What Else May Go In The Bag

In going over my selections for Crazed Mind's Book Swap I have found a few more that have really helped me out.  And one that I will forever treasure reading.

As you have been told before, I have to deal with mental illnesses.  And that alone creates great anxiety for me.  Add in that I also deal with dyslexia, especially where numbers come into play.  Well you can just imagine how it is for me paying the bills, balancing the budget and the every terror of filing taxes.  Honestly, just a few weeks ago I went to Granny M with my bills in hand asking her to help me out once again.  I just can not tell you the fear numbers give me.  Little on the idea that I will never measure up when it comes to holding it together handling the household finances.

Well I am lucky to tell you about 3 books that have helped me in different ways.  The first is The Worrier's Guide to Overcoming Procrastination.  Yes, that is me and paying bills or doing the taxes or filing for College Girls FASFA and on and on and on. I liked learning that changes can be made.  I learned whether it be consciously or not, we all follow our own rule book in life. We have a set of rules that has led us to put things off and avoid tasks. To make long-term changes, it’s crucial to rewrite your rule book. By changing your rules, you’ll make yourself much less vulnerable to procrastination and find those once enduring to-do list items cleared away, making space for new projects and goals.

Kevin L. Gyoerkoe, Psy.D., coauthor of The Worrier’s Guide to Overcoming Procrastination,  is codirector of the Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center in Illinois.  Here are 5 rules you can relearn.

Old Rule #1: Avoidance works. If a situation feels bad, I should avoid it. It’s bad to feel bad. Feeling anxious means there’s something wrong with me. (Oh this one I had mastered.)

New Rule #1: I can face it. I’ll do what I need or want to do regardless of how I feel. Feeling anxious at times is normal and doesn’t mean something is wrong with me.

Old Rule #2: Perfection is possible. High standards motivate me. I can’t live with mistakes. I won’t feel good unless things are “right.”  (My OCD makes me feel I have to have everything just right!)

New Rule #2: Good enough is okay. I realize striving for perfection leaves me paralyzed, so I am for a standard that allows me to move forward.

Old Rule #3: Failure is unacceptable. I can’t tolerate failing. If I’m not sure I can succeed, I shouldn’t try. Failing is shameful.  (We all must have grown up learning we must succeed.)

New Rule #3: Failure is part of life. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Failure is a normal part of life. If I’m falling short somewhere, I’ll take steps to boost my skills. (Know this but have not taken it in well.)

Old Rule #4: It should feel right. There is a right time, place, and mood for getting things done. I need to wait for these moments.  (Do you also think you should wait til everything is just right?)

New Rule #4: The time is now. I can accomplish a lot even if I don’t feel perfectly focused or motivated. If I have a few minutes, I can get started now rather than wait until later.  (AKA get off my duff and get to work!)

Old Rule #5: I shouldn’t have to. If something is boring or unpleasant, I shouldn’t have to do it. I deserve to have fun.  (Now this is not me now or ever!)

New Rule #5: Let’s get it over with. Sometimes I need to do things that I don’t necessarily want to do. The quicker it gets done, the sooner I can have fun.  (I have learned this one early on!)

The next book helped me on the next step of learning.  My self-esteem is not the best.  I put on a great face of being open and brave, but inside I quake in my boots.   It is funny that we see children and they are so curious, creative and hopeful creatures. That the world around the is a place filled with wonder and opportunity. But I grew up with a troubled childhood that taught me to fear, hate and harm myself.  Dr. Louise Hart has written On the Wings of Self-Esteem to get us to change going in the right direction again, and recover one’s self-esteem.  She writes "Self-esteem—or the lack thereof—dictates how we manage our lives. It is essential for mental health, well-being, and healthy families."  I know from experience that this is a very true statement.  Improving my self-esteem is one of the most important things I can do to develop  the courage to make good lifestyle decisions, set boundaries and even lose weight.   I learn more and more that loosening the grip of the past, is the way to grow within myself.   As Dr. Hart says, “Transformation introduces infinite possibilities for joy, adventure, love, and delight which bring lightness and continual renewal to the soul. Life itself becomes its own reward.”

But the best book I have read lately is a memoir by Nelson Lauver.  Oh my, this book took me though his life as a book and connected me to the fear he grew up with.  And eventually overcame with amazing results.  Most UN-Likely to Succeed is a very moving book.  I can tell you that Nelson who was made to feel like a throwaway kid though out his public education learned that he could learn.  Dealing with an undiagnosed  learning disability in the 70's and 80's made school a living hell.  Later through an amazing turn of events Nelson has become The American Story Teller across the country.  When Nelson was 29, making a living as the man who painted parking lot stripes, he discovered that he had never been diagnosed with dyslexia.  It is rare I tell you to go out and get a book, but this is now on my top to share list.  Oh and I hope to tell Nelson Lauver, that yes having good women around him is a plus in life.  Please tell Aunt Leonore that Lenore of Crazed Mind is happy she is one of your supporting characters!

And as always, these books are great to read.  I am a lucky woman to have the chances to review books.  But I do not now or ever get paid for this.

1 comment:

  1. When I was about 23 or 24 I called my mom crying. Now you know this is not something I do. My Ex informed me I was not perfect and pointed out flaws.FLAWS for crying out loud! I know it sounds rediculous but I strived so hard for perfection that I was crushed someone besides me could see I was human. I was devistated. Thanks to my mom I eventually learned that you can only do what you can do and if someone doesn't like it they can do it themselves. Sounds like a great batch of books there. I could benefit from reading the one on procrastination for sure!!


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