Monday, February 15, 2016

"Monkey Mind: A Memior of Anxiety" by Daniel Smith

  This was another book that took me a really long time to get through...even though it's not very long.  A friend of mine recommended it to me, saying that it had helped him to not feel so alone in his struggles with anxiety.  In fact, reading the "episodes" of the author helped him to see himself in new light, which in turn helped him to seek help.  That's great for my friend.  For me, I didn't have the same reaction.
  Even though I read the entire book, I couldn't really enjoy the story when it seemed so much of it flowed out of sex or sexual circumstances.  Not only that, but the book seemed to flow in a way that shared all the issues (or most of them) but not really how they resolved... just that they did (His therapist helped with that by giving him tools to overcome, but what those tools are, how they helped, that wasn't really explored).  Maybe that wasn't meant to be the point of the book, maybe instead it was suppose to just be a lament of how things had been and other books are about how they got better, but the simplistic overturn of once I struggled, then I didn't, kind of turned me off.
  So why continue reading a book that I didn't really enjoy?  Partly it's my personality... I like to finish what I start, plus I had promised a friend I would check it out so I needed to give it a fair shake.  But, to be honest, it was also because it wasn't all bad.  There actually were parts I could relate to and moments that made me laugh, like when he proved he could get from diagnosing himself with anxiety to dying disgraced and alone in just eight steps in his mind or how he used feminine period pads to try and cover up his sweat stains/ sweat issue as an adult.  In that sense I found the book enjoyable.  I just wish there was more of that and less of the drug and sex content (although I get that's an important part of the story).  I also wish that the author would have written in a way that made you feel like he was inviting you into his story and not just proving how smart and awesome he could be with his words (which is totally judgmental on my part, but sometimes his choice of words took away from what he was trying to least for me).
  Anyway, as if you couldn't tell, I probably wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.  I'm not even sure outside of this blog that I would mention to anyone I read it.  I am glad it helped my friend and spoke to him...which proves it does have it's audience... but it didn't really do anything for me and I'm actually pretty glad it's over with.

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