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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Books, books and more books... and how they saved my life...Literally.

     Anyone who's been here on my small little personal space on the 'net knows that I like, no LOVE, to read. In fact reading has been a constant in my life since I can remember. It's also helped me through 20 years of undiagnosed depression--from about the time I was 10 until after my third child was born... at almost 30. Long, long time. And while it was never out-and-out full-blown depression it's enough to say that when I was finally treated and the medication took effect, it was as though someone had flicked a light switch. I honestly  could not believe how, one morning, it was though the sun, for the first time that I could remember really shone. I could feel in myself that there was a weight lifted off and even now, over 20 years later, that moment is still almost as vivid now as it was then. 
     It's an astounding thing to realise that the life I had been living was only a shadow of a life. One of the first things I thought was that I couldn't believe it; that *this* was the reason that my sisters and brothers were able to do so much more. It was a truly life-changing experience.

     Okay, you're probably wondering just what all this has to do with my love of reading, right? Don't worry, I'm used to that...I have a facility for going off onto tangents and getting lost somewhere, but I promise that this is only background...probably more than you ever wanted to know, but still....  *grin*

     The title of this post may sound a little exaggerated but it isn't. It wasn't until a few years after my A-ha moment that I realised that the reason much of my life had been spent in books--and I do mean in books--was that it was the way in which I coped. It was what allowed me to actually live--however much in the shadows it was--my life. It was my anchor, a way in which I could build up my reserves so that I could get up in the morning.
  • I was an honours student all through school; it was another way that I managed to channel everything.
  • After I graduated I worked at Imperial Oil in their computer department for 6½ years; a transfer to Calgary in 1979 led to my eventually meeting my husband.
  • I met the man who, 28 years later, has been a major part of my life and with whom I built a family with our four amazing children.
     But what I find most amazing now, at the age of 51 going on 52 this summer, is that books have become a big part of my life in a totally new and unexpected way.
I started reviewing books back in 2007 at I joined the community and found a whole new world where there were people who, like me, loved books. I was astounded and in seventh heaven.

     In the time since my initial foray into the world surrounding books, I've become a reviewer for five (yes, 5!) different review sites, I worked for a time for an epublisher as a Social Networking Coordinator and I began proofreading for yet another. And just over a month ago I was hired to work as an Assistant Editor in Chief for the latter company.
Can you say dream come true? And at least five years sooner than I ever hoped!

     So because of books I've returned to the outgoing and afraid-of -nothing five year old I used to be. The one that I can't remember, but have heard many stories about over the years. So yes, I truly believe that books--in part--literally saved my life; certainly my sanity. 
And yeah, okay for those of you shaking your heads and thinking that sanity and Kathy just do not go together, I admit that normal is not something to which I lay claim...but for me this is a wonderful normal and I embrace it.

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