My name is Heather.
I am a self-helpaholic.
(Group responds: Hello Heather…)
Please tell me I’m not the only person out there who is, at least a little, addicted to self-help books. Admitting it is the first step. So go on…ADMIT IT! DO IT NOW!
*Ahem* Forgive me there. I lost control for a moment.
I will not be making fun of self-help groups today, although I was slightly tempted after I saw a list of them. “Families Anonymous” got a snort out of me…until I read the description and realized it was for famlies of addicts. That’s not funny at all. Plus,
my husband a certain family member of mine may need to go to OLGA (Online Gamers Anonymous) at some point in the future. So I definitely don’t want to knock anonymous self-help groups. My only purpose for today’s post is to have a platform from which to share my crazy-love/maybe-mini-addiction to self-help books.
Hum…so when did this begin…it’s hard to say exactly. I’ve always loved to read, and I try to find ways to better myself, so the marriage of those two things obviously gave me a pre-dispostion towards self-help books. I’d say it probably got a strong start in college, and really picked up the pace once I was a single girl living on my own. Once I was engaged to Chris it accelerated rapidly…I mean, marriage is a serious thing. I had to be prepared.
Here’s a little sample of my marriage-help books…
Remember this one? My mother-in-law gave it to me for my anniversary. (Thanks Debbie!) It’s one of those books that is just brimming with things to think about, so I’m still working on it. I will probably dedicate a whole post to it later on, but for now what you need to know is that it is full of pin-point, scriptural prayers for your marriage.
This one was so good & life-changing that I bought the workbook. For real. And honestly, this one helped me understand the differences in what men & women need, the differences in what God commands us to give to our marriages, and how to break the “crazy cycle.” Seriously..so good.
There are others. Many, many others. I’m just too embaressed to share the number with you. It would only give you more cause to host an intervention for me.
Then when little Huxley made his way into our world it was time to hit the bookstores once again. Remember this book?
I also ended up with another one about clicker training. Very informative. I’ve had several other recommendations for pet-help books, but we’ve decided that the next best move is to enroll our family in a puppy “kindergarten,” or training class. What better form of self-help than a class?!
And, of course, there is the plethora of teaching-help books that I’ve acquired over the years. Most of those don’t really count, because they are actually a form of professional development. There are definitely a few, however, that focus on improving the teacher as a person…and if that doesn’t qualify as self-help then I don’t know what does. I just finished up a book that I found personally challenging and motivating, and I would recommend it to both teachers and parents alike. It’s full of great ways to support your students!
So what do ya think….am I addicted?
If it’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
I may drive my husband crazy saying “well this book said ____” or “that book said to _____”, but I love the way they challenge me, the way they open up my mind to new thoughts, take me down avenues I might never have considered.
(*Anyone else noticing that I’m trying to justify my addiction? Here’s another justification for you: there are worse addictions to have!)
And I do have standards. It’s not like I just pick up any old self-help book and take it straight to heart. When it comes to my marriage, I only read books by Christian authors, and even then I test it against scripture. For my dog, I read books that are in line with what feels “right” to me…I don’t want to use choke collars and such, so I don’t read books that suggest I do. For my professional life, I choose books that have proven track records, and authors who uplift teachers and provide practical suggestions.
And I don’t overdue it. When I read a self-help book I try to draw one or two things I can walk away with…new life skills to apply, new ways to approach my relationships. It would be too overwhelming to try to do everything every book said, and I can always go back and reread when I’m ready to grow even more.
So where does this leave me? According to the 12 steps, I’ve rocked along through a few of them…admit addiction, recognize a higher authority (sometimes He speaks to me through the books!…but that’s probably not what it meant in regards to the 12 steps…oh well), and examine past errors.
It’s the next couple of steps that I’m having trouble with. Making amends with said errors, learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior, and helping others overcome their addictions. Yikes!
I don’t want to make amends…I like reading self-help books.
I don’t want to live with a new code of behavior…I like reading self-help books.
And I don’t want to help you overcome an addiction to self-help books…if anything I want to INSPIRE you to read some of the books I’ve recommended.
Pardon my french ma, but I really suck at this 12 step business. 😛
Maybe instead of starting a “Self-Help Anonymous” group, I’ll start a “Self-Help” book club. Wanna join?!
KEEP CALM & SELF-HELP ON!
(*P.S. – What’s up with the legs on the cover of that book?! Maybe I don’t want to read that book after all…)