Sometimes my Depression gets the best of me even though I’m on medication which is meant to stabilise me. Medication is all good when it works but I find that sometimes my mood drops for no reason and it’s up to me to fight through it with willpower. My Doctor always told me to try and distract myself when I was feeling particularly low, and I tried a lot of ways but only one thing works for me and it’s reading.
I’ve been a bookworm since my first book at 5 years old, I’ve always had bookshelves full of books and I don’t go anywhere without a book, whether a paperback or kindle. Books take me away from my life and give me adventure and excitement, they allow me to live so many lives and learn so many things. I have an Alice in Wonderland tattoo dedicated to the book because it’s one of my favourites, I’ve always loved the idea of finding another world or reality and getting lost in it, I could just never understand why the characters wanted to go home again at the end. I also have a Jane Eyre quote down my spine which reads “I am no bird and no net will ensnare me” which is one of my favourite book quotes. Reading for me is about being free and letting go of everyday stresses for a while.
I soon realised that when my mood dropped, if I picked up a book and read it through, by the end I felt a little better and a little more hopeful. The thing with me and reading though, is that I have to read a book in one go, there is no putting it down and picking it up the next day. I start and finish a book in a matter of hours because I live the story and I don’t want to pause halfway, I want to live the whole thing all at once. So I would read late into the night when my insomnia was bad and it actually helped me sleep better because I dreamt of the things I read and it was a refreshing experience for me, because I’d usually dream of disturbing things and have nightmares.
The Doctor was glad that I had found something that distracted me when I needed it but she was also a bit worried because my imagination is overactive and early on in my depression and at some points still, I can become confused between reality and imagination. She advised me to carry on reading but to not get lost in books and try to forget my problems because it was only a short term release. I have a habit of avoiding my problems and bottling things up until I explode and then my mood becomes unstable, with books she was afraid I was just avoiding my feelings.
I think she was right to some extent, I do avoid real problems with books. If I’m stressed or something bad has happened that day, I’ll pick up a book and ignore the world for a while, I’ll forget to eat and drink but I’m happy and free for a few moments. This is why books are my medication, maybe it is bad for me to get lost in imaginary worlds and ignore the real one but it makes me happy for a while and I’ll take that. Books bring me hope and joy, they let me relax and unwind and become invested in something. I would never give up books, reading is my life and it’s what gets me through my hardest times.
To end, enjoy some quotes from those who also believe imagination is one of the most important parts of life:
Here in your mind you have complete privacy. Here there’s no difference between what is and what could be. CHUCK PALAHNIUK, Choke
We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better. J. K. ROWLING, speech to Harvard Alumni Association, 2008
The man who has no imagination has no wings. MUHAMMAD ALI, Newsweek, 1975
Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere. Albert Einstein
Imagination is the eye of the soul. Joseph Joubert