Distraction or Imagination, Imagination or Distraction


ive spent more time today pondering about the act of reading. This morning I described reading as a child/ teenager as my ‘salvation’. I’ve been thinking what that looked like for me. Was my salvation finding solace in imagined places, escape through fantasy or was it on a more base level merely a distraction? 

I’m coming to the conclusion that it offered me and still does, a distraction. As observed this morning, reading takes all my attention. Maybe as a young person reading enabled me to temporarily focus on something different to reality. 

I read fairly quickly. And unfortunately I have usually forgotten what I’ve read relatively quickly. One of my huge frustrations in life and therapy is my difficulty in using imagery and ‘pictureing’ myself. Sometimes the mindfulness exercises require me to ‘imagine’ myself by a lake- I find it absolutely impossible. It really makes me angry, that I can’t do it. My psychiatrist says it is due to my struggles with depersonalisation and de-realisation. Whatever the reason, I can see this in my reading behaviour. 

I would devour books but could never enter them. I remember loving the stories of life at Mallory Towers and The Famous Five but I could never allow myself to be taken into another world. I couldn’t imagine. I couldn’t truly empathise because I couldn’t own my own reality. 

Some books have had lasting impressions on me- to kill a mocking bird the most notable. It is one of the few books where I can still remember reeling at the injustice in one of the court room scenes. 

I love reading. But I’m now not entirely sure why! I don’t mean to be heavy about it, whatever the reason I like the act of reading very much. I think I’ve just been caught by the possibility today of it not just being a way to use my time but it could also be a way of me entering another’s world as I try and make sense of mine.

Thanks for listening. 


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