Coping: The Mess and Mystery

One Sunday morning, sipping from a mug of steaming tea, Alison was playing with two thoughts.

One came from reflecting on the extraordinary challenges we all face in life. None of us reach or traverse adulthood without encountering loss, illness, uncertainty or change. She saw in an instant that we are remarkable beings, and was filled with humble awe at the capacity of humans to cope.

Credit: A Armstrong (picture of book cover is coming …)

The second evolved as she thought about the ways we cope. There are a multitude of strategies we draw on: we talk to friends, seek comfort in nature, exercise, deny, seek meaning and perspective, and process our emotions.

Many of these, if done too much lead to negative consequences, but do all coping strategies lead to problems if used too much?

This book explores this, and other questions about the remarkable human capacity to cope.

Based on over forty interviews and years of research, Coping: The Mess and Mystery offers a warm and sensitive journey through a wide range of coping strategies. Amply illustrated with stories, anecdotes, reflections and infused with compassion, the book explores coping with some of life’s most difficult experiences, including bereavement, injury, addiction, crime, and illness. The book includes the types of daily challenges we can all face, as well as offer insights from the day when everything changed.