Book of the Weeks: 4/24-5/7/2017: “Shade’s Children”

Book of the Weeks 4/24-5/7/2017: Shade's Children

This post contains affiliate links. You can view my full affiliate links disclosure at the bottom of any and every page, but, basically, if you purchase this excellent book through the links I put in this post, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

 

Why does nostalgia have such authority over us?

I was recently talking to a friend about nostalgia; about how we will gleefully cram junk food into our gullets or delight over terrible movies and toys that break apart in our oafish hands that are no longer sized for play. All because these things, often shoddy and undeserving of our deep affection, ignite our nostalgia.

It is a potent balm, nostalgia. It brings us back to those times when we were innocent of the vast heartbreak that life often offers; when the sun seemed always to shine, and when we could feel the boundlessness of love, as palpable as a hand on our forehead when we were sick or a hug on the playground.

A lot of things make me nostalgic. Nothing quite so much as books.  I still have my favorite books as a child, tucked away in boxes; a few still on display on a bookshelf at my mom’s house; even fewer on display in my own bookshelf. When I sometimes pick up these books to re-read them, I feel their brilliance before I even peel open their much-abused covers. I still love reading, and delight in it, but when I was a child, reading was a portal to another dimension. Reading the books I loved as a child now is more like a time machine; it takes me back to the place where reading was a form of transportation. And that is wonderful.

One common phenomenon of nostalgia that I typically bypass when it comes to books, however, is the shoddy-quality aspect. From the toys to the movies to the foods I loved as a child, most tokens that cause me to feel nostalgic are pretty much junk from a non-emotional standpoint (oh but how could Tamagotchies ever be called junk). The books I loved as a child, with few exceptions, however, tend to still be quite good reads.

This weeks’ feature book was one of my favorites as a child, and one which I still recommend now as (and to) an adult: Shade’s Children by Garth Nix.
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Book Of The Weeks 3/13/17-3/26/17: ‘Fig’ by Sarah Schantz

"Fig" book review and author interview on www.bettysbattleground.com

This is the first installment of, yes, that’s right, another new segment: Book Of The Weeks. And yes, that ‘s’ is intentional. Book Of The Weeks is a biweekly book review by yours truly.

But but but how does this relate to Betty’s Battleground? What do books have to do with PTSD?

A lot, actually. I have always been an avid reader, but books have taken on a new importance to me in the past few years. I have written about mindfulness, and about how I do certain activities to help enter into reality. Well, reality is hard. For everyone I’m sure, but even moreso when you have PTSD. Sometimes I do things to intentionally escape reality. When I become too stressed, or too anxious, or too overwhelmed with feelings, or overburdened by memories, finding a healthy way to escape reality is really important.

Keyword: Healthy. I used to escape through copious drugs and alcohol. It worked very well! But had some nasty side effects, like ruining my life.  This realization brought me to healthy escapism, and reading works of fiction is one of my favorite forms of that.

Not every “book of the weeks” will necessarily be fiction. I may include some especially excellent PTSD/addiction/parenting texts as I come across them. But fiction is really important to me and my sanity, and the first book of the weeks is an exquisite work of fiction. And it also just so happens to explore the subject of mental illness.

Look after my review for a special BONUS surprise this week!
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Mindful Mothering: Six Simple Indoor Activities To Do With Your Kids When You’re Kinda Sorta Maybe Really Freaking Out

Six Indoor Activities That You Can Do With Your Kids When You're Kinda Sorta Maybe Really Freaking Out

When you live with PTSD, or any anxiety disorder, you know to be ready for an episode any day, any time. Symptoms can range from mild to severe; an episode could mean heightened awareness of other people’s micro-expressions, or it could mean a full-on, totally debilitating panic attack. Anxiety won’t wait. It doesn’t care where you are, who you’re with, or what you need to do. The other day, I watched a member of my peer support group gasp for air in front of everyone after sharing her experience of loneliness. She ultimately had to be wheeled to a medical floor until she was calm again. Anxiety allows its victim no dignity.

As a mother living with an anxiety disorder, I have an intimate knowledge of the disruption which anxiety can wreak upon daily living. But all of us mothers, hyperanxious or not, know that we don’t get ‘sick days.’ We can’t triage extended self care into our schedules, no matter how much we need it.

The abuse which caused my PTSD was prolonged and severe. The symptoms, therefore, likewise. I also live in the Pacific Northwest, where we receive abundant servings of yucky, rain drenched days. Between the weather and my moods, I spend a lot of time indoors with my kids. Don’t worry, they get lots of physical activity at daycare, and I do make a special effort to go out when the weather is nice. The truth is, however, that a lot of our time together is spent indoors, and that I spend a lot of it trying to covertly treat my anxiety. As a result, I have created an arsenal of simple, kid-friendly indoor activities that also provide secret opportunities for mindfulness and other forms of de-stressing.

If you’re a mama, papa, grandparent, or some other person who spends lots of time with young children, and you’re also prone to bouts of anxiety, give these six activities a try!

 

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