For the Criminally Inane

For the Criminally Inane

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fiction is healing

I've had the winter blues.  Only in my case they seem to be the winter blacks.  Even though I'm living someplace was ample sunshine, I still think I get Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  A psychiatrist-friend of mine told me that was impossible, but I swear every February I sink into a nearly unrecoverable funk!  It feels like a black shroud of self-doubt, un-motivation, depression, lethargy, weight gain hangs over my head and I can't shake it.  But I have found something that helps.

Reading fiction.

Back in the ole college days, I took a class titled "Communication in Fiction."  (Aren't you jealous?  What a great class!  I mean I got college credit talking about books!)  It's more than escapism.  I know a lot of people who poo-poo the value of fiction as something we need.  I disagree.  Fiction is a life blood.  My professor theorized that we actually need to read fiction.  During the time we read, fiction specifically, we meet a problem and have a cathartic experience overcoming the problem. This week alone I survived a shipwreck and lived with a tiger on a boat for over 200 days and then saved a company from sabotage--all from the safe distance of a page.  What fiction does for me, is help put things in perspective, it helps me empathize, it cures me of "self-ness." I become more aware of others since I've lived in someone else's world for a while. 

Now there is a difference between a refreshing dip into fiction and being completely immersed.  I don't believe that I would be healthy if I read all day every day.  At some point, I have to write too! 

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