December Reading pt 2

All the things I’ve been reading since the first December Reading Post. Fun fact: I had the most views in one day when that post went live. You’ll find books, blog posts and news articles that are usually related to mental health and hopefully serve as helpful resources to you. And you might find current events and a few funny things posted as well.

Books

The Singer’s Gun by St. John Mandell is an excellent tale about a guy leaving the (illegal) family business and his unfulfilling marriage. He wants to do the right thing, even if he’s not sure what that is. This is by the same author who wrote Station Eleven, which is a fantastic post-apocalypse novel set in Michigan.

A Lesson Before Dying by Gaines is about a young black man sentenced to death for murder told through the perspective of the local teacher, who has been asked to visit the man on death row. How can you die with dignity when almost every aspect of society has been created to demonstrate your inferiority? Can a black man die with dignity at the hands of a white justice system? I believe I have read this before long ago in school since some of the passages are familiar to me, but I have not yet finished this reading. More than anything, this novel will make clear how the hundreds of years of systematic oppression of black people in the United States of America continues to weigh on our society and when you notice that weight you understand the roiling anger of the teacher seems to constantly experience. Can you make something of yourself when society deems you worthless? This book is set in 1948, before the civil rights movement to de-segregate schools or voter’s rights, but it’s more relevant now than ever.

Blogs

No one cares about me.

Need to heal from trauma? Get angry!

News & Articles

Seven tricks to creatively squeeze in meditation into everyday tasks. Happy to be quoted by Bustle!

Women’s pain is often ignored with dangerous consequences.

Elder abuse looks a lot like intimate partner violence.

New years resolutions to change your eating habits that don’t involve shame.

On a related note, diet and exercise are not enough to lose weight and keep it off if you are obese, according to science. Exercise and eating right are still good for you! They just won’t transform your body to a model thin one, which is okay.

The median income for millennials (if you’re hoping to avoid feeling worse about this, do not also look up the median cost of housing in each state, or average monthly student loan payment).

A comic that illustrates many concepts of enthusiastic consent.

My Top Post of 2015

Divorce Your Toxic Family. This was far and away the most viewed post on my site in 2015, even though it was only available to be viewed in the last month of the year. I think it was so popular because having the strength to cut contact with abusive family members is so often stigmatized instead of valued. I hope the post felt like a healing balm of validation. I hope it was the blog post equivalent of someone saying “I totally support your decision to choose safety and freedom over abuse. I know a lot of people don’t understand why, but I know you made a good decision for yourself.” It’s a holiday specific post since there’s a lot of pressure to spend time with family around the holidays, but I hope that it gives validation and permission to those who need it all year round.

Happy New Year from Live Well Counseling LLC in Traverse City!