Are you one of those people that have stacks and stacks of books and claim you’re a reader, but in reality it takes A LOT for you to just finish one book? Yep, you caught me. That person is me. It’s not that I hate reading, it’s more so that I get excited about reading all these non fiction (yes I said non fiction, weird, I know) books, like self help books or things about social justice, or christian books, and buy a bunch of them at once. I start reading one of them then suddenly my life becomes super busy and I stop cold turkey, and the cycle starts again in couple of months. It’s bad and money wasteful. But this year, since 2017 is a new year and all, one of my resolutions is to finish all the books that I have before buying new ones (I know it sounds pathetic, but it needs to be done).
I bet youre wondering where in this ramble of an introduction is explaining the scary title of this book and blog I am trying to write, well all those questions are about to be answered. F*ck Feelings by Michael I. Bennett, MD and his daughter Sarah Bennett is as they say “one shrink’s practical advice for managing all life’s impossible problems.” Which, I, my friend, have alot of impossible problems. No with reading this book, I didnt read every single chapter because most of the chapters had nothing to do with me (and when I say most, I mean one), like chapter eight – f*ck parenthood. I don’t have kids so any of those problems i didnt really connect with. But to go back a little bit the book has 10 chapters and each chapter is a topic and then they are divided into sub topics. In each sub topic, there is an explaination of it, examples from real people, a diagnosis how to fix it and then a little note that you can write to yourself or someone else and they give you fill in the blanks to finish the letter. I’ll put one at the end of this post and probably will write one every day until I don’t have anymore. It is honestly quite a relief even if you’re not saying this to a person directly , and only to your blog or notbook or journal or even out loud. I highly recommend it, it lets your frustration out.
The chapters that I did read in this book were – ch. 1 f*ck self-improvement, ch.2 f*ck self-esteem, ch.3 f*ck fairness, & ch.4 f*ck helpfulness.
The chapters that I skimmed through were – ch.5 f*ck serenity, ch.6 f*ck love, ch.7 f*ck communication, & ch.9 f*ck assholes.
The chapters that I didnt really touch were – ch.8 f*ck parenthood and ch.10 f*ck treatment.
I know earlier I said I’ll put one of these letters in until I run out, but I think I’ll just put one in from every chapter. I’ll give you the title of the sub topic, the quick diagnosis and then the letter. Because if I write every letter that relates to me in here, it might last a couple of months, and I dont think anyone wants to read that here when they could read it for themselves.
Chapter 1: F*ck Self-Improvement
Taking Back the Reins of Your Life (After a Stampede)
A. what you wish for and can’t have:
- the praise, the salary
- peace and love
- knowledge that you’re on the right track
- confidence you’ll be able to stay there
B. what you can aim for and actually achieve:
- create reasonable standards
- respect yourself
- survive pain and fear and give yourself credit
- not letting pain change your values
Dear [Me/Family Member/F*ckup I Can’t Help but Care About],
I know you feel like [the royal “we”/you/our f*ckup son] are on the verge of [insert mistake or potential tragic experience], and life feels like an unholy disaster. The truth is, however, that life often sucks and sometimes I can’t expect to feel other than [crappy/insert classier, more dire synonom for “shitty”], especially given issues in the past regarding [bad luck/anxiety/your many addictions and world record unemployment]. So don’t take it personally and do take credit for whatever good things you were doing, even if they were totally ineffective at fending offthis mess. Take pride in doing a good job, regardless of bad [luck/genes/associates/mental pain] and don’t stop.
So as a sum up of everything, I decided to give the short hand version of the quick diagnoisis and then include everything for the letter but just bold the words that I chose to you. Now of course you can add your own words in, but I just like the humor that Michael I. Bennett, MD brought to these letters. These will continue on every Saturday until I reach chapter 10, and find a new book to talk to y’all about.