I’m donating a bunch of books to the thriftstore, and it’s all because of anxiety.
I’m one of those people with anxiety so bad I take medicine to help. Even then I sometimes still feel like my brain and heart are gonna collide from panic tearing through my body. O_O
Since we’re human (unless by some chance you’re a vampire…), in rough situations we like to find things that help us forget our issues. Food is my first, with icecream and honey hot puff cheetos being my thing these days.
I used to have a very anxiety inducing customer service job. By the end of the day I would be worn out and ready to get the heck home. On the extra stressy messy days, there just so happened to be a gigantic bookstore across the street. It glowed like a fairy in the night, showing me the way to my happily ever after.
Ha, in truth it was more like the store bank account’s happily ever after. Because to reduce the pain inside, I’d buy books that were popular and pretty.
It made me happy; killed that need to ball up in a corner and sob for eternity because I want to jump out of my skin
Yet what I didn’t realize was that by buying more books than I could possibly read, I was making my anxiety worse.
Books need cases, so I sacrificed space for books. I reasoned it was worth it. My books made me happy, right? They were soothing my soul as they piled up, gathering the dust of a thousand years of neglect. No problems here. Ha ha…
I’d already had a nice collection of books before that job, and they kept coming even when that bookstore was no longer a huge temptation. I’d get that high of “New Book!” “SOOOOO PRETTY!” Then it would fade until I went to the store, or I found deals on books I was mildly curious to read at the local library booksale. Of course I couldn’t get to them all before the next haul…
I was surrounded by so many books. So many that the vast selection made it hard for me to decide what to read. Or I had a popular book I felt I should read. Oh, then there were those mail order bride books from my teen years. They’d stare holes into me, making me feel guilty for not putting my old love as priority.
Y’all, my books were choking me, but I felt too stubborn—plus prideful— to admit it because I had put so much of my money and identity into being a book girl who needs all the books. And I still am, just with a wiser mindset and realization that sometimes it’s okay to purge shelves of books that are doing nothing but making me feel bad for not getting to them.
So I’ve been letting books go. Books I keep telling myself “someday I will read you ” and would probably still be saying the same thing 50 years from now. Books that no longer fit my taste. Books I did not finish reading and kept to give another chance because “everyone else likes it.” #sillyme
They were too much. Books should not be burdens, and many of mine have been weighing me for far too long. I was also running out of space, and clutter is something else that makes my anxiety as high as the sky.
So I just want to encourage you. If you feel anything other than joy about books, then maybe it is time to make a change. It’s OKAY to uhaul books. You’re all right if you are no longer interested in a series. Gosh, you might also feel less anxious if you downsize the amount of unread books surrounding you.
Yeah, I know. Good money was probably spent on them at some point. Totally get it. But I urge you to ask yourself, ” Is abook worth my mental health?”
Will I buy books in the future? If the chance provides itself, then yes. But I’m going to be MUCH more selective/picky. It will be because I truly want to read it, and no other reason.
Because anxiety is hard enough. I won’t let consumerism of books heighten it anymore.