I think if I were observed a year ago for a week, it would be common to see my juggling two or more books with three or more in the wings. My tastes are simple, but specific: I like books with vampires (I prefer the non-sparkly ones), werewolves, demons, ghosts, angels or witches--sampling some historic time periods--with clever banter and light romance -- (imagine how thrilled I was to find Jim Butcher's Dreseden Files series and Deborah Harkness' Discover of Witches--all my guilty pleasures rolled into each series).
But suddenly, I cannot read. I have 2 novels, supine on my bedside table...a thin layer of dust dulls the vivid covers. Each time I see them I feel guilty--and confused. The last time I wrestled with depression (and it really does feel like that--a wrestling match. Sometimes you are on top and strong, other times the heavy weight holds you down and you can barely breathe) reading was my salvation. If the stack of paperbacks on my nightstand dwindled to fewer than three I would make a panicked run to the library for more. Books were my escape into another world, another time, another place.
Having the adult day treatment program at the hospital didn't allow me to hide. I was forced to examine parts of myself I didn't even know existed and recognize their impact on who I was and how I managed my self worth and relationships with others.
A book feels intimidating to me. I know I have been hiding behind structuring my day so that there is no time to read. This is perhaps my interlude...where I have a moment to take a deep breath and move to a comfortable rhythm. I think however, that I am stuck ----like a skipping record. Too afraid to move forward alone. To continue to the journey.
I had a great talk with a friend of mine today and she reminded me that being aware of what I do and how I do it is the beginning. Rewiring your brain is a monumental task and can be a huge challenge. And to top it all off....once you do get a handle on managing anxiety, anger, depression, self-compassion---you have to continue to practice it every, single, day. This feels daunting today. But I will try to get the schedule done I wrote about yesterday and budget in the time I need to show myself love and compassion. I am worth it. Not for my kids. Not so I can go back to work so we can buy cool things. But so I can have the tools I need to deal with whatever life throws at me, and so I can take back some control of how I act and react.