self-soothing

lately i’ve started reading again.  really.  with small incremental exceptions, it’s been years since i’ve put down one book and started the next and onward from there.  i used to be a voracious reader.  whenever i get really busy coupled with getting older and needing to focus on whatever is making me busy, i tend to push comprehensive reading away.  now bring into the picture that 5 1/2 years ago i was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and you will understand my that my tendencies became deep ingrained exercises in ignoring the big book read.  i couldn’t bring myself to concentrate when all i wanted to do was get through the hours and days.  i distracted myself with tv – the more forgetful the better – and games of bubblet on my itouch.  and those bubblet games took hold.  5 1/2 years later, you’ll find me on the subway or waiting in a doctor’s office or any waiting scenario and i’ll pull out my itouch and start tapping …i self-soothe – getting lost in the puzzles that are never the same way twice but always let me get through minutes…sometimes hours…of time where i cannot concentrate on anyone else’s stories.  lately, i’ve been trying to make myself read on the subway.  i promise myself that i will read one chapter before pulling out what my husband has nicknamed ‘the tapper’.  sometimes, i cannot concentrate and find myself reading the same lines over and over – but it’s all in the practice and i make myself move through it.  after-effects of chemo and tamoxifen combined with middle age and menopause do not make for easy concentration.  the bubbles on my tapper let my mind go mercifully blank and quiet.  i play a bit before i go to bed each night…letting my mind go still before knowing that i’m ready to fall asleep – otherwise i stay up late into the night with worst-case scenarios playing over and over in a loop.  now what i have to work on is reading each chapter and bringing it inside myself knowing that the tapper can be left aside.  it’s like teaching a little kid to stop sucking her thumb.  her thumb.  my tapper.

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2 Responses to self-soothing

  1. Kathryn J says:

    I like the tapper because I think you use it for lexulous too. I’m all in favor of that. I also love the games such as Bejeweled and Welltris (3D Tetris) but haven’t had time for them recently – it took me two months to read the last book in 2-3 paragraph fragments before sleeping.

    Whatever works I say but I have some good book recommendations should you decide to get back into it. I’d start with Just Kids by Patti Smith.

  2. rebeany says:

    @kathryn: interestingly enough, i only play lexulous when i’m on facebook on my big laptop screen (or at work). i almost never wifi on my itouch since i use a blackberry for all my work and personal email. the screen is too small for me for lexulous.

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