You know, I read a lot of psych books. And I read a lot of quality fiction, I have my ‘canon’ set that I deeply love, and they get reread every year or so. (The Earthsea set, Across the Wall series, Lord of the Rings, all my Patricia McKillip books, all Ray Bradbury’s novels…) There are huge advantages to being a really fast reader, and some to being fairly dissociative, like really enjoying your favourite book again every year. 🙂 I have honestly learned and gained as much from the fiction as the non fiction. Characters facing terrible situations and struggling to find a moral compass have given me strength. Those who face devastation and horror with compassion and gentleness have helped me to feel that someone out there would understand me, speak my language and care about me – in the dark years where there were so few friends. The stories I love most have a poetry to them, they are about values, what it is to be human. They bring me close to my own heart and beliefs again, help to sustain me. I’ve already written about my favourite author Ray Bradbury and how his works helped me.
Books have even been a place I drew strength from in learning to understand and accept my diagnosis of DID. The following passage gave me courage when I was terrified to start system mapping and really learning about who else was sharing my mind.
“What use are the riddles and strictures of Caithnard, if not for this? You are Sol of Isig, caught up by fear between death and a door that has been closed for thousands of years. If you have no faith in yourself, then have faith in the things you call truth. You know what must be done. You may not have courage or trust or understanding or the will to do it, but you know what must be done. You can’t turn back. There is no answer behind you.”