Books, how I love thee

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?

The ever lovely Kimbo is hosting The Lounge this week.  Have no idea what I am talking about?  Check out the details for the awesome link up that is The Lounge here.


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23 thoughts on “Books, how I love thee

  1. Me

    A lady after my own heart !!! I LOVE reading – I try to read every night before I go to bed – some days I manage to and other days I don’t. On the weekend I love to lie on our verandah on the swing chair and read for hours. Sometimes the wind picks up and A comes and puts a blanket over me because he knows I won’t get up unless I’ve got to the end of the book and need to get another one !!!
    When I slept really badly I used to read for hours every night – now I am sleeping a little better, I don’t read for quite so long anymore.
    I’m so glad that you are able to read like you want to again – there is nothing more fulfilling than getting caught up in a good book (imho anyway !!!)
    Have the best day reading !

  2. Alison

    Reading has been my delight since I was maybe 4. I still remember my first ever book, The Fox and the Hare. I’d still have it too if my mother hadn’t chucked it out. Unsentimental that woman was 🙂 Thank goodness you got your mojo back! What a huge loss 🙁 When people tell me they don’t read I always think it sounds like “I have never seen a rainbow” or “I have never tasted chocolate”. Only a thousand times worse. There have been times when my only friend was a good book, and I never feel alone with something to read. I could have told you were a reader anyway, it shines through in the way you write 🙂

  3. Lara @ This Charming Mum

    I always thought I couldn’t imagine myself without a book in my hand, but then the early motherhood fog took over and I stopped being able to focus for awhile there. I’m so glad I’m back to enjoying a good read now, albeit still a bit less often than in my pre-kids world. How scary it must have been for you when the drugs took away that precious pastime. Glad you got it back too 🙂

  4. Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions

    I am so happy you got your words back! There is nothing worse than wanting desperately to read but not being able to. And I have to agree with Alison above about the whole people not reading being akin to having never seen a rainbow or something. My husband is not much of a reader and he freely admits that he is jealous of my love for reading and that I can always entertain myself no matter where I am or what situation I am in.

  5. Robo

    I can really relate to this post, Tegan. I too lost my reading mojo, although for different reasons, along the way but it’s back now. At least for the mean time. Glad your lust for books is back. X

  6. The Flying Drunken Monkey

    Oh I couldn’t imagine not being able to read! I read every night before bed and will quite often read a book in one night. My husband forbade me from buying any new books (can you believe it?!) so I had to join the local library.
    Since I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and started seeing a psych I was worried she was going to say I’d have to stop reading at night. But she says it’s good, as it’s something I enjoy and relaxes me, as long as I don’t go silly and read too late. Lack of sleep is definitely a problem for me!
    Glad you got your mojo back 🙂

  7. Emily

    Oh, how I love books! I really think it’s a blessing to enjoy reading and be able to lose yourself in a book. You’re never far from entertainment, comfort, or just something to do! Never bored with a book around!

    Great post. I’m glad you’re reading. I’ve experienced lulls but only because of exhaustion and being unable to keep my eyes open!

  8. Jo

    I loved to read growing up – and then during my marriage it kind of slipped away – too busy, too stressed etc.

    Now I’m separated though, I finally read again. And I love it. My brain is lighting up again. 🙂

  9. Bec | Mumma Tells

    I too love reading. LOVE it. But motherhood and fogginess rings true here, even minus the depression. I’m so happy that you’ve found a love and enjoyment and time again. I hope books return to my hands again veer soon.

  10. Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    I can not imagine how awful that would be to not be able to read especially considering you were such an avid reader. I’m so pleased you have your words back and are making up for lost time. I missed the details of this link up. I will have to go check it out because I’m a huge book lover too.

  11. Cassandra

    Oh! I felt this in my soul! I love to read. I was reading yr5 level books by the second term or yr1 because I just couldn’t get enough of reading!
    My other big love, the thing that keeps me going is singing. One Christmas season, I lost my voice for almost three weeks. This is the singiest time of the year and not even a squeak could I make. It was horrible and I cried every day, thoughts of never being able to sing again going through my head!
    Now, I try to sing and read every day. If ever I can’t do both, I remind myself I have one or the other. 🙂 x

  12. Kim

    I’m so glad you got your books back – it must have been a really lonely time for you, without a parallel book world to escape into. I grew up like you, forever with a book, no matter what else was happening in my life. But, like you, the early motherhood fog ate my brain and there was a good patch of time where there was no reading. ANd then I only managed Twilight, in the wee hours of the morning during feeds. I knew my reading mojo was coming back again when I started to absolutely HATE the second book in the series! Beautiful post Teegs.

  13. Becc

    I spend an enormous amount of time reading blogs, but seem to have lost the art of finishing a book. Maybe I haven’t picked very good ones of late, or it is the need to go to bed so early (sickness, kid, left over issue from depression days) that I can only get through a chapter at a time. I would love to get back to those days where I would finish a novel in a day.

  14. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile

    I used to absolutely love reading books but I have really not been great at keeping up with it over the last few years. I find that by the time I get into bed, all I can manage is a few pages in a magazine and then I’m done! I would love to get back into it though 🙂

  15. Mystery Case

    I need to find more time for reading real books. I’m yet to embrace the kindle. It’s just too hard on my eyes and I already have enough screen time with the phone and laptop etc.

    In other news I’ve started writing again. Perhaps a chapter a month challenge might be in order?

  16. Psych Babbler

    I had a period in my life when I couldn’t bring myself to read but for reasons completely unlike yours. Two horrible years though. In fact, one of my biggest fears is losing my sense of sight or having impaired cognitive abilities and not be able to read!
    So glad you got your reading back…it’s amazing to be able to get lost in the world of books! Oh…and through primary school (and some of high school), I too had my nose buried in a book on the school bus most days. Got me the nickname of ‘Bookworm’ as well. 😀

  17. Emma Fahy Davis

    I’m a prolific reader too, and I know I’d miss it if I lost it. I can relate to your struggle between the meds which purport to make you ‘well’ and the fear of what they simultaneously take away. I’ve just been prescribed a new medication this week and I’ve not yet started it as anything new terrifies me.

  18. Vanessa

    I don’t have a genre, so I find it hard to find books I like. I’ve tried to classify it as ‘interesting non fiction’ but I can’t describe what I interesting. It varies. But it’s also how well the book is written.

  19. Vanessa @

    I have always been a big reader until my mental health went down the tubes. When I first had my breakdown in 2007 I was so anxious that the words on the page moved around. It was like trying to read drunk – probably a lot like you are talking about. I don’t read as many novels as I used to. My concentration levels aren’t as good. My latest thing though is listening to audio books in the car. Or I sit in bed and listen while playing Candy Crush at the same time. Awesome!


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