Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reading the Signs

On Friday, I wrote about how certain recent events in my life have felt like pieces of a puzzle snapping into place. I can't quite see the picture that's forming yet, but there is an electric current underpinning each piece that makes me know they're related - even if they seem on the surface to be wholly and completely discrete. It's like the charge in the air before a thunderstorm; something is about to break (in a good way) - I can feel it.

Puzzle PieceThe Second Piece: I read four books in two and a half days. Sounds pretty unremarkable, doesn't it? I wonder if it would surprise you to know how completely depressed I have been over the past year? For many months now, it has taken all the power of my will (and a lot of God's grace) for me to do such basic tasks as cleaning and feeding myself. Compounding the issue was my desperate compulsion to keep from C (and the rest of the world) exactly how much of myself I had truly lost to the darkness inside me. I fought to look the part of the perfect Christian wife, but the moment I was free from prying eyes (including C's) I would curl up in a ball on the bed and daydream. Pretend to be somebody - anybody - else for as long as I could, until it was time to summon enough energy to resume my charade.

In the beginning, when we were still naive enough to believe that a few Clomid pills could take care of everything, I was sad but not desolate. Somewhere over the last year, I crossed a line; I embraced my grief and wallowed in it. The simplest things became chores of the heaviest weight. I stopped seeing friends, I stopped watching movies, I stopped taking walks. Nothing held joy for me any longer. I stopped reading.

From the earliest time I can remember, reading has been my best and first love. According to my mother, I started reading in earnest at age three - not reading picture books, but books that second or third graders would read. My parents and teachers, in keeping with some ancient authoritative tome on how to raise a nerd, eventually moved me up two grades. I started third grade at age six. Being so much younger than my so-called "peers" (in reality, I always felt far inferior to them) caused a lot of emotional trauma, and I jumped feet first into books, books, and more books. There was additional stress at home, and I retreated further into my literary haven.

So for me to stop reading - it was a death of sorts. I occasionally perused books on infertility, and I half-heartedly leafed through the oldest and most-cherished books of my personal library, but the old comfort was gone. Worst of all, I could not summon the desire to immerse myself in new reading material. On Thursday night, when I started reading Twilight, I had no expectations. But then I found that I identified deeply with Bella. Here was a character I could relate to - someone living in the tension between the now and the not yet.

And, for the first time in a year, I found myself completely oblivious to everything around me as I immersed myself in Bella's story. I devoured the first two novels, which had been lent to me, and set out Friday night to scour local bookstores for the next two installments. To put it so simply, for the first time in what felt like forever, I was excited about an everyday activity.

So, minor accomplishment though it may be, I read four books in two and a half days. And I loved every minute of it.

(As for the third piece - it's related to an appointment I have Monday afternoon. I'll post more on that later.)


Joy said...

Oh this post reminded me of a Casting Crowns song about wondering if there's anyone else hurting in the church or if you're the only one. I can't remember what it is called. Something like Masquerade.

Anyway I'm glad to see you're devouring books again. I see them as dear, old friends. *HUGS*

Kim H. said...

This post strikes such a chord with me... I feel like I'm slipping down that slope quickly. I am trying to hold on and not let it happen, but it still seems like one wrong step and I'm right there where you've been.

Heidi said...

I am so happy that you found some happiness and a distraction in the Twilight books. I too read them so fast, I had to read them again because I missed things. I watch the movie over and over again too. I really think these kind of distractions help ease the constant pain of TTC. I am praying for you sweetie!!!

Jill said...

Twilight did that for me, too! How much did you "get" those few pages in New Moon with the Month names written on them?