People employ various means of dealing with sadness, depression, despair, and grief. Some people shop. Others drink — I don’t mean water. Still others use drugs to dampen their feelings, or chocolate, or cappuccino.
Me? I read.
I’m struggling to see the sunny side of life these days. Oh, not my blessings — those I feel keenly. But I strain to detect any silver lining to a massive cloud hanging over me. Last Sunday, I realized that I had scrolled through Facebook for two hours straight and couldn’t remember a single status of any of my family or friends. My eyes did not see; my mind did not absorb; my heart did not react. I just scrolled.
I logged into Kindle Unlimited, and flipped through the Recommended for You section. Be still my pulse! A Michael Z. Lewin series of which I had never heard! Eight volumes! Albert Samson, private eye!
I finished number eight a half an hour ago. Yes, that’s how I know that I’ve been seriously blue this week. I read all eight in four days. I carried my tablet every where. Between — or instead of — job-hunting, manuscript-editing, community-garden-planning, grocery-shopping, and laundry-washing, I followed the adventures of Albert Samson from crime scene to conclusion.
I have to hoist myself by the straps of my Dansko Vegans. Trust me: reading helps. When I get to the end of a series which I’ve devoured in a string of gloomy days, I find myself able to see that a light beckons me from the end of whatever dark tunnel I face. It’s almost as good as expensive candy but not fattening and my skin stays clear.
I still don’t have a job, but at least I don’t have a hangover. That’s something. I could be using a lot more dangerous and destructive distractions than passably good detective fiction. That ought to count for something, right? Whatever works — so long as it’s no more self-defeating than reading instead of writing. Tomorrow’s another day. And I did get a load of laundry done this morning. I’m giving myself partial credit for that.
It’s the eleventh day of the fifty-fifth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.