i expected divorce to change my life. It was easy to predict some of the things that would affect me. i knew i would feel angry and lonely and depressed. i knew i would grow to enjoy my own space again. i knew i would struggle with self worth. i knew that i would have to set new goals for my life.
i did not expect to be able to talk about it causually with random persons without crying. i did not expect anxiety attacks in the grocery store or at so many small triggers. i did not expect to make a whole new group of friends so quickly who don't care that i am divorced. i did not expect to need a counselor for so long.
One seemingly small change (that is actually quite a large one for me) has been my reading list. i usually have several different books going, in several genres: a Newberry winner, a classic novel and a fantasy, for example. Lately....well...let me introduce you to my beside table:
All books to help me cope with my life that have been suggested by my counselor or friends. And there are three more on their way from Amazon. Here is what is on the menu:
Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves by C. Terry Warner recommended by a friend which discusses letting go of the negative emotions that get in the way of healthy relationships.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. One woman's journey through a year of testing old addages about how to be happy and what truly makes one happy. The idea is for me to be inspired to find my own happiness in my own way...but perhaps with a few of her suggestions.
The Divorce Recovery Sourcebook by D B. Berry. It covers everything (in a general nutshell) of the emotional and legal impact of divorce and moving ahead.
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by D. J. Bourne prescribed by my counselor. Supposedly it is a "practical, step-by-step directions for the mastery of relaxation, exercise, coping with panic, overcoming negative self-talk, changing mistaken beliefts, self-esteem, nutrition, meditation techniques and anxiety-evoking health conditions." Should have seen that one coming...
On the way are these books that will help me understand what happened better with the ex and to help educate and prepare myself in case i end up facing a similar situation again.
He Restoreth My Soul: Understanding and Breaking the Chemical and Spiritual Chains of Pornography Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ by Donald L. Hilton. An absolute must read for anyone that has a loved one dealing with this addiction. i would also recommend it to any parents! i read the first few chapters from a borrowed copy and decided that it was a must have for my personal library. Brutal but beneficial.
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie suggested by my counselor. Those trying to help spouses through difficult times apparently fall quickly into co-dependency.
Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self by Charles L. Whitfield.
Whew. By the time i am through, i will have my own personal collection of "self-help" books. i have never really attempted to "help myself" through literature like this before, so the next several months shall be interesting. i hope that the effort will be worth the while.
...And i might have to sneak a little Tolkien in there somewhere, anyway.