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Shiloh Adlar
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Close to Home

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:06 am

I've recently read some books that hit really close to home for me. My current read, which I probably never should have picked up to begin with, is very good, and I can relate to a lot of what the main character feels and thinks. However, I had my own anniversary of my brother's death come up a week ago, and I found that I had to stop reading. I was in a bad place emotionally and continuing would have been detrimental. I plan to finish it later on, but for now, I've been recommended to stay away from it as the character in the book and I both tried to do the exact same thing and it's very triggering.

What are your thoughts on reading books that you relate to whether in a positive or negative way? Do you think they can be helpful or perhaps maybe, like my current read, they seem to be more harmful. Is it a fine line that one has to be aware of when it comes to emotional connection or are you able to disconnect and simply enjoy the book for what it is?
Shiloh Adlar, Seventh Year
"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." -Voltaire

Joey Stark
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Re: Close to Home

Post by Joey Stark » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:08 am

Hey Shiloh,

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother.
I understand this issue with books too! I love reading and do so a lot, but I also have a mental illness. Sometimes, reading a book either about the same issue or from the view point of someone with it can be really comforting; "wow it's not just me! Other people feel just like this! Even the examples are just like from my own life!" but it depends a LOT on how I'm doing at that time. I've found I also can't read things that hit very close to home on certain subjects if I don't feel great at the the time or it can make everything a lot worse. I've tried in the past to disconnect and push through but the book then stays with me throughout the day, so for me, it's about being really aware of my own ability to deal with my feelings at the time. Sometimes I'll start, feel triggered and simply put the book down for another time. It means I have an annoying stack of half-read things sometimes but better to tackle them when I'm in the right mind frame.
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Vanessa Tilley
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Re: Close to Home

Post by Vanessa Tilley » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:21 pm

I try to read books that hit close to home because I do feel I can relate to the characters better. Sometimes, I don't like talking about what I am feeling even with my husband because I know he just won't understand. However, when I read about someone who is in my situation and knows what it feels like, it does help me feel a little better and that I am not alone out there. I will admit that it is a little hard though and sometimes I have to put a book down and come back to it later.

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Prof. Scarlet Leslie-Lewis
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Re: Close to Home

Post by Prof. Scarlet Leslie-Lewis » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:07 am

The year after I was diagnosed, I purposely sought out memoirs and autobiographies by those who have the same condition. I think that helped me out a lot. Even though no one is exactly the same and sometimes their stories were way crazier than mine, it was nice to be able to see concrete words that described how I was feeling. There were some great analogies and suggestions to deal with difficult days.

There are characters or situations in books that hit really close to home, usually unexpectedly. Sometimes I can get by with skimming through the parts that make me uncomfortable, but there are times when I have to take a break from reading.
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