We were getting ready to go camping. I went through the motions of getting ready, basically following past patterns. I wrote out vague meal plans, set out clothes for every day, and made sure I had bug spray and sun screen. Then I found myself in the library feeling vaguely puzzled why I was there. It was part of my usual camping routine but it felt odd somehow. That was when I realized I hadn’t picked up a book in about four months.
For some people this might be fairly average. For me it closer to unbelievable. I have rarely gone more than a day without a book. If I didn’t have a new book, I was rereading an older one. The librarians at our previous library knew me by name. I’ve been known to need two bags to carry home my books. When I was younger I used to read while I walked because I couldn’t bear to wait 15 extra minutes to find out what happened next. I felt twitchy when I didn’t read.
Four whole months.
I quickly found several books to read and settled down during out camping trip to do just that, soaking those books up like parched soil in a gentle rainstorm. When we got home, I went right back to the library to get several more books. It was a short time after that when I realized another itch. I wanted to scrapbook.
Digital scrapbooking is my big hobby (verging on an obsession). It calms me down. Even when I have no pictures to work on, I’ll go through my digital stash, mentally (and sometimes physically) categorizing it all. I’ve been known to scrapbook a layout on the day of an event simply because I couldn’t wait to create. The last page I’d worked on was Hallowe’en 2014… and I hadn’t finished it. I’ve been scrapbooking for almost 20 years and had never gone longer than a week or two without making a layout that whole time.
My last obsession is writing. I keep notepads with me to jot down ideas… or at least I used to. I haven’t written anything but blog posts and Facebook messages since before Christmas, probably closer to October. Nothing. I’ve been writing since elementary school.
I’ve been focused on pulling myself out of depression. Making sure I make it through work each day without crying. Making sure we have food and clean clothes and that the chores are done enough to keep our home habitable. I’ve even managed to get outside for walks and, thankfully, kept up with taking photos. My last obsession. I don’t know who I’d be if I’d given up that too.
There have been two days this week where I’ve done almost nothing except read. I didn’t leave our apartment. I didn’t even get out of my pyjamas. But I finished a novel each day. I’d call them wasted days but I know they weren’t. I needed them almost as much as I need breathing.
Jeremy upgraded my netbook to Windows 10 on Friday and transferred my scrapbooking kits over from the desktop. Since then I’ve made two new pages and am working on the third. Each page got a little easier and my heart lightened a tiny bit.
Hopefully soon I’ll start writing again.
Meanwhile I’m dealing with anxiety the best I can; feeling like I’m facing a dragon with a cardboard sword. I cried myself into an asthma attack on Friday, which was all kinds of suckage. An asthma attack on top of an anxiety attack while having a stuffed nose. I’m reasonably sure I’ll have a nightmare about that experience at some point. It will probably involve drowning.
And I made another appointment with our doctor for almost a month from today.
I want the tapestry of my life back.