I know this sounds overly dramatic but it is true in a way. I was in a horrible marriage that I couldn’t leave (for reasons that I will go into when we know each other a little better). By the time I realized that my husband was not who he portrayed himself to be, I had 3 young children and was alone in all ways. He traveled, went on vacations, and basically did whatever he wanted in the guise of “work”. Truthfully his endless absence was much preferred to his presence. When he was home our house was plagued by a heavy, inescapable stress, constant anger, pouting and silent treatments.
Every night before I went to bed I would read for at least an hour and often much longer. Sleep was something that usually evaded me since I was overwhelmed with stress and worry. Reading calmed me. I let whatever book I was reading completely take me over and occupy my mind. I can still feel my whole being relaxing when I picked up a book and it was very difficult to put it down even if it was 2 am. My mom told me she worried that reading was an escape since I would go through about a book a week. She was absolutely right! Some people turn to drugs or alcohol in extreme stress. I turn to books.
When the divorce proceeding started and my husband had moved out, I barely read for almost year. One day it hit me that I missed reading and became angry that I had equated books with this man and his endless anger. I have been a voracious reader all my life and I was furious that I deprived myself of that pleasure. Needless to say I have rediscovered my love for reading. Actually rediscovered is not really the right word. I think reaffirmed might be a better word.
Has reading saved your life? It can be in a dramatic way or in many, small everyday moments. I would love to hear your stories about the healing properties of a book.