HEALING THE STORMY MARRIAGE

HOPE AND HELP FOR YOU WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE HAS MENTAL HEALTH OR ADDICTION ISSUES

A warm and comprehensive guide for mentally ill spouses and their loved ones.

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A psychological and spiritual look at how one can best support a mentally ill partner while also taking care of oneself.

In these pages, consultant R. Christian Bohlen earnestly recounts his own experiences with mental illness as well as those of his wife, Helen M. Bohlen. Both live with bipolar disorder and worked together to save their relationship. Each chapter includes a section of explanation from R. Christian Bohlen on a particular issue—such as “My Needs Are Not Being Met” or “My Heart Breaks for My Spouse”—followed by a section from his wife’s perspective on the same subject, and how they’ve addressed the issue over time; it also features a section of guidelines and advice regarding the problem at hand. Some of the specific concerns in each segment include finding ways to regulate one’s emotions by using various techniques, including dialectical behavior therapy; dealing with perceptions of unfairness in a relationship, which the authors illustrate by using an example from the story of David in the Old Testament; comparing one’s needs and wants with one’s partner’s (and noting that “Tenderness is so important. Reconsider the importance of being nice”); recognizing codependency and the importance of setting and respecting boundaries; and doing exercises that aim to increase one’s mindfulness (“Such practices will fully bring you back to what is real and present. This is an essential skill for anyone experiencing stress”). In a later section of the book, they recommend a general relationship model that they call “GREAT”—an acronym that stands for “being genuine, respectful, empathetic, accepting, and trusting.”

One of the most illuminating sections of the book includes a comparison chart that shows the differences between productive and nonproductive thoughts. One harmful or nonproductive thought, for example, may be that one’s spouse is not sufficiently engaging in certain positive behaviors, which can be frustrating; the productive counterpart to this thought is that one can engage in those behaviors oneself, and invite one’s spouse to participate in them. These sorts of highlights could have an incredibly positive effect on one’s communication skills and overall sense of marital satisfaction. The book has a distinctly Christian aspect, offering a great many biblical references and often noting that one may rely on God for spiritual help during tumultuous times. For the most part, though, the suggestions themselves are secular in nature and could be applied by any married person, regardless of their religious affiliation. The authors’ intimate knowledge of the subject matter, combined with the hopeful tone, results in a relationship guide that’s both practical and kind. Its frequent focus on the issues that face the partner of an ill person offers readers refreshing takes on how such illness can affect family members. Overall, this is a moving work that does not shy away from noting how heavy a burden living with mental illness can be, while also offering a number of ways to potentially ease that burden.

A warm and comprehensive guide for mentally ill spouses and their loved ones.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949572-77-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Carpenter's Son Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2021

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I'M GLAD MY MOM DIED

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

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The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood.

In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease’s recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how “my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me.” Insistent on molding her only daughter into “Mommy’s little actress,” Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom,” while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter’s physical appearance. She tinted her daughter’s eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of “calorie restriction,” and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982185-82-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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