My mum introduced me to books at a very young age and I quickly fell in love with the pastime. I was quite an independent child in the way that, when I was old enough to hold a book, I wanted to read it by myself. The same way I had wanted to hold my own fork and feed myself when I was still in a high chair.
When I was about nine years old, I became quite ill. I missed about six weeks of school. The doctors weren't sure what was up with me - I was never diagnosed with anything. I was constantly feeling unwell and had no energy. For someone who was quite outgoing and always on the look out for adventure, it wasn't fun. During the time I was ill, I started suffering from anxiety. So my outgoing nature became timid, and I was scared of a lot of things. When my mum and dad tried to send me to school, I'd only be sent home again - half because of how ill I felt and half because I had an anxiety episode over it. I developed a fear of being sick and was too scared to go to school. I very much lived at both my grans' houses during this period.
I started reading a lot during this time. I wanted to lose myself completely in different worlds and not think about my current situation and anxiety. I was more or less too scared to even leave the house (even being without my mum or going to either of my grans' houses at the beginning was too hard) and I replaced real life adventures with fictional ones. It soon dawned on me how timid and scared I was in comparison to the characters I read about. They were all so fearless. It saddened me when I compared myself to them. I wanted nothing more than to be like them but it just felt impossible to me then. Looking back now, I will always be thankful to books for helping me to escape my situation at that time.
I truly believe that reading has made me who I am today. It was very hard transitioning from primary school to secondary school with my anxiety (let's just say I missed a lot of secondary school in the first two years) but I feel like books and characters empowered me and encouraged me to discover my own bravery. Now I look back and see how far I've come and it makes me smile. Everything seemed impossible back then but, with the help of inked pages and strong characters, everything seems possible to me now. These days, when I'm faced with a situation, I don't shy away like I once did. I ask myself, what would Tris do?
Sure my anxiety is still with me and I'm not as Dauntless as I'd like to be at times but I know now, with the help of books, I'm strong enough to overcome it.
On another note, I also wouldn't have created this blog if I didn't read. I mean, it is a book blog after all. And book blogging has affected my life in its own ways too.
I'll forever be thankful for books and reading.
Huge thank you to Cambrie from ...and so the book begins for tagging me to share my own story about how reading has impacted my life. I'd now like to tag Holly, Cat and Vivian to share theirs. :)
PS: I hope you have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow, everyone!