In Blackest Night – Depression & Reading
As a kid/teenager, I loved to read. My main go-to was Stephen King. Perhaps that ties in with my mental disposition but that’s not up for discussion here. I would struggle to put a good book down – I’d generally negotiate with myself saying “ten more pages” or “until the end of this chapter” but I would be so engrossed I’d have ploughed through a load of chapters if not the whole book. I would even re-read my favourites. I read the Green Mile a few times – when the books came out, prior to the movie release, after the movie release (to compare) and at least once more (for my English course work).
I can’t recall exactly when, but my joy in reading ceased. I have often tried to read a book and end up not digesting it and having to re-read the last few pages etc. and end up getting fed up. I think it may have started when reading The Lord of The Rings – it took me six months to get through because it wasn’t a page-turner and I kept having to reacquaint myself with the characters and their forefathers etc. You’d think I’d hate Tolkien but I read the Hobbit many times. Although I did have a stab at Silmarillion and gave up after less than fifty pages.
My reading nowadays consists of comic books – I can plough through them with no issue; perhaps it’s because I don’t have to visualise what’s going on as it is right there on the page in all its digital glory. Perhaps it’s because I also associate the characters with the voice actors in their respective TV/movie realms. For example, I read any Batman dialogue as Kevin Conroy and the Joker as Mark Hamill.
Other than comics, I read various blogs and pages online when researching things or to read my friends’ experiences etc. Up until recently, a lot of my reading was the banal Facebook and other social media posts. I have since taken a step back and generally only look at social media when sharing something, reading messages or comments. I must admit, my mind feels less cluttered having cut out the valueless and unfulfilling routine of refreshing my news feed to see what’s new because “there’s nothing else to do”.
I want to get back into reading proper. I have bought numerous novels over the years as well as having been given them as gifts. Not to mention my digital collection from *ahem* not so legitimate sources *ahem* or free downloads on the Kindle store as part of the monthly Samsung book deals.
Now, this is going to sound stupid to ‘normal’ people. I’m loathe to call them that but, because our society dictates that everything must have a label and be categorised, I can’t think of any other term. I know ‘normal’ is a matter of perception – I went for years believing the way I was was normal until I came to realise how damaging it is. Anyhoo, I decided to purchase a bookmark…a novelty gift for myself to give me a reason to start reading – after all, what good is a bookmark if it isn’t marking a page?
So, I discovered these little beauts on eBay…
What ‘normal’ people don’t understand is that, to accomplish even the most basic of tasks, we need to find a way of coaxing ourselves. Where a ‘normal’ person would think “I want a drink of water”, I find myself seeing that as too much of a chore and will either go thirsty or pick up something else that is closer (i.e. a can of pop). Where I know I should drink water and could drink squash so as to have a drink with flavour, for some reason I find it less complicated to boil the kettle and make a cup of coffee. I can’t figure out this behaviour but I know it’s something I need to find a way of changing.
So, back on subject…having these cool little paperclip bookmarks are an attempt at getting back into reading. I may find a healthy distraction that affords me the ability to defragment my life and ways of thinking to work in a more optimal fashion. I may not. But it’s worth a shot and, if it works, it’s a fairly inexpensive mental bribery tool.