chance to experience it for yourself first.