I’d love to say that I am a bad-ass that has gotten through most of my life on my own – which isn’t far from the truth. However, I’ve had a lot of assistance over the years in the form of self-help books.
There are many other self-help books I have read over the years, but these five books truly mark me and my struggles.
5 Self-Help Books That Saved My Sanity
1. Codependent No More – Melody Beattie
After I had my daughter and placed her for adoption, I went into therapy to deal with my upbringing and the effects my mother had on my mind, body, and soul.
My therapist suggested that as well as therapy, that I should attend Codependents Anonymous (CoDA) meetings, to help me address my codependency issues. While attending these meetings, I found out about this book and it started me on my self-help journey.
This book is a great resource and helped me to open my eyes to the bad relationship patterns I had grown accustomed to. It also helped me to see that in order to be in a healthy relationship with anyone, I first had to be in a healthy relationship with myself.
2. Men are Just Desserts – Sonya Friedman
Less than a year after my daughter was born, the adoptive mother of my daughter referred this book to me.
I read this book with great fervor, trying to grasp a reality that was not dependent on a man making me feel worthy or loved. I was too young at the time to realize the great lesson behind this book.
About fifteen years down the road, I remembered what I had read in this book and picked it back up again, digesting every single word. I immediately started taking it to heart and applying it in my life.
3. The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
I first picked up a copy of The Secret in late 2007. I devoured the contents within one day.
Subsequent readings were highlighting and making notes on the sides of the pages. This book caught my attention at a transitional time in my life, right after I had left my husband and moved out on my own.
This book provided me with a solid foundation that I would start to re-build my life not even one year after I first picked it up. I still refer back to this book, as well as the movie and audio-book, when I need a reminder of how far I’ve come, and how far I want to go.
4. The Power – Rhonda Byrne
After successfully applying The Secret to my life, I found out in 2011 that The Power was the second book and companion to The Secret. I immediately picked up a copy.
This book concentrates on the power of love behind your intentions and how it is truly the secret behind The Secret. My copy has massive highlighting and notes throughout. I was thankful I had read this before my relationship at the time had fallen apart, and my world as I knew it came crumbling down once again.
This book, along with The Secret and The Portable Henry Rollins, helped me to keep my sanity through that challenging time.
5. The Portable Henry Rollins – Henry Rollins
Although this isn’t a self-help book, it has been my go-to book for many years as inspiration and guidance.
Henry has been through a lot of challenging times in his life, and through his writing, he relates his experiences. His writing is raw, unfiltered and real. I’ve found his words a constant companion through some of the toughest times in my life.
The ways in which Henry describes the effects of his depression resonate deeply with me. If there truly is such a thing as soul mates, then Henry is most definitely mine.
I’ve read this book so much and often that my copy is in major disrepair, held together with a rubber band. I hope to buy a new copy and have him autograph it next time he comes to Cleveland.
These self-help books have helped me keep my sanity in the midst of my sometimes chaotic life. Perhaps these books can help you get through some tough times as well.