a work in progress

“this is how” {and a little bitty giveaway}

book-clubEvery once in a while we need a good kick in the butt, something that knocks us off course so that we notice what’s going on outside of our little world. This is How by Augusten Burroughs did that for me.

I flew through the 230-page book, jumping from chapter to chapter, covering everything from “How to Finish your Drink” to “How to Lose Someone You Love.” Burroughs writes with an honesty that I {and most people, probably} crave. He presents somewhat off-the-wall ideas but supports them with evidence so basic that you wonder why you haven’t considered it before.

I purchased this book a couple of months ago, yet choosing now to finally crack it open proved to be somewhat meaningful. Like most people in chronic pain, I’ve spent too much time trying unsuccessful treatments. There are many reasons for these failures, some over which I have little to no control, but there’s one that falls completely on me.

I am not ready to get better. I have lost faith not only in Western medicine but this-is-howalso in the idea that my pain will subside. With this in mind, it doesn’t matter what I do, because nothing is going to work. For me to see meaningful progress I have to put my head on the pillow each night knowing that what I’m doing will work and that I’m on my way to improving. That confidence has to be there.

Although I’ve known all of this for a while, I wasn’t quite sure how to get there if other factors in my life didn’t improve. How was I supposed to change my way of thinking if nothing in my life actually changed? But then I read This is How and a switch sort of flipped. Not immediately, mind you, but by the last page I looked up with a different perspective. Burroughs made me consider what, besides my lousy excuse for hips, is in the way of my recovery. Because let’s face it, I have to assume some level of responsibility. Chronic conditions are complex and messy, like a horrible knot you must untie. You can’t just look at one little section and pick away at it for a while then wonder why you still have a knotted mess in front of you. You have to deal with the entire thing, figuring out where each twisted strand is stuck. It’s complicated and time-consuming, but there’s no other way to do it. {Ok, I promise that’s the end of that metaphor.}

I hate to inflate this book beyond what it is. My reaction could have been a result of an uplifting consult with a new physician while I was reading. Or my positive response to the physician and his treatment plan could have been because of the book. Regardless, I have a new modified way of viewing my world, and perhaps someone else could, too.

For reasons I cannot remember, I did not purchase this book on my Kindle. I purchased it second-hand from someone I found through Amazon. This is feeling a little serendipitous at the moment, so I’d like to capitalize on it and pass the book on to one of my readers.

So, if you’d like to receive my copy, please comment below or tweet @annedoussan by this Friday 30 September. I only have one to share, but perhaps the recipient will pay it forward once they’re finished.



This is How book cover image courtesy of https://smile.amazon.com/This-How-Molestation-Spinsterhood-Decrepitude/dp/B00E32632K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475073535&sr=8-2&keywords=this+is+how.


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