One of the old behaviors I had when I was really sick at 19-years-old was to create my own special “spot.” Or a place of hibernation where I would camp out and shut out the rest of the world. Due to my compulsive behaviors, I quickly became glued and ritualistic — safe. No one touched the blankets piled up or the pillows walling me into myself. I was untouchable, in a cave no light could find me.
I’d surround myself with books; piles and piles of them. I’d lose myself, my identity and morph into the very characters I read about. I became them, and they became me, our lives intertwined. We were each other. I had a lamp, in the corner of the floor and I lost myself in other stories that were pieces of my own.
That was when I was really sick, to where my parents were helpless and so was I. The strange thing is, I have tendencies to repeat this behavior when I am deeply struggling emotionally. When I lived in my old apartment in a run down city, I pulled the mattress off the bed, into the living room that morphed into the kitchen. It was a tiny apartment so every room was connected with a door shutting off my bedroom and a door closing out the bathroom. Covered in blankets I slept away from my bedroom, creating my own isolated home within my home.
Now, in my newer home, the home that I’ve built since coming home from treatment last summer (and yeah, it’s been almost a full year since I left), I find myself, once again in this self-protecting behavior, wrapped in blankets, sweating from heat, but no poking any part of my body with the exception of my toes. I’ve read three books in the matter of a week or so, and I can’t stop. Reading about fictional characters that are described so well, that I once again blur my realities, my identities, to simply feel like I belong, like I’m understood and not crazy. The only thing is that I’m the only one who sees myself getting wrapped up in worlds so similar to mine.
I guess it’s safe to say that my apartment has become a complete disaster and I’m left, camping out in my “nook” — a corner in the living room in a recliner that fully pulls out, sometimes waking up with a stiff neck. I’ve begun to lose myself in characters, fiction, but not.
Now I have to get out.