Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Reading is my crutch

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I have depression. Depression sucks like almost nothing else. It is well known for its suckitude.

image courtesy of nipitphand at freedigitalphotos.net
Today, I have a doctor's appointment. Now, I've always had some major vulnerability/phobia issues with anything medical - this extends to simply sitting in the doctor's waiting room. Add in the fact that this appointment is essentially to discuss what's going on inside my head and you can see that I'm understandably a little nervy. I also couldn't get an appointment with my regular GP because, let's face it, doctor's appointments are essentially gold dust these days. So, I have one of the other doctor's at the practice this afternoon - one who I have had before and I don't have a particularly high opinion of. Generally speaking, she's never been useful at any point or during any appointment as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure she tries, but, like most doctors, she has a barrier of arrogance that prevents her from actually listening to her patients. With my regular doctor, over several appointments I've managed to beat the wall of arrogance down to leave myself a cat-flap sized hole to get through to her. Now I have to try again with a different doctor.

So, I'm going to go. I have considered pretending I went and telling my family that I did, but decided against it (tempting as it is.) In the end, the person who'll get hurt by that is me, and I've had plenty enough of hurt to last me for a while thank you very much. But it doesn't help that I know I'll have to wait at least half an hour past my appointment time - maybe as much as an hour, with the off-chance of more - just to see the doctor. Because by the afternoon they are behind and running late. Hell, by the third appointment of the morning they are behind and running late, and it just gets worse from there. So I have a plan. I'm going to take my book.

What's so different about that? I hear you ask. Nothing - and that's the point. I'll look perfectly normal, just passing time away before a regular, routine appointment. But inside it'll be different, because I'll have the book. I can sink into it - wash away my fears and hurt, if only for a while - and find myself totally immersed in the world of the book. I can steal the strength of the characters, feel myself wandering through the streets of their world, watch them and feel with them through the good and the bad - but I won't be thinking about the appointment. I won't be sinking into the darkness of my illness, dropped away into the spirals of my own thoughts. I won't be letting the anxiety - I get a touch of it with the depression - wind me up like a clockwork toy until my heart is beating so fast I can't speak. It'll keep me calm. It'll keep my mind off things until the time of my appointment.

Reading is my crutch. It's got me through plenty, and it'll get me through this. I'm a reading addict, and I never want to stop.

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