I would typically be described as a “book person.” People instinctively associate me with reading and my general love of all things bookish. Some years I read hundreds books. Some years I read slightly fewer. This year… well this year has been rough. For the past six-ish months I’ve been at the lowest point with my mental health struggles — depression and anxiety disorder — since I was in my first attempt at a collegiate existence. When all your energy is being diverted to coping with panic attacks and random sobbing (sounds like loads of fun, ammirite?) you kind of lose your ability to be creative or to absorb new information. I haven’t picked up a book since September and I haven’t read more than a few chapters in one since June. That’s right, June. To be totally fair: I haven’t really been able to watch many of my favorite TV shows or movies either. Join me as I walk you through these past months of bookless-ness via the tried-and-true humor of gifs:
Books? What books? I’ve got interesting things to do over here. No need to read right now. Boxes to unpack and a new city to scope out. BRB books.
Me: I can’t have the cupcake until I read three chapters.
Depression-riddled brain: But you showered this morning, surely that deserves a cupcake.
Anxiety-laden body: Cupcakes yummy. Reading hard. Lay still, eat cupcake.
Me: You’re so wise malfunctioning self! I will binge watch more cartoons I’m only vaguely interested in while I play yet another level of Candy Crush Saga!
Not avoiding anything at all. Nope. I’m a fully functioning adult. I’m not missing deadlines. I’m not not reading. I’m have not stuck my proverbial head in the proverbial sand!
Comics! Comics exist and are colorful enough to keep my attention for a bit! Comics are a balm to my soul.
Oh good. Nightmares about books chasing me and bookish colleagues shouting shame at me. I’m officially losing it.
Book mail! I love book mail! This book is perfect and magical and I get to read it before the general public! No one bother me!
Go back to ignoring the hundreds of books I own. Pretend libraries don’t exist. What’s reading, even? I don’t understand.
Panic starts to ensue as I try and fake my way through conversations about books. “Yeah, I totally read that new one by Mr. Famous Author. I know exactly what you’re talking about! Stop looking at me all suspicious like.”
At this point, I’m taking solace in the fact that my cats still seem to find a use for my bookshelves.
I reorganized my shelves about 3 months in and petted some of my old favorites. Even this wasn’t enough to motivate me.
Soaked and defeated Kuzko has become the embodiment of my soul. I just want to feel inspired by a single title on my shelves. Or in the library. Or in a store. I want to want to read and I’m just dead inside.
As the depression clouds begin to tentatively part, I begin to realize that no one has any expectations of my reading habits except for me. I’m the only one who thinks I’m a horrible person for not reading. I’m an adult, I get to set my own rules.
A couple of false starts happen. I pull books off the shelves or download an audiobook, but nothing has peaked my interest enough to break through this mental block.
I’m trying. I give myself a gold star for trying.
Recently, my books have started calling to me again. A tentative courtship has begun.
Those books are starting to look awful tempting.
Do I want to read again? I DO!
Later! I’m off to read!
Here’s to an upcoming year of delightful reading! I’ve missed my books!