I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

March Book Review 2012

It's day seven and whoever designed the challenge prompts very nicely decided to let me choose what I want to write about today, so here is my monthly book report.

Royal Blood by Ellen Schreiber

This is the book where we meet Alexander's parents.  I liked reading about their wild goth outfits as they reminded me of my late teens when I would sometimes dress goth myself, but other than that, I was unimpressed.  Then again, I seldom am about this series.  Alexander doesn't want to go to Romania with his parents, because that would separate him from Raven and I was a little bit surprised that his parents didn't fight harder to keep him nearby.  Where is family loyalty?  I know that he is at an age where the child typically wants more independence, but the emotional distance between Alexander and his family without a good reason to me is slightly disturbing.  The books stress romance over family togetherness in an all-or-nothing fashion that I do not like.  It's unhealthy and its poor writing-skip this series if you can.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

But this book I heartily recommend - I even added it to my "Recommended Books" page.  The book, although deep, is a surprisingly quick and easy read.  It is divided into two sections with the first being an account of how Frankl survived and even managed to find meaning while imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II and the second is a short explanation of Frankl's own logostherapy, in which he proposes that people are propelled by their search for meaning in their lives and that this drive is more powerful than the drive for power or for pleasure.  This book gave me many new inspirational quotes and I was impressed at how he wrote about the horrors of life in a concentration camp without making it grotesque or overwhelming.  I think this book should be required reading in all high schools, especially for its concept that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand.  I also really liked the fact that Frankl's logostherapy means that everyone can become self-actualized for everyone can achieve self-transcendence-what Frankl proposes is the characteristic of self-actualization-whereas very few people achieve lasting power or pleasure.  Frankl also proposes that one can find meaning in how one endures suffering, which I found oddly comforting.  I did not choose my mental illness or my physical ones, but I can choose how I respond to the suffering they cause.  Will I rise to the occasion and try to live a life of good recovery or will I let my suffering turn me into a bitter, resentful person?  As for me, I aim for the first option.

By the way, I mentioned a few posts back that my medications were upped a lot-it's been a few weeks and I can definitely feel the effects of the medications now and in a very good way.  I'm still on vacation with my family and I cannot remember a time when I have felt more at ease with myself.  I'm not wasting my time worrying about the food or fitting in, but I feel genuinely happy instead.  I've been having some trouble with fibro pain, but Advil helps.  When my mental illness is not regulated properly, I truly am suffering, but right now I'm really not suffering at all, which although I realize it will not last forever, this happiness certainly is nice while it lasts.

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