So I have some experience in reading slumps just like any avid reader, they can be caused by the book you are currently reading or by the environment you are trying to read in, however the worst one I personally have suffered with is the anxious and unable to focus slump!
It sucks! I suffered a nervous breakdown in 2015. Wikipedia describes my condition, that lasted for approximately 3-4 weeks, as the below;
“A mental breakdown (also known as a nervous breakdown) is an acute, time-limited mental disorder that manifests primarily as severe stress-induced depression, anxiety, or dissociation in a previously functional individual, to the extent that they are no longer able to function on a day-to-day basis until the disorder is resolved. A nervous breakdown is defined by its temporary nature and often closely tied to psychological burnout, severe overwork, sleep deprivation, and similar stressors, which may combine to temporarily overwhelm an individual with otherwise sound mental functions.”
I still struggle with remnants and after effects of the above.
I don’t know much about my family’s history with mental illness, even though we all think our families are crazy, I know I always felt like the black sheep. A few things happened leading up to my breakdown, but I don’t remember them all. My journey to where I am now has been a long hard road, but I think this is the last leg.
As a child I was a loner, I preferred my own company and a book than a group of people. I now know I am an introvert who went through life pretending to be an extrovert until my recovery started. I have taken several different MBTI tests trying to figure out what I am, to then hopefully find the best treatment for my INTP/J (dependent on the day) ways.
Treatment for anxiety and depression is partially medication however the other half of recovery feels very selfish, it’s all about re-investing your time into yourself, weird words to type. What made my recovery especially difficult was not being able to read! Growing up, reading was my hide out. When things were tough or scary or unbalanced I could pick up a book and find my calm again. But after my breakdown I couldn’t focus, the voices in my head were always louder than the worlds I was trying to create with the words on the page. Re-reading sentences and forgetting where I was or characters names I couldn’t find my calm again. I started seeing a therapist once a week and returned to my job part time. I spent a lot of time in my head looking for my old self, eventually therapy taught me that my old self was no longer me and I had to deal with this new one. There are still days where I fear the dark clouds will never fade and I’ll forever fear the noise of traffic, children and my own mind playing tricks on me. Eventually, I was able to re-open a book and read and fall back into all the worlds that gave me comfort as a kid and finding new worlds to explore.
Everyone deals and heals and fights this invisible monster differently and my way may not be the best but it’s mine. My recovery has caused this blog to become reality after months of trying to work up the courage! (I may even show my face one day ;)) So it’s not all bad! 🙂
One thing I will always struggle with is human interaction! So, I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I get asked, a lot;
So, I have thought about this a lot and I went looking through the lists of books I have read the last few years, trying to remember the stories and what happens in each book or the character names or even the maps within these books.
And it struck me, I read because I love to, I read because it gives me a way to go un-noticed. I have still struggle with depression and anxiety and reading has been and continues to be an escape for me, especially when I am having a bad day!
However, when looking through my reading list of the past, I do struggle to remember certain facts and names and places, but the beauty of reading, I find, is how much I create in my mind and bring it into the world.
☆ ⌒ ★ ⌒ ☆ ⌒ ★ ⌒ ☆ ⌒ ★ ⌒ ☆
The smell of freshly cooked waffles reminds me of Nina (Six Of Crows, Crooked Kingdom), fresh rain on a hot day takes me to Eretz (Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy), old detached houses with porches and long driveways makes me want to knock on the door to meet Em & Sarah (Discovery Of Witches Trilogy) or even Jet and Franny (The Rules Of Magic & Practical Magic). When I am wandering around a new beautiful city and see a random door, you know the ones I mean, I am transported to Neverwhere or my thoughts spring to Narnia. Walking along the canal path to work and you hear a splash and see the ripple of water I dream of mermaids and sirens!
☆ ⌒ ★ ⌒ ☆ ⌒ ★ ⌒ ☆ ⌒ ★ ⌒ ☆
My world is magical, my mind constantly buzzing and excitable. Seeing the glimpses of magic and intrigue and adventure wherever I am. I see dragons in the clouds and faces in the flowers, mermaids in the lakes and fairies in the trees, birdsong is the soundtrack to all fairytales.
You have the power to make your life whatever you wish it to be, mine is magical, introverted and happiest when reading. What’s yours?
Thanks again for reading bookworms 8) I hope this post didn’t bring anyone down, but I have wanted to talk about the issues that can come with depression and anxiety. Please reach out to anyone, including myself if you need someone to speak to. If not and you are looking for anonymity, contact the below charities 8)
Papyrus HOPElineUK Tel: 0800 068 41 41
The Samaritans Tel: 116 123 (Free)
Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741. When you text this helpline, you’ll be connected to trained counselors for individualized support
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).If you are having suicidal thoughts, you can reach out any time for free and confidential support.
Mental Health America: This website offers anxiety screening tests that you can take, as well as a way for you to contact the program and speak to someone.