Fiction and Coping

I enjoy reading fiction to de-stress.

One of my favorite series to read is one that I’ve been reading since I was 6 years old.

British Cover

British Cover

I first read Harry Potter when I was 6. My school’s librarian had a copy of it, I think from a cousin or someone in her family. Anyway, I was constantly in the library reading, so she let me borrow the British copy to read it. I fell in love. So the next year, when the American version came out, I read that one. And I’ve been reading every book as it came out since. It’s one of the most addictive series I’ve ever gotten involved in.

Others come and go as fads for me. I read/watch them…go through phases and periods of interest and periods where I’m not so interested in them. But Harry Potter was constantly with me from the age of 6 onwards. Each book release, each movie release…I was completely a part of it. It was a huge part of my life.

Fiction is a way for me to escape the daily hustle and panic of life. It gets me out of the real world, and out of daily concerns that do nothing but overwhelm me. By reading and watching fiction I can cope, because it provides me with a break. With Harry Potter, the longest-running of my fictional obsessions, I can escape into a massive world of magic, witches and wizards, Quidditch and wizarding schools. It’s a unique way to cope for me, because I prefer the later books, where undoubtedly the action and plot are darker and more fraught with issues…but I think that knowing they are fictional helps me just enjoy them without the inherit nerves that accompany my daily concerns.

Coping is difficult on a daily basis. Sometimes I just want to curl up in bed and never leave. Getting to escape into a fictional world is nice, a good way to relax and enjoy myself. I think that fiction is the best way, at least personally, for me to cope. There’s something, for me, about immersing myself into a new world and just forgetting my own concerns to fully invest myself in the story of the person/people of the story/movie.

Harry Potter has the most longevity for me. I think perhaps because I grew up with it. I grew up finding out what happened to Harry and his friends and enemies. It was a huge part of who I was…all the excitement of what would happen next. So it’s a fiction that has more meaning as a coping mechanism, because of how much it helped me out as I grew up. Within the broad genre of fiction, having an opportunity to escape and just enjoy time without worry is something that rarely happens without some distraction. If I don’t insist on my mind being distracted from the worries and concerns that swirl there, I won’t take a break from my concerns. So fiction helps present that distraction to let me take that needed break.

(I’m realizing this might be rambling. Sorry about that. I just wanted to get my thoughts down before I forgot what I was thinking.)

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