COVID19 check-in and fiction confession.
How are you holding yourself up?
What are you currently reading?
I have been having the worst time reading fiction. Anyone else?
Around the time when it was a real and present threat that MrexH might murder/suicide us(he didn’t obvs), reading fiction became unbearable for me. I continue to struggle with fiction on occasion. Children and Teen fiction do not seem to be a problem. Not all adult fiction is either. I am trying to figure out the triggers. In the meantime, I am finding it difficult to choose to read fiction at all because I dread the consequences.
When I hit that point in reading where some switch goes haywire in me, the story truly overwhelms and feels as if it is taking control of me. I have a difficult time putting the book aside. I read and re-read the entire book successive multiple times. This is possibly to desensitize whatever I have reacted to (a habit I have honed over the years for other overwhelms -I do not absolutely know this to be true). I suspect this because at some point, after a few days or weeks (ugh, those are the worst!), as I am re-reading the book for the bazillionth time, I will physically feel an intense wash of relief come over me. Not orgasmic or anything like that. It truly feels like a washed relief from the top of my head to my toes. I can feel the story normalize itself and leave me free. Until then, I will read the book at the cost of sleeping, eating, drinking. Regular chores and things surrounding me suffer from lack of attention (minimal required functioning – single parent also caretaking for elderly parent – non-functioning is not an option). I am irritable when distracted away from the book. However, reading the book leaves me with heavy feelings of self-loathing and despair. The book becomes a compulsion. It feels awful. It is awful. I deeply wish that I could make this stop.
Sometimes I can force myself to let the book go when I recognize the familiar pattern of falling into the overwhelming-ness rabbit hole. When I worked in the library world, I could take the book to work, drop it into the bookdrop and walk away. Neat, tidy, convenient and accountability because I was at work. At home, with downloadable books, this isn’t so easy to walk away from.
I wish I could identify that I have a problem with mysteries, historical fiction, realistic fiction, dystopian fiction, sci-fi, fantasy etc. Then I could just avoid that genre. Or if I could identify protagonist/antagonist or situational triggers, that might help as well. Unfortunately it does not seem to be that obvious, at least to me. I could probably use some fiction therapy. Or regular therapy. Oiy, my broken brainiac.
Anywho… I have a problem. Which is why I have tended towards non-fiction reading for the past 5-7 years. Currently appropriately enjoying Harari’s works, re-reading some Shakespeare with SonHerisme, mixed poetry, a Washington biography, and constellation myths. I really want to read Circe by Madeline Miller, but I am, as you may have guessed, concerned and a little gun-shy, so to speak.
I am just coming out of a book spiral. No title to share with you because I am not prepared for feedback. I am trying to gently embrace my me-ness and let it be.
Does anyone else have this experience with books, art, movies?
It has also been on my mind that this might be a good time for me to re-open the book I began writing in 2013, just before the imminent dangerous situation in my own life reared its ugly head.
I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime. How are you? The entire world is shifting as we all struggle with our center and balance to stay upright. I hope that you are safe and well.
Love, Ms Herisme xoxo