For fun, I just did the Holmes and Rahe Stress Test and my result was: You have a high or very high risk of becoming ill in the near future. Duh. Doh. Funsies. How do I deal with stress? Acknowledge it. Use books.
I was just digging through my book pile and I realize there are certain books I need with me to quell the stress during those epic life stressors and the books become life rafts. Afterwards, Imay never look at them again. But in the moment, they mean EVERYTHING to me.
When I was going through the heart-attack of my ex-husband’s infidelity, I could only read Anatomy of the Spirit, recommended over the phone by my best friend in Sweden, as she coached me through endless panic attacks.
I underlined the entire book. Now I don’t even own a copy.
When my mother went through her last year and I stayed by her side through appointments and treatments, the only book I could read while in waiting rooms was Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor as it was exactly what I needed in that moment.
I still clutch to it.
After my mom passed away, I was replaying the pain and the beauty of her last breath and her last heart beat, over and over– recalling the love that enveloped us as my brother held mom’s face and helped her let go. After that, I need to read the last pages in The Death of Ivan Ilyich over and over again.
Now, as Dad faces a new chapter in his life and as we work on the book together, I find myself digesting A Journey Round My Skull.
Books. I love you.