This Is How by Augusten Burroughs
Length: 230 pages
If you're fat and fail every diet, if you're thin but can't get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer, if you always end up with exactly the wrong kind of person, if you always end up alone, if you can't get over the past, if your parents are insane and ruining your life, if you really and truly wish you were dead, if you feel like it's your destiny to be a star, if you believe life has a grudge against you, if you don't want to have sex with your spouse and don't know why, if you feel so ashamed, if you're lost in life, if you have ever wondered, How am I supposed to survive this?
This is How.
A self-help book--sorta--that teaches you how to help yourself and deal with what life throws at you. While I don’t agree with everything, I found some very helpful bits of advice...if only I can apply them.
Parts of this book were spot on, amazingly insightful, and inspiring. Those are the parts I’ll take from this book and apply to my own life. I pulled a couple dozen quotes that I really liked that I’ll hold on to and remember when shit gets tough. Put it this way: this book was good enough that I want to buy a copy (I originally borrowed from the library).
Other parts made me worry about people reading it and taking it and going to a bad place. I can imagine psychologists would get angry about large sections of this book, but I also think it could be important for a mental health professional to read. They may disagree with a lot, but I also think it could create some potential for how they can help their clients.
It’s interesting to see the changes that have happened in Burroughs’ writing from Running With Scissors to this. Fans will find something very different in this book, but if you’re willing to be honest with yourself, I think you may even enjoy it.
And now a few quotes:
“But feelings, no matter how strong or ‘ugly,’ are not a part of who you are. They are the radio stations your mind listens to if you don’t give it something better to do.”
“The truth about healing is that you don’t need to heal to be whole.”
“Because they are not the only ones who die: you die, too. The person you were when you were with them is gone just as surely as they are.
“This is what you should know about losing somebody you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them.”
“This is how you you survive the unsurvivable, this is how you love that which you cannot bear to lose, this is how you reinvent yourself, overcome your abusers, fulfill your ambitions and meet the love of your life: by following what is true, no matter where it leads you.”