Am I exaggerating when I say that books literally helped me heal from my depression, opened my eyes to different possibilities in life, explored my interests, showed me what my passions are and walked me through a very dark stage of my spiritual awakening without seeking professional help?
No. Because reading even those days where I could hardly move when my nervous system seemed to have stopped working, helped me sooth myself. I felt supported, cuddled, comforted, understood, acknowledged, identified, validated, heard and seen that I started realizing that no one is coming to save me but me.
Even if I needed to reread words and paragraphs to understand what I read better, I patiently went back to every sentence and even closed my eyes to let the comforting words sink in. I even cry. I allowed myself to cry and release all the emotions even those that I failed to explain at that moment.
Reading helped me survive my survival mode. Now I am very confident to say that my emotional vocabulary has drastically improved.
Books aren’t the only thing that helped me heal for sure but I owe the person that I am today to books for giving me enough words that helped me articulate the emotions that I have been repressing and suppressing since I was young.
I still wonder though what could have happened to me had I not resorted to binge reading and welcomed a kind of addiction that showed me a way to release everything that’s weighing me down even if no one understood me or didn’t want to understand me. I still wonder what kind of drug could I have been inhaling had I not become addicted to books.
I still wonder if I’d still be alive at this point.
Read also: My Best Friend’s Son Attempted Suicide
If my younger self saw these books, I’d immediately walk away with a scoff thinking how boring, uncool and intimidating the titles are. But because aside from promising myself that there’s no more turning back when I left everything behind, I also promised myself that I’d get to know myself to the most intimate level I could go and reading made it possible.
It made me realize that even if I seek professional help, they’d still tell me that I am the only one who knows what will work and what will not so even if it was so uncomfortable, I learned how to train myself in understanding complicated texts.
However, don’t be like me. Always seek professional help so that you’ll receive proper guidance, care and advise. We all have different ways in coping with life throws us and healing is such a long and complicated process.
Healing Development Trauma
This book is often used by those who are training to become psychotherapists. Reading that part made fear how hard it’d would be to understand the theories and approaches in this book but encouraging myself to read further has proven me otherwise.
This was where I have read a part that made me feel like I was hugged. People would often tell us when we’re dealing with something especially those that happened in the past, that we must focus on the present moment and work to change our futures.
This is true in not just what most people say but in almost every personal development book that I have read yet I still couldn’t shake off that feeling that there was something in my past that I still couldn’t process and I couldn’t move on. I also couldn’t seem to make people around me to understand because for them, I am a very intelligent person so I must be able to make smart life decisions.
As I read further, I have stumbled upon a phrase that struck me the most that I suddenly felt turned off from personal development books. I am grateful for where these self-improvement books brought me in my journey but I was sure that there’s a new phase of my journey that was just about to start.
In this book, Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, was not criticized but a paragraph explained that there are people who actually need a top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top approach in healing and we’re actually offending them if we say that the past doesn’t matter.
I understood how trauma can affect our brain and the nervous system and the scope of its damage.
Trauma and Recovery
I bought this book together with Healing Developmental Trauma and I couldn’t be more grateful that I did that. After reading the first book, I got more curious and I needed to read many more different forms and cases of trauma.
This one was more challenging to read but I challenged myself to stay on the pages that showed me how to confront my own trauma even if using the word trauma gives me cringe for having known so little about mental health and how much I also suffered mentally, emotionally and physically because of that.
This book is such an eye-opener. It didn’t only made me understand myself, it made me understand other people’s behaviors too. It’s even allowed me to observe people’s behavior now and say that they are the way they are because of what happened to them with or without knowing what they are.
The Body Keeps the Score
This book made me want to have my brain scanned to see how many dents my brain has for all the trauma I have especially during the time when I was sitting along the nearby river and I couldn’t seem to access a part of my brain I normally could whenever I was writing for my blog.
That part that I couldn’t seem to reach literally felt like a big black hole and that my attempt to reach it felt like I was crossing a broken bridge.
I remember feeling amazed that I was able to feel that even if I was too broken to explain that in such a way that it’d make sense at that time.
This book opened my eyes not just to different new methods on how I could cope with things that used to trigger me but also to how my case is so mild compared to other people especially the ones showed as example here but also, I have learned that pain is pain despite what intensity or level of pain it is.
I also made conscious efforts on tuning in on my body to know which part of my body aches whenever I feel stressed, anxious and even whenever I am happy and that I must also make conscious efforts to make the negative sensations, emotions, feeling and thoughts exit my body for them not to manifest as disease later on.
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read
I am single and childless and I found myself weird for reading this book and other parenting books in my desperate attempt to understand myself and why I felt that I was experiencing a very early second childhood for all of my painful childhood experiences started to play on repeat for a time longer than necessary and I wanted them too.
The light this book has given was priceless. I understood why my parents treated me the way they did and how they unintentionally gave me trauma I needed to heal from. It made me forgive my parents for not being table to receive the love that I wished to have received from them and then to forgive myself for looking for that love from other places.
It made me understood that an unseen chain that started from our ancestors and a decision that I can cut that chain so that the generation that will come from me will not have to heal from what I needed to heal from.
Das Kind in dir muss Heimat finden
Das Kind in dir muss Heimat finden translates to the child in you must find its home or something like that.
This book said every problem an adult has rooted from childhood. This made me sit with the child in me and ask it what it wanted from and what I must do for it to always stop throwing fit.
It was clear to me that I actually didn’t experience early second childhood. It was actually my hurt, ignored, abandoned, unseen and unheard inner child that felt unloved, not validated and not acknowledged that made a huge fuss and it took so long because I never wanted to listen to it because I was scared that people would think that I totally lost it.
That if I didn’t make a conscious effort as an adult to show up for my inner child and make it feel safe and home, I would probably still be out there begging for crumbs when I am totally capable of giving myself the entire bakery.
I can’t be more than thankful to Amazon for showing me endless book recommendations that lead me to finally heal.
What books have helped you heal? I’d love to read them too. Leave them in the comment section. =)