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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Fellow fours and other enneatypes who happen to read this,

I'd like to ask for further recommendations on Enneatype 4-esque literature. In particular: Non-ficiton, auto-biographical narratives, literature that triggered a resonance, catharsis or reaction of some sort for you. In short, something you could relate to in a strong way or which triggered an epiphany of some sort, this sudden moment of insight that brings clarity and peace of mind.

I know this might sound strange and yeah, it is personal and not the same for everybody, however I think it could facilitate personal growth.

I just read Thomas Zuniga's Struggle Central. He identifies as enneagram 4 and describes his life-long struggle and feeling of alienation/anxiety. It was fourish and vivid in the struggle/pain/alienation aspect, however I miss the ultimate a-ha moment.

Are there some recommendations, some absolute must-reads? This would be a very nice addition to the psychological/rational enneagram collection I own. Thanks!
 

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I'm always looking for book recommendations! *throws blankets over my bookshelf, which has well over 30 books that I need to read before I can afford new ones*

I read this in middle school but I thoroughly enjoyed The Freedom Writers Diary. The situations in which these kids found themselves opened my adolescent eyes, and having been in similar situations, my empathy strings were a'tugging. If I can find a copy, I wouldn't hesitate to binge-read it again. However, since the book is actually a collection of short memoirs by kids in an English class, the styles and attitudes are diverse, and the 4-vibes are limited. Nonetheless, it's a great read.

A psychological memoir that I also liked--but I wouldn't recommend in some cases--is Wasted by Marya Hornbacher, the retelling and analysis of a decades-long battle with drug abuse, self-harm via emotionless sex, and eating disorders, the latter of the three being the focal point. It's raw with emotion and Marya's voice is very poetic and to the point. However, I would be very careful to not suggest this to unhealthy fours. It gives perfect details on how to develop an eating disorder, and having gone down that road before, it is very triggering. It's notorious in eating disorder forums, and it's often joked that it's become our holy text. Despite this, it's still an amazing read. Just make sure you're in a good head space before and after leafing through the pages. I know, that's easier said than done.

My last suggestion is also an eating disorder memoir, but this author knows the risk of sharing specific details and is very careful when sharing her own stories. How to Disappear Completely by Kelsey Osgood is fantastic, and since she's been through the ropes of devouring ED books in hopes of triggering herself into being skinny, her book's the equivalent of a transparent kitchen cabinet with child-safety locks. Out of all the memoirs and ED-related fiction I've read, hers is hands-down the only one that captures the experience and reflects on it without putting a melancholy/romantic spin on it. I swear if I have to read another sentence by some girl wallowing in self-pity for allowing herself to fall victim to such a disease, I'm going to pull out my hair.

Enjoy!
 

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Oh! I just remembered this one!

I'd be very careful with the following suggestion. I started reading it as prep for a journalism conference, but after reaching around the halfway point, I felt completely empty inside. Literally, after spending two hours reading this book, I finally knew what Sirius Black felt after the Dementor kissed him. I felt so empty and drained of all hope for humanity that I had to beg my friends and girlfriend to send funny pictures in hope of feeling some semblance of happiness again. Pandora's box opened and all the world's evil seeped right into me, hope remaining behind.

This is Syrian Dust, the journal of a freelance reporter working in Syria during 2013. My bookmark's placed at pg 94, but I don't know if I'm mentally sound enough to pick it up again. Don't get me wrong, the writing's well done, but my acursed four-core demands of me to experience intense empathy, and trust me, you don't want to feel what this freelancer feels. It's not a fatal melancholy; it's an empty limbo. Definitely insightful, though, and you'll definitely have a better understanding of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the recommendations, my reading list is extending again. Wasted reminds me a bit of Requiem for a Dream, there's both a novel and a movie with this title. People slowly descend into the madness of addiciton and loose their grasp on reality -drugs, diet pills, reality shows etc. erode their consumers as the story progresses. Deep, intense and very "real" themes despite the fact that the original is a work of fiction.

I'd be very careful with the following suggestion. I started reading it as prep for a journalism conference, but after reaching around the halfway point, I felt completely empty inside. Literally, after spending two hours reading this book, I finally knew what Sirius Black felt after the Dementor kissed him. I felt so empty and drained of all hope for humanity that I had to beg my friends and girlfriend to send funny pictures in hope of feeling some semblance of happiness again. Pandora's box opened and all the world's evil seeped right into me, hope remaining behind. This is Syrian Dust, the journal of a freelance reporter working in Syria during 2013. My bookmark's placed at pg 94, but I don't know if I'm mentally sound enough to pick it up again. Don't get me wrong, the writing's well done, but my acursed four-core demands of me to experience intense empathy, and trust me, you don't want to feel what this freelancer feels. It's not a fatal melancholy; it's an empty limbo. Definitely insightful, though, and you'll definitely have a better understanding of the world.
A dark read so far, she really does not hold back. War is a state of chaos, dissolution, trauma for those directly affected. I feel bad for reading it actually, we sit in comfy Europe and follow the events from a safe distance. People comment on it and curse about the social dynamics that the conflict has caused in Europe, however they seem to forget the reason why many fled in the first place.

War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges might be of interest to you, I once read it for uni coursework. Hedges used to be a war correspondent in the Jugoslavian war and has seen his fair share. The title is provocative, the book does not glorify war. He rationally deconstructs the mechanism behind pathos, nationalism and heroism, the 'narrative discourse' behind the us vs. them dynamic behind many conflicts. He often goes on to compare it to a rush people get addicted to, intense and violent emotion in the heat of battle. He also dives a bit into the myth plane (Joseph Campbell writes a lot on it), so it is not rational 24/7. All in all tough, gritty and intense read at times - caught my attention as 4w5.

They actually used a quote of this work in The Hurt Locker, a Kathryn Bigelow movie that picks up on this notion of "war as addiction". She does not glorify war in her movie, but rather shows the frailty and deprecating effects it has on its participants. Psychological erosion in a way.
 
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