I love to read. I love losing myself in a story, becoming one with the characters and fighting their fights. I devoured books as soon as I could read to myself. I think I managed to read most of the books at my school library. I could often be found curled up with a book in bed.
I spent my lunch hours in high school at the library. My best friend and I would read, we wouldn’t speak, just sit silently beside each other. The only sound was the turning of the crisp pages. I wore headphones on the bus home, my head in a book, shutting out the world. Reading books was as natural to me as breathing.
Around the age of 18 I was put on anti-psychotics and suddenly I couldn’t read anymore. I understood the words, but they swam in from on my eyes. I so badly wanted to lose myself in the pages of a book but I would find myself having to read a page over and over again. I still couldn’t understand what the story was about. The words weren’t penetrating my brain.
It made me sad, I had lost one of the few positive coping skills that I had. I mourned the loss of the written word. I read fluff magazines in the hopes that it would spur my brain on, I even struggled with those. My brain was a heavy fog. The pills that were supposed to help, had taken away my love.
I’m no longer on those medications, for a range of reasons, but I am glad that the loss of words wasn’t permanent. I don’t know how I could have coped, trapped in that world of limbo forever more. Seeing the words, never being able to soak them in again. Having the words within arms reach but not be able to enjoy them.
Motherhood, coupled with depression has meant that the last couple of years have been foggy. The difference this time was that I could feel the words jumping at me. I gained the ability to read and to pour my heart onto the page again. The feelings had returned to my words, they were more than a chronological record of my life. The words wrapped me in their arms, transporting me away from the depression, away from the desperation.
The last couple of months I have devoured book after book. I have been lost in their pages, enjoying them for the story that they weave. I lay awake for hours, telling myself just one more chapter. I find myself stealing moments to read a few pages. Reading has come crashing back into my life and I have welcomed it with open arms.
Are you a reader? Have you experienced lulls in your love of reading?