Thursday, April 27, 2017

Coping When Things Come Unstuck

When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone.
~John Irving, A Prayer For Owen Meany 

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.
  ~Haruki Murakami, Kafka On the Shore

"It's darkest before the dawn." "This too shall pass." "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." "Time heals all wounds." Most of us have had faced adversity, in one or the other of its many forms - job burnout, surviving cancer,  mending a broken heart,  loss of a pet, becoming a widow/er, coping with chronic illness - and most of us have heard a lot of platitudes as we try to muddle through the aftermath. Seems like a lot of folks think you should just be getting on with your life, but that's easier said than done. Instead, Buddhist scholar Pema Chödrön suggests:

We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.

It can be difficult to buck the expectations of others, or even yourself, and take your time to cope with whatever life has dished out on your plate. Here's a list of books that w hope might help you along your journey. You can find more books on this topic using a subject search of  "Adjustment (Psychology)." Is there a book that has helped you through a crisis? Let us know in the comments.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön [eBook]

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David, PhD

Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding by Lynn Darling

Addict in the house: a no-nonsense family guide through addiction & recovery by Robin Barnett, EdD, LCSW

Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives bu Hoda Kotb with Jane Lorenzini

The Ten Things To Do When Your Life Falls Apart: An Emotional and Spiritual Handbook by Daphne Rose Kingma  

How to Cope: The Welcoming Approach to Life's Challenges by Dr. Claire Hayes

AfterShock: What To Do When the Doctor Gives You, or Someone You Love, A Devastating Diagnosis by Jessie Gruman [eBook] 

A Widow's Guide to Healing: Gentle Support and Advice For the First 5 Years by Kristin Meekhof, James Windell 

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath 


1 comment:

Susan E. Page said...

The absolute best book I've found for this is by Ann Kaiser Stearns, called Living through Personal Crisis. She wrote a sequel called Coming Back, and another called Living through Job Loss. It looks like she has a new one coming out called Redefining Aging. I'll have to get my hands on that when it comes out in December.