As I wrote last week, I’m struggling mightily with my symptoms right now, which means that I’m even more homebound than usual. This also means I’ve got to find ways to occupy those long resting hours. Hopefully, I can also mentally distract myself — a little — from the unrelenting pain and fatigue, or at least from the constant visual of my four walls. People who don’t deal with chronic illness sometimes think it sounds luxurious to be at home with “nothing to do”, but I promise, it isn’t. I’ve written about both the physical and mental tolls before, as have many others. Today, though, I want to write about one of the ways I occupy my hours at home.
You see, I’m a book lover. A big ol’ bookworm who circled the Scholastic Book Fair date on my calendar and crushed every Summer Library Challenge. One of those kids who used to keep a flashlight tucked in my room, so I could sneak in some reading time after my parents tucked me in. And that hasn’t changed.
Today, I read to keep my mind sharp (since I can’t work), to go on adventures (since I’m often home), to experience the world through the eyes of others, to distract my mind from my physical symptoms, and well, because I love it. It’s one of my favorite pastimes, and it turns out that it’s a fabulous way to pass time in patient waiting rooms. Reading is also my favorite way to relax before sleep. My wife lovingly tolerates the glow from my Kindle Paperwhite late into the night, especially when painsomnia is keeping me up. I’m into physical books, ebooks, and audiobooks. I source from libraries, bookstores, and online. I don’t discriminate, as long as I’m reading. Sometimes, a symptom — usually migraine, pain, or brain fog — is too intense, and I can’t concentrate enough to read anything. Those times are tough, but I have other remedies for those moments, which I’ll save for another day.
In that spirit, for any other readers out there, I’ll start posting some reviews of my favorites here. You can also follow me on Goodreads at @hawktilly. I’m committing to reviewing more of what I read in 2020, and you’ll see it cross-posted here and on Goodreads. So, if reading is your thing, or if you’d like to start reading more, you’ll get some recommendations here. What are some of your favorite “resting” activities?