Post 3 of UBC – Self Help Junky

According to my book-case I should be the most powerful, confident, positive, fearless, blockbuster-writing, relationship expert with the highest self-esteem. In reality I am a self-help book addict but I haven’t found a book on that topic yet. I also don’t have much time to actually read.

I decided if I couldn’t read them perhaps listening would be better. I’d never actually thought about that before. I am a bit of a book addict generally because I love being surrounded by books. They do catch the dust well in the book-case though, but at least you can’t see it. With an audio cd it isn’t quite the same but at least I did get the information I needed, which I’ll come back to later. Reactions to my book-case over the years have generally been quite mixed. Some people are interested and will flick through before looking at me as if I’m mad (which I am of course) and putting it back. Books on positivity seem to baffle people the most and that is a whole different story. All this got me thinking about how we view “Self-Help” as a whole.  I know some people would never read a self-help book, or at least admit to it.

Some Self Help books try to offer a quick fix to some complex problems, which is why they can be popular with some, but frowned upon by others.  I turned to a self-help book to help me with my eating addiction. A colleague of mine told me I’d been ripped off. The title was all I needed to read, he claimed, as the book is called “Eating Less” by Gillian Riley. Of course food addiction is a little more complex than just “Eating Less” and this book was fantastic – at the time. I lost 3 and a half stone, but have put it all back on again… perhaps I should get that book out and revisit?

My take on self-help books is that for every job we get training. Regular evaluations and performance reviews. We don’t always get this in life though. No one gets me to fill in a form each month asking if I think I’ve been a good carer and mother in the last month. What areas do I think I could improve on? Is there any training I’d like to better cope with the pressures of being a single mum with bi-polar disorder II, caring for a child with Aspergers, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder? I think I could possibly deliver that one myself now…

While I urge you not to judge self-help books too harshly; don’t expect them to solve all of your problems either – not without some hard work from you.

Someone recommended Susan Jeffers to me when I was feeling frustrated with the world and the numerous processes I was going through with Jamie, my son, in getting his diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome, getting his statement of educational needs and a whole host of other big events all happening at once. I bought “End the Struggle and Dance with life” hoping it would guide me and give me the strength I needed. Dr Susan Jeffers has a BA, Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Psychology and has written internationally renowned books, including the most famous: Feel the Fear And Do it Anyway.

I bought this book as an audio CD, knowing I’d probably get distracted before finishing the book but it was one I really wanted to take in. I went for walks listening to it, and Susan Jeffers soothing voice helped me through that difficult time. Susan Jeffers is an lovely woman. She has even donated money and books to some of my projects over the years.

My name is Tracy Shave, and I am a buying self-help books addict. Now I buy them with the justification that there will be parts that I can use in my own Giggle Together workshops. 😀


2 thoughts on “Post 3 of UBC – Self Help Junky

  1. I am a book addict and I read a lot of self help books as well. I like to pick the most appropriate bits from various books and put them together to make my own toolkit. I totally agree that they only work if you put your own effort in!

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