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Reading used to be fun. It used to mean getting lost in skillfully written words, lost in other people’s imaginations, lost in worlds; but not too lost that I couldn’t find my way back home. I used to read for hours on end, enjoying the plots that seemed to unravel themselves. Reading used to be fun.

Reading now is a simple pastime, an escape, a longing for a better life where things work out as they should. I find that now when I pick up a book, it’s because I don’t want to face all the problems in my own life. I pick up a book not for pleasure, but for diversion.

When I read, I forget that I live in a broken household. I forget that we have no money. I forget the stench of alcohol that reeks in the recycling bin, in the refrigerator, and in the mouths of drunken adults. I forget the judgments of people who can’t possibly understand the pain my story causes and why it left me to be who I am. I forget the feeling of depression trying to creep its way into my brain; trying to poison me. I forget the numerous backs I’ve seen that have walked away leaving me to tape the pieces to my already scarred heart back together, build the walls stronger, and cry poisonous tears. I forget.

Lately, reading seems to be a drug. While taking in someone else’s story through words that ends happily, I can forget and escape into these words. But then my stomach starts to feel nauseous and my head and eyes start to hurt from reading too much, and I have to put the story down. That’s when my mind insists on comparing my life to those in the book. It hits me only then- how screwed up my life actually is. It all rushes back- all the stabbing memories and the depressing reality of the present; the fact that I can’t actually escape any of it forever.

How do I deal with this? I don’t. I just read again. When I finish a book, I find myself once again okay. But as the weeks pass, days, even hours- I end up feeling that longing for escape. So I pick up another story and read, continuing my addiction.

Reading is my drug.

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bookmouse said...
Aug. 2, 2013 at 4:20 pm
Good analogy between reading an alcohol as an escape. Overall this was well written. I hope that your situation improves soon.
Jewels23 replied...
Jan. 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm
thank you!
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