The Books that Save Me
I am a girl. I am a daughter. I am a student. Beyond all that, I have a secret. A secret that lies within the library books, a secret which is a stigma yet a power which made me be a better person. As a little girl, I would be immersed in the words of Dahl, Wilson and Blyton. My imaginations of these childhood fantasies were vivid and real, one thing books does to me is that it makes me calm. I have not realized the danger of my imagination.
It began on a rainy day; I did not get what I wanted. Suffice to say, it made me upset. My imaginations in this case were a danger for my mental and physical state. Thoughts came rushing in my mind, pulling me away from reality. It was a deep and dark moment. I did not wake up for school. I did not want to meet people. I was alone and scared of slipping away into the depths of abyss. My parents were worried. They did not know what to do with their beloved only child.
As the rationality of her mind was overshadowed by her imagination, she turned to a safe haven where she could unleash all her disappointments and shame in the place where she could call home, the library. Here she learned about the power of books in shaping and correcting her imagination. She stumbled upon the book “Unquiet Mind”. She read this book about a psychiatrist who had mental illness. She did not know what she had then, but somehow she could relate and be comforted that at least in the world, there was someone who felt like she had, hopeless and going crazy, for there was no end in the voices inside her head.
Her grades were falling. She had fewer friends. No one would like to approach her because she was so gloomy. Her family tried to help but they could not understand why she was like this. She could not stop the feeling of being trapped in darkness. She could not stop her mind from racing with negative thoughts. But alas, all she could do was go to that safe haven, the library. Again, she found solace and comfort in books. The smell of paper, the crispness, the texture, everything about a book makes her calm and seem to relax her. She read C.S Lewis in “Mere Christianity” and learned that above all, there is someone there, someone greater than all of us, looking over her.
I am in my car. The sun shone on my head and I feel comforted. I do not know why but I feel that the books I have been reading are like speaking to me. It made me realize that however bad it may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed that, quoted from the book “Theory of Everything” by Jane Hawkings. I had lost hope. I thought no one would understand how I feel, how trapped I feel. Books are like a friend to me. They speak to me when I read, it is a two-way street, and it is interactive. How can I explain what books are like to me? It is just like love on a sunny day eating ice cream.
Then again, this girl became upset again. Her thoughts poison her very soul. She was desperate to seek new hope in her despair. She happen to stumble on the passage in Psalm 88, it exactly resembles her state of mind and soul. The book spoke to her, it gave her comfort and made her realize one thing. There are many people in the world that suffered like her. She thought that she was the only one who is suffering.
Everyday, this girl goes to the library after classes. Because not only did she gain comfort, she acquired the thing called friendship. It changed her perspective in life, and allowed her to accept who she is, despite her failures and weaknesses. The books told her indirectly to love and appreciate herself, and not to look at her suffering as though it is the worst thing that happened in the world, because let’s face it, there are many people who suffered more.
I am back again to the library. I do not know why, but now my thoughts stopped racing. They seem to flow like the water, I accept my thoughts but I am not again alarmed by my imagination. I learned that imagination is a wake-up call to my conscience, which leads me back to sanity. Though sometimes I feel upset, it does not drag me away from life. I fell down and got back up again. I could not say whether those books are God’s way of talking to me, but I learned one thing from these books, that God has a good plan for those who believe in Him. Whatever He plans, it is the best of us, even though sometimes He allows suffering to happen in order for good to come out of that.
This girl has grown beyond measures. She has learned to identify her suffering with the suffering of others. She has learned that even after a tragic event, people can still succeed in what they do. She has learned that despite all, God is there. What all of you may not realize is that, she has depression. It is now common among teenagers to experience that. However, some teenagers never recover from that state. She is lucky enough to have advices coming from the books in the library that brought light into her life. Books are written words and ideas from different kinds of people. She learned from these various authors the value of accepting yourself and despite of having difficulties, to have hope. Beyond those pages of books, she knew in her heart that someone, up there was watching over her. For being able to show her that sufferings are part of life, and for showing that she is loved, she learned to be kind to herself, throughout it all, the library was her sanctuary, the books were her mentors, but above all He is overseeing things to happen, He made her read those books, and He made her realize that she was valuable beyond measure.