INSECURE

Dear Ella and Suse,

I'm a terribly insecure person. For as long as I can remember I have been doubting everything about myself, especially looks wise. This year I have lost 80 lbs and started a new relationship a month ago, which has improved the self-image greatly. He is a wonderful person, and I'm having lots of fun with him, but recently I've been panicking that he might be getting tired of me. (He's not a very loveydovey person, which I respect.) I don't want to bother him with my insecurities, since it's my problem (and I know it's just me), but still it's something that bothers me enormously. I feel like I'm in a down phase about myself lately, as for seeing myself as something valuable, looks and personality wise, and I want to get out of it again as well, without bothering other people.

Do you have a novel suggestion for me?

Kindest regards,
Insecure
Dear Insecure,
You are clearly suffering from low self-esteem, which can be a deeply destructive emotion. For this ailment we reccommend the excellent book "The Shipping News" by  Annie Proulx. This describes the plight of Quoyle, who has many reasons to hate his body-image and to feel deep insecurity. Throughout his childhood he has been told that he is a failure, he is beaten up by his big brother, and he looks quite strange as well as being enormously fat. Eventually he decides to start a new life in Newfoundland, and things take a decided upturn. Spend time in Quoyle's company, and you will find that there are many reasons to move on from the reasons you have doubted yourself. Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca is also an excellent novel to immerse yourself in as a cure for insecurity. As well as being a superbly crafted novel that will seep into your consciousness, you will recognise Mrs de Winter's insecurities and realise that you must cease your self-sabotage in order to embrace your current situation, and make the most of it. However, maybe you need to encourage his own lovey-dovey side, which perhaps you would enjoy? Give him a copy of The Darling Buds of May to read, and bring out the affectionate side of him!
Yours,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Darling Buds of May by H E Bates

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A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE