Today’s (or tonight’s as the case may be) is from The Vexing Point and asks;
When I was a child I absolutely ATE books. Couldn’t get enough of them. An avid reader herself, my mother was instrumental in my love of reading, buying me books for Christmas, visiting my school and reading to us there. I read and re-read so many books my parents had a beautiful cedar bookcase made for one of my birthdays which I still have. My various schools had programs to encourage children to read and Mum used to joke ‘But how do you get them to stop?’
Then something changed. I lost the capacity for reading. The books I loved were sitting in the bookcase gathering dust and I had no idea why. It took me quite a while to work it out and in hindsight I really should have known. I was diagnosed with depression and it had taken the pleasure away from me. I actually wasn’t too upset at the depression; I was more horrified that I could no longer read as I used to. I had lost something that was so precious to me, the feeling was almost a type of grief because that world was gone. I had loved Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Crime Novels, and even my university text books were given a place in my study. I was fast becoming a TV addict and I really didn’t like it.
At that point I hadn’t read any of my books for about 6 months, but what I didn’t know was that I wasn’t going to even touch a book for many years.
When I was a child, I used to write all the time. My mother still has a plastic folder with laminated large writing in it, my early attempts at a kiddy novel which has never seen the light of day and never will. When my father got his first computer I would commandeer it whenever his back was turned, which was difficult because a) he worked from home, and b) he had eyes in the back of his head.
I was 11 years old when I won a scholarship to my high school to the delight of my parents. I had done one of my stunning pieces of writing work that came so easily to me, almost as if someone else was writing through me. I was still 11 when I wrote a poem that was published in a literature magazine for adults, a heady moment indeed. Then I was diagnosed with depression, and I wasn’t to write anything for many years.
At this point I’m still depressed, still mired down in the world by the consequences of having poorly controlled type one diabetes for 28 years, but the other day something incredible happened. I woke up. I literally woke up from a sleep that I had been dreaming for a long time, and so I started to try and look after myself by doing many things that I had neglected. I started to blood test more often, and I actually cared about myself for the first time in years. I realised that life had started when I wasn’t looking, that I had believed in the lie I had created for myself, that my achievements and my life was behind me.
Only in the past two weeks have I started to write again, not just a post a week to keep myself happy but to really record the events of my life for myself primarily, but I don’t mind if anyone deigns to read them. I’ve found myself posting things a lot more than I thought I would, I’ve had inspiration from all different aspects of my life and I’m going to run with it. I’m also reading again, not my books just yet but I have time. It’s other people’s blogs that I read, their stories fill me with a rich satisfaction that I haven’t felt for years. I hope that I never lose that feeling again.
So, I can state with complete confidence, it’s both reading and writing for me, there are no in-betweens. That’s just the way I like it.