a lot of people I know don’t believe this, but I believe we have to be very careful of the things we take in.. what we watch, what we listen to, who we hang around, and even who we work with. we should strive to be able to discern what/who is good for us and what/who is not.
i read a lot of self-help books, for example. apparently, they are my favorite kind of book to read and i THOUGHT that this was because i wanted to know what self-destructive behaviors I exhibit and how I could change them. that is true, but what I have recently discovered about myself makes me realize that self-help actually does more harm than good… at least for me, and since I am not the only one like me probably others as well.
don’t get me wrong, I believe that some self-help material can be very useful and probably has saved/changed many lives. but more often than not I believe they can be very detrimental if not read in the right state of mind, with some counsel from an expert. while self-help gives us the power to take matters into our own hands, we can ultimately shortchange ourselves with our own reasoning. ironically, this is why we believe we need help because we think our own reasoning is flawed.
for example, if I’m reading a book on sex addiction which outlines reasons A-G as to why I am an addict, that’s cool. at least I have 7 reasons as to why I’m addicted to sex… clarity, right? but then now I have to deal with those 7 things I didn’t know about or repressed and I might be inclined to buy (or check out if you’re frugal like myself) 7 more self-help books or to combat the other things that triggered my sex addiction.
it’s potentially dangerous because it can start a cycle of thinking that never ends. for example, someone might say “i battle with anxiety because i was sexually abused as a child and it made me anxious.” “i am suicidal because of 1, 2, and 3, so once i deal with those things i will stop being suicidal…. that’s it!” VOILA your life is complete and you can solve all your problems on your own, right? in this way you will ALWAYS be helping yourself and ALWAYS shortchanging yourself. i mean there are so many instances where people have taken matters into their own hands without help and have come up short.
that’s what happens to me. instead of initiating growth and change i end up dwelling on why i am the way i am and feeling extreme guilt and remorse for who i am which is SO WRONG. and i know a lot of people struggle with this also; feeling like they have to help themselves because they believe no one else cares or wants to help… or feeling like they are beyond help. it’s why i keep stressing how important it is for us to reach out and help each other and let the people who WANT to help do so.
the moral of the story, survivors, seek counsel. don’t do it alone.