I totally had a home decor post in mind for today, but I was out of town for the weekend and ran out of time to complete my project. This is a post that had been playing around in the back of my mind since I decided to relaunch my blog. It is so scary to address my personal life and the issues I’ve dealt with this year. I feel compelled to use my story to help other women who may be struggling and I am trying to place that desire above my own fear. I hope, over time, I am able to share some of my journey and road to recovery after a painful separation and divorce. I’m just dipping my foot in today. Please be kind and tread lightly.
I have always loved to read. There is nothing like curling up in a comfy spot with a good book and a cup of tea/cocoa and jumping into another world. Each year I set a personal goal to read 50 books. It sounds like a lot, I know, but it’s a little under a book a week. There were a few years where I was over 100 books by the time December came around. I love to fill my home (and my kindle) with books and stories that I enjoy.
As I have mentioned before, this year has been the most trying time of my life. I have experienced so much pain and loss and it has changed me. I have found it difficult to embrace my love for reading as I once did. I am very behind in reaching my reading goal. However, as I struggled through the loss of my separation and divorce I did find comfort in a few helpful books that I wanted to share with you today.
One of my goals for this blog is to reach and inspire women who may be struggling and starting over as I have. Perhaps you are one of these women or you may have a friend going through a difficult time. Maybe one of these books can help. I wanted to share five books that I have read this year during my divorce recovery. Most of these books are rooted in Christianity (actually, I think all but one) and offer beautiful testimonials for persevering in faith when everything falls apart around you.
The first book I read very early on in the process was recommended to me by a friend. It is called “Love Must Be Tough” by James Dobson. I read this book during what I fondly refer to as “the dark months.” I really do not remember much. However, what stuck with me during this book was the issue of respect. You have the right to ask for respect in any relationship: romantic, friendship, or professional. Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. If there is a lack of respect in a relationship, it is ok to say “NO” and to let that person walk away if they choose. This book deals primarily with infidelity in a marriage but I think it is also a great read for learning self-respect.
This leads into the second book I read called “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend. This book was actually recommended to me through my divorce support group. It is fantastic. I have very muddy memories of this one as well, but I do remember thinking it is a great read for anyone. This book talks about setting healthy boundaries in every relationship in your life: friends, spouses, co-workers, parents, and children. There are several other books penned by this duo which are devoted to specific types of relationships. “Boundaries” gives insight into each category with biblical references and realistic tools to set healthy physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual boundaries and add balance to your life.
I have mentioned before that I attend a support group as a part of my recovery process. I could talk about DivorceCare and the amazing family of friends that I made in that program for hours. It was an invaluable resource of comfort, support, and strength. Very early on in my separation, I also subscribed to the daily devotional email list. I receive inspiring emails each day going through the seminar topics covered in the program. These topics range from Anger, Depression, Financial Stability, and New Relationships. There is also a book with 365 days of the daily devotionals compiled by Steve Grissam and Kathy Leonard if you prefer to have every topic at your fingertips.
The next book is called Psychopath Free written by Jackson (aka Peace). I just read this a couple of weeks ago. This book is beautifully written and is easy to read in one sitting. Most of the material from this book is available for free on the website PsychopathFree.com. If you or someone you know is recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship, this book is everything. Just read it, trust me.
Most recently, I picked up “Death of a Fairy Tale” by D.L. Mars. This book explores the toxicity of painful marriages and the silver lining upon breaking free from the fairy tale ending that you never really had. These are testimonials from real women who find themselves in unreal and terrifying situations. Surprisingly, this book is very accessible, often funny, and shows that anyone can wake up to find themselves in a toxic relationship: regardless of race, religion, age, education, wealth, or life experiences. This book offers real advice for dealing with pain and betrayal and for coming out stronger than before.
Before my divorce, I had never really read a self-help book. In high school, I used to flip through “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul” like everyone else, but I never actually used them for real life guidance. That being said, I really enjoyed each of these five books. It did not feel like a chore to barrel through, each was easy to follow and quite helpful in their own way.
I think it is important to realize that everyone is different and therefore every divorce is different. These books may not all apply to you or those you may know in a similar situation. These are just a few that I have picked up and helped with my recovery this past year. I hope they can help one of you in some way.
Do you have any great books to recommend? I’m always looking for something new to read.
On a happier, completely unrelated note, there is still time to enter my giveaway over at my Facebook page. Check it out for details and how to enter!