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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