…and right around this time in the evening, I took an overdose of prescription painkillers whilst in a state of headache-agony-induced madness. And then there followed consequences, including but not limited to wetting my bed, cutting my hand, and having to convince the ER and my psychiatrist that it hadn’t been a suicide attempt.
My life is loads better now, and not just because the Headache is gone. I think I’ve experienced great emotional growth and maturation over the past year. Certainly my life is not exactly smooth-sailing at the moment, but I’ve learned a lot of coping skills and social skills and other stuff.
And today I completed my reading challenge for 2012: a mere 200 books read. (Though of course the year ain’t over yet.) Assuming that for the next six weeks I keep reading at more or less the same pace I have all this year, this will be the smallest number of books read in a year since I started keeping track in 2007. However, I think that’s actually a sign of progress: namely, I’ve opened up to new ways to amuse myself and occupy my hands and my head.
During the Great Headache Crisis, I read at a frantic pace. Second to conversation with a live human being, a good book was the best tool I had for coping with the pain. I read 445 books in 2010 (the GHC began in October) and burned through another 374 in 2011. In January through February of this year (that is, pre-IMATCH), I read 49 books. When I didn’t have a book — and it had to be a good, interesting book, preferably one I hadn’t read before — my mood and my attitude plummeted. I was leaping frantically from book to book to book as if they were exposed boulders in a turbulent rapids I was trying to cross.
I don’t do it anymore. Of course I still read a lot, and love it, but I no longer rate “books” on the same need level as “oxygen.” AND I actually gave myself permission to take a long vacation from Charley. Shocking.
Who am I and what have I done with Meaghan?