Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: How to Be Sick, Toni Bernhard

How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers
by Toni Bernhard

I finished this book a few days ago, and wanted to take the time to write a proper book review. This book, and my FibroWHYalgia book, well they are my best friends now :)

THIS IS AN EXCELLENT BOOK! As you know, I am a newbie to chronic illness (1 year in from a fibromyalgia diagnosis) and prior to this book I had very little knowledge about Buddhism, but having done yoga for almost 2 years now I had built up an interest into looking into Buddhism more. So thus this book seemed like it was meant for me!

But please don't be confused with the title, yes this book is about How to Be Sick, but How to Be Sick and SURVIVE and maintain your sanity! (Because we all know chronic means forever, so we have to come to terms with the fact that we will always be sick.) And you don't have to be a Buddhist to learn these "survival techniques" as I call them. Toni's methods are Buddhist-inspired and anyone can learn them and really benefit from them! (Even if you don't have a chronic illness!)

Toni, the author, took almost 10 years to write this book, while dealing with her chronic illness. I appreciate that it was written from the point of the view of an actual sufferer, and I really admire that she was able to write a book AND deal with her illness! What inspiration she is! Her focus in the book is not on her actual illness, but is on how to overcome the struggles, showing that this book and the "survival techniques" she discusses are applicable to so many different chronic illnesses and even caregivers. Even though we suffer from different chronic illnesses, I could relate to her daily challenges, and the ups and downs she described facing her illness, and the despair of facing a lifetime of this. Her methods of dealing, coping and surviving not only gave me solace but continue to inspire me and give me hope in life on a daily basis.

Since my fibro diagnosis I have read all kinds of books, but this is one of two that has given me true direction and comfort in dealing with my illness. No technical medical jargon, no scientific this and that. Just straight up honesty, from the heart, from experience. Each chapter and subject flows easily into the next and builds upon your learning and awareness. She also presents a guide in the back of the book, a type of summary of her survival techniques, which really makes for a great reference. Although I think I ran through an entire highlighter while reading the book, making my own notes and highlights, which I also reference quite often :)

Read it. You will find happiness, peace, serenity.

1 comment:

  1. Here is another review: