I am going to take a different tack today and talk about books on mental health/anxiety that I have found provided me with some insight. The word insight is important this is not about self help books, I’ve read a few of them but rarely finish them. Mainly because they are not self help, they are really do it this way to get better, a one size fits all approach. Maybe it is me, but they seem to get more extreme day by day. However I do occasionally find a little nugget in a self help book and I might give it a try and if it works then add it to my bank of well being bits. It is my magpie approach to well being, a shiny bit here, another bit there and then integrate them in to a well being nest.
So I have just finished a book called ‘The Examined Life’ by Stephen Grosz an American psychoanalyst who has practised his trade in the UK and is written in an English style. Interestingly it is catalogued as psychology/philosophy. Anyway it is a series of vignettes of conversations with his patients, each chapter is 5 – 7 pages and he offers no answers but leaves the reader to take what they can take from the insights. So it is a ‘proper’ self help book.
The other book is ‘Anxiety for Beginners’ by Eleanor Morgan it sounds like that series X for Dummies but it is far better than that. Eleanor is an English journalist who writes about her experiences with anxiety, again not a self help book but offering a real life set of experiences. The beauty of this book is not just the insight for somebody who suffers from anxiety but also their partner, family or friends who want an insight in to the world of anxiety
On a completely different tack I am reading ‘Cured’ the autobiography of Lol Tolhurst the original drummer in The Cure – don’t worry I am not going down the road of the miserable music and depression debate – anyway he introduces the word ‘ambivert’ as someone who is an extrovert and an introvert – I like that idea but I don’t believe it is a real word – so I have just googled it and it is. The definition is ‘a person who has a balance of introvert and extrovert features in their personality’. I quite like that, I can relate to it. When I am with people I know and feel safe with, then I can be almost extroverted. But in a group where I do not know anyone I can make a pot plant look animated. I think my balance is around 75/25 introvert/extrovert.
Day 20 – 30 minutes
I am a bit pushed for time, before work, but it is late afternoon and the sun is out. I take my default loop round the river and the canal and for once I know exactly the photo I am going to take. It is of the allotments a bit further down the path and I know that the late afternoon sun will bring a warm glow to them as they sit on the slope below the cemetery. I do worry a bit that I am developing an allotment fetish but I am sure that I will get over it.
This week has been a bit of a struggle, mainly due to being pushed for time and just squeezing a run in. That isn’t how I like to run, that is getting back to the addictive bit of running. I know that at a molecular/cellular level it will have done me some good but I don’t really feel it. I feel the need for a longer run.
Late sun on the allotments