Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard

Rating 3/5

I have mixed feelings about this book. When I saw it at Chapters, I thought, well hey, here's a book written just for me - a chronically ill Buddhist. Just like the author. Except my situation isn't like the author's - she's older, had a good career and a family before she got sick, and has a very supportive husband. I'm on my own, without having done much of anything. Still, I found much to think about in this book. It's a little more simple than I like my Buddhism, but there were ideas I hadn't studied or thought about in relation to my illness. Each chapter was short and to the point, and I read a couple of chapters a day. Reading anything about Buddhism always makes me feel emotionally calmer (unless I'm triggered/resisting - then I get angry - my issue), and it was educational to read exactly how the author uses Buddhist practices to relieve her own suffering - not the physical symptoms, but the emotional ones that make having a chronic illness potentially devastating and seriously depressing. I will be revisiting this book and exploring the techniques she uses to help her cope. An important book for anyone with chronic illness.

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