This Book Pulled Me Out of My Pandemic-Induced Anxiety

This Book Pulled Me Out of My Pandemic-Induced Anxiety

Lorraine Arguilles writes about the life-changing impact of I Decided to Live as Me, a book by Kim Soo Hyun.

I Decided to Live As Me.

It was only the title, but it already had me questioning plenty of things. “How do I do that?” “Where do I begin living as me?” “I am so lost. How do I get back on track?” “Adulting sucks! Why did I even think I could do this?”

It was in 2020 when our lives hit a long pause. We could not get out, for concerns that we could get infected with COVID-19. I was lost, scared, and angry because the pandemic stole everything from me.

One day, my friend shared with me this self-help book, which she also discovered because our favorite artist recommended the book.

I Decided to Live as Me is written and illustrated by Kim Soo Hyun (not the actors). Due to its popularity, it has sold over a million copies. 

When I started to read the book, every single word just slapped. I used to read novels and other fiction books, but never self-help books. I never considered the need to read them, but I was desperate because my anxiety worsened, and anxiety attacks happened more often than not—and you know, adulting happened as well.

As I went deeper into the book, little did I realize that it was slowly impacting my life. It changed the way I saw things, the way I thought about life, and the way I saw myself. It changed me. 

The exciting part about reading it is that you don’t read it all at once. Take what resonates. Whenever I get anxiety attacks, I would open the book and read a few pages, then I would feel better. It’s like a calming pill.

I admit that there were days when I did not want to open the book. I did not want to open it because I knew I would find the answers to all my questions, but I wasn’t ready to face them.

Sometimes, I use the book as my words of affirmation guide. If I wanted to start my day with a few words of wisdom, I would open a random page and read just that part.

Besides all the adulting lessons and life-changing talks, this book also gives an outlook on Korean culture, which I also enjoyed learning. As someone who’s interested in Korean culture, I’ve learned how different ours is from theirs.

Envy is devasting because it makes people think that what they have isn’t important. 

Kim Soo Hyun, I Decided to Live as Me

Out of all the quotes, this one is my favorite. It reminds us to appreciate what we have and not lose sight of what matters. This quote also tells us not to feel pressured by somebody’s life that they see online. We all live differently and pace differently in life. Let us all live better and love ourselves more.