Three years ago I was dealing with a bout of depression. It was not unusual, I’ve had depression and anxiety for almost as long as I can remember. But this bout followed my thirtieth birthday. I was not upset about turning thirty. I did not think my life was over or that my youth was behind me. Rather, I was in the middle of an amazing year full of the freedom that came with stepping away from religious oppression, finding my own faith and defining what that meant to me, and coming off of a year of painful fertility drugs and the decision not to continue treatment. I’d honestly never felt better.
And yet … depression.
I got that apathetic kind of depression where nothing seems fun or exciting or even remotely attention grabbing enough to pull me out of bed. I was just … stuck. I was missing something.
As I do when I’m in a depression, I binged watched things. On a random Saturday, I stumbled upon Deathly Hallows Part One playing on ABC Family, likely during one of their marathons.
“God I forgot how much I fucking love these movies.”
I’d seen almost every one in theatre. He-Man had read the books religiously (and even worked at a book store during the release of the first few). I knew the general plot because he is utterly incapable of NOT sharing things with me when he’s reading. So when the movies came out, of course we went. He fumed and fumed in his seat over missing characters and twisted plotlines, and I laughed and laughed until some random kid behind me loudly whispered to his friend “That’s the one that dies at the end” when Cedric Diggory first appeared on screen. (Seriously. WTF, you little brat?)
Rather than read the books, I’d spent time playing on Pottermore and the wiki pages learning ingredients to potions and the etymology behind the spells. I loved the world that JKR created, but I suck when it comes to reading fiction. My attention span (especially in my twenties) was garbage.
So in the last week of June 2014, I borrowed my mother-in-law’s DVDs of the movies and binged them all. I laughed, I cried, I FELT something for the first time in weeks. Emotions. Feeling. Life. Magic.
“I want to read the books now. I need to read the books.”
So I read them. I read several chapters every night out loud while my husband played video games. I laughed when he cried. He laughed when I cried. I did voices, and we argued over exactly how pompous Lockhart should sound. I gasped during parts that were not in the movies. “Why is Molly being such a bitch to Sirius?” “Wait, who are all these other elves?” “Dumbledore’s a shit. I’m glad he’s dead!” “OMG Tonks. OMG Fred. OMG Remus. OMG I hate this so much.”
And I loved it.
I loved it so much.
I felt like an addict waiting for my husband to get home each night so I could keep reading. I begged him, “Just two more chapters. I’m almost done with this book!” even as I LITERALLY lost my voice in the middle of Deathly Hallows.
Then, like magic, I remembered that the story didn’t have to end. I’d been RPing written stories with friends for two decades, and I’d stumbled into fanfiction from time to time. So I knew what sites to go to.
I read epilogue continuations first. I wanted to know what happened after. Then I thought, “I wonder what if …?” And I fell head first into the deep end of Dramione, Marauders, and a crap ton of Marriage Law and Time-Turner fics.
“I have an idea. I want to be apart of this. I think I have a story in me.”
And three years later, I have a life. A hobby. A PASSION. I’ve made amazing friends, rebuilt a really fucked up self esteem and sense of pride, learned a lot about grammar and story structure, and helped to add building blocks to a fandom that saved me.
I can’t believe it’s been three years.
Thank you all, for some of the best three years of my life.
♥♥♥ Shaya ♥♥♥