Posted in Blog, Mental Health, Reviews

Review: The Good Stripper: A Soccer Mom’s Memoir of Lies, Loss and Lapdances by Marci Warhaft

This book is the author’s memoir of her double life, trauma, and fight with her eating disorder.

The first chapter sucks you into the story by starting in the middle with Cassidy, the stripper. Afterward, we are transported to the beginning, and we meet Marci. I thought that was a great way to get the readers sucked into the drama before giving the background.

To be honest with the readers, the author left nothing unsaid and dug deep within herself. She could have hidden some of the transgressions, but it wouldn’t have helped as many people as this book now has the potential to help. She gives the sordid details of her double life and illnesses and explains the mental and emotional turmoil that she was experiencing.

Dissociative disorders and eating disorders don’t just happen overnight. They are a combination of various factors and traumas. By Marci explaining her inner thoughts between thinness and love-ability, we are better able to understand how someone can let an eating disorder run their lives.

Unfortunately, there were quite a few grammatical errors, but that doesn’t mean that the message isn’t straightforward and vital.

This book will help many people, from children to adults, to males, females, and LGBTQ+. Trauma and eating disorders don’t have a specific ‘look’ to who will get them or be affected by them. If you know someone who needs help, they need this book. If you know someone who might need help, they need this book. If you know someone who is struggling, you need this book.

If you are worried that your child isn’t ready to read about a stripper, then you read this book. It will help you to better understand and relate to your child, who may be experiencing an eating disorder. The parts about marriage might be a little over the head of some children, but eating disorders don’t know age, so it is still a valuable resource.

This is a must-read! Get your copy here (affiliate link).

Posted in Blog, Mental Health, non fiction, Reviews

Review: Kicking & Screaming by Melanie Gibson

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love martial arts. I’ve been doing Muay Thai for 10 years now and this book really shows how martial arts can help you with your mental health. There’s been tons of research on the topic of exercise and mental health showing the positive effects. This book just reiterates what we already know, from the perspective of someone who’s going through it. It’s always better to get a human perspective on our mental health journeys.  Kicking and Screaming: A Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts by [Melanie D. Gibson]

I really enjoyed this book because not only does she talk about her journey through taekwondo and mental health but she explains the process of taekwondo. If you’ve never done martial arts, it would be very confusing to know what moves she is referencing. 

There was a bit of humor in this book showing we should be able to laugh at ourselves. Never in a mean way of course! Melanie goes on to explain the unhealthy relationship that she had but I’m not going to give any more of that away. No spoilers! 

I wish there was a more in-depth look into the therapy that the author mentions and how her diagnoses were found. However, the book is called Kicking and Screaming so it makes sense that the focus was on the taekwondo side. Perhaps in the future, there will be another book about the therapy that took place alongside taekwondo. 

Overall, this was a really good book for anybody who’s trying to find a new outlet. This is a great starting point to read to see how Taekwondo might be able to help you. 

Get your copy here (affiliate link).

Posted in Blog, Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Sheila’s Men by Jenna Ashlyn

Sheila’s Men is about a woman, Sheila, who is trying to do the best she can for her daughter. However, through doing what Sheila thinks is expected of her she ends up marrying a man who turns out to be extremely abusive. The story is based on the author’s experience in hopes to shed light on abusive relationships and help others get out. sheil

The book is written from Sheila’s perspective and the author does a beautiful job narrating through Sheila’s inner dialogue. The inner dialogue gives us glimpses into the thought process of staying in an abusive relationship. Society condemns women for staying but it is not as simple as a choice of staying. The narration shows a side of life that, luckily, most of us don’t have to experience; the fear, pain and hopelessness of being with a spouse who consistently berates and abuses.

The author does a great job of bringing the reader into the story and becoming invested in Sheila. Rooting for her to escape. Cheering her on as her confidence grows.

In the first half of the book there are off scenes that are like dream sequences about ‘the gray’. A place that is scary and has hungry, evil individuals prowling for Sheila. I did not enjoy these off scenes because they took me out of the story. I had a hard time transitioning from the story to these parts then back again.

Overall, this is a well-written book that shows life outside of our often shielded worlds.

Get your copy here (affiliate link – thanks for supporting).

 

**if you are in an abusive situation please seek help, there are often shelters available to help you escape

Posted in Blog, Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Thriving After Sexual Abuse by Denise Bossarte

Sexual abuse is a hot topic; more and more people are coming forward with their stories to shed light on a complex Thriving After Sexual Abuse: Break Your Bondage to the Past and Live a Life You Love by [Denise Bossarte, Beverly Engel]issue. More often than not, the abuser is someone you know (in the case of Denise, it was her grandfather). This book shares some of Denise’s story about her sexual abuse, but more importantly, it shares ways to thrive afterward (perfect title for this book).

I love how the book focuses on the strategies that helped Denise overcome her abuse; each chapter focuses on a different part of the healing journey. She is able to articulate in great detail and emotion how and why each strategy is helpful. Even if you haven’t come forward about the abuse, this book is a helpful first step in the healing process. There is a list of resources at the end of the book, including other books, websites, and meditations.

This book can help many people struggling with past sexual abuse. It is one of the best self-help books that I have read. Get your copy here.

Posted in Blog, Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Conquering the Undertow by Suzanne Renee

It isn’t easy sharing your life with even one person, but sharing it with the world takes on a whole new meaning to the word courage. That is exactly what Suzanne does. She doesn’t sugarcoat the bad times, the dark thoughts, the overwhelm that was her life. It is a pure story of tragedy, darkness, and finally thriving. Conquering the Undertow: Learning to Breathe Again by [Suzanne Renee]

What I liked most was that Suzanne explained what was going through her mind. The reasoning why she continued working in a toxic environment, why she didn’t say more, why she continued on the way that she did. Most authors skim the surface of those moments because they aren’t ‘flashy’ or ‘exciting,’ but that is the whole point. Those are the moments that we each feel at some point in our lives and hopefully come out the other end stronger. We don’t want to dwell on those bad moments, but someone needs to speak up so that others know they aren’t alone. Thank you, Suzanne, for being that voice.

At the end of each chapter, she summarizes a ‘Transformational Tip’ that she learned throughout that portion of her life. These tips are great reminders. If you know someone struggling, even if you aren’t sure what they are struggling with, I suggest you gift them this book. You may not have the words, but at least they will know they aren’t alone and that you care.

Get your copy here.