Saturday, February 7, 2009

Books

Okay- I couldn't help it. I wanted to just quickly talk about some of the books I've been reading- because they are worthy of this post and you, friends, are most worthy of these recommendations.

First of all, run, don't walk, to your nearest library and order "Scratch Beginnings-Me, $25, and The Search For The American Dream" by Adam Shepard. A very interesting diatribe of this young mans' journey to prove Barbara Ehrenreich wrong (she is the amazing author of "Nickled and Dimed" and "Bait and Switched", both of which I read without skipping a beat and loved). He sets out for a year of living outside his comfort zone to show that the ability for most of us to succeed in blue-collar or corporate America is still possible, despite her argument to the contrary. I am only half-way through his account so I don't how the end will come to pass, but it is hard to put down, even with my benadryl-aided exhaustion.

Second, for any of you who have dealt with or are dealing with post-partum depression or generalized depression, while having to parent children of any number and age, the book "The Ghost In The House- Real Mothers Talk About Maternal Depression, Raising Children, And How They Cope" by Tracey Thompson, seems to be a winner. It was recommended on the website "Post-Partum Progress" which I link to in my sidebar on the right. I have read short bits of it but have had to put it aside for a couple of reasons: 1) the afore-mentioned book that I can't stop reading, and 2)mainly because it is hard to read books about what I am going through without it adding to my anxiety. I have learned the hard way that small doses of even the best information are key- otherwise it may do more harm than good.

Lastly, "Women's Moods- What Every Woman Must Know About Hormones, The Brain, And Emotional Health" by Deborah Sichel, M.D., and Jeanne Watson Driscoll, M.S. R.N. C.S. My mom had found this for me some months ago and I've been daring to turn the pages lately, in my effort to come to a greater understanding of my body and how it is functioning or not functioning these days. The specialist that I began seeing last week recommends this book very highly and I must say that the stuff contained within its chapters is very enlightening. I will, again, caution, though, that one must use restraint when diving into materials on depression/anxiety because they can really take you on a rather uncomfortable ride through your psyche. I threw this particular text across the room last week and melted down into a puddle of sobs- feeling hopeless against the hormonal challenges my genetics had dealt me.

In closing- I just have to exclaim- we are so lucky, as Americans, that we can waltz into our local libraries (provided, of course, that we are not homeless) and roam through the stacks, finding and checking out, for free, an infinite amount of information on almost any given topic. And despite the advocates of censorship, which amazingly, still abound in our society today, we can read about anything, by anyone, with any sort of opinion or label- such freedom. I feel privileged tonight, that my nightstand is littered with library books- on such a vast array of topics- my ADD holding true to my need to just know stuff about stuff, at all times.

And now I really must sleep because my husband and children, who are all morning people, will be bitter and disappointed, when I can't lift my head off the pillow before 10am.

P.S. I finished Mr. Shepard's book before finishing this post, and, according to him, the American Dream is alive and well for anyone who wants to work for it. Whew- a happy ending at last.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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