I have a confession.
One that requires a certain amount of…um…discretion.
* looks around nervously and leans in *
I’m into self-help books.
If you’re a fan of Sex And The City, you’ll remember the scene where Charlotte was so embarrassed to buy a self-help book in public that she went home, ordered the book online, and had it shipped to her home. (Embarrassing) crisis averted.
What seems like just a minute ago, self-help books were for people we felt truly needed help, like, rock bottom help. The walk (of shame) down the self-help aisle felt like a trip to a seedy underworld of trench coats, lowered hats, and oversized sunglasses. God help you if anyone recognized you, because you then had mere seconds to sputter an excuse about being lost in the store…taking a wrong turn at the fiction aisle…and…holy hell…where am I…are these…self…help…books???? (Extra points if you could fake a fainting spell and later blame some poor store employee who sent you on a wild goose chase when all you sought was the latest issue of Bon Appetit.)
Think of it as your best friend trying to break bad news to you, slowly, with a reassuring smile on their face and then sharing their personal experience with you while promising to stick around until you get your shit together, no matter how long it takes.
But this is a new day, and I’d like to think that we’ve evolved, shame be damned.
A quick trek through my local bookstore revealed a new generation of self-help healing, one that’s in line with what we’d expect from a social media-savvy planet of share-all bloggers, positivity-shilling influencers, and resolute podcasters – all of whom have a stage on which to share their personal bests and walk us, patiently, through their lowest moments in life.
Gone are the old do-what-I-say-and-you’ll-be-cured books; they’ve been replaced by kinder, gentler offerings that present soothing tones that amount to hand-holding us through our struggles while pulling us through to the other side. Think of it as your best friend trying to break bad news to you, slowly, with a reassuring smile on their face and then sharing their personal experience with you while promising to stick around until you get your shit together, no matter how long it takes.
That’s the kind of friendship we all need, and now it’s available in book format.
The truth is, it’s hard to trust a perfect stranger who shills advice and gently admonishes us for making all the wrong decisions. But let’s face it: we could all probably use a little help. Whether you’re a new mum struggling to find a way to catch a nap and a shower or someone who’s struggling to make it through each day, advice is golden and we should probably accept it more than we do.
My advice? Whatever ails you, there’s a thoughtfully written book for that and it’s filled with words that are meant to eradicate the things that are keeping you from living your best life.
Take the time to head down the self-help aisle. There’s no shame in asking for help, even if it’s from a book.
Let every hair flip be fabulous.
original photo by Burst || manipulation by le snobbery