What I’m Doing to Cope

I’m writing a lot, not surprisingly.

Various people who know I have PTSD have asked how I’m holding up? The answer is fine. Partially because of something I’ve done for years. When the “real world” gets to be too much, I dive into a fictional one as much as I can manage.

The first time I did this was in Junior High and the books were the Walter Farley Black Stallion series. Over the years, I’ve used McCaffrey’s Pern books, various Nora Roberts’ romance series, Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries, Allen Steele’s Coyote books, Sharon Lee & Steve Millers’ Liadian (c) Universe books, Louis L’Amour’s westerns, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books, etc. You get the idea.

I didn’t have something I hadn’t read and reread when this hit. And then I found the MCU., or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For decades, I avoided video, because I had no buffer for visual material. I probably still don’t, but video on a computer I can start, stop, and fast forward at will works in the same way that a book does. I used to put a book down and walk away if it got to be too much. I can do that now with video and the internet. (This is why I’ve never been a “media” fan or a reviewer.)

Gawd knows how many youtube essays, clips, and vlogs . . . and I still have a lot to watch. There’s 22 or 23 movies and I’ve only seen 2. There’s enough content about the MCU on youtube that it’s kept me busy and immersed in something other than endless house chores, working on the two or three book projects I’m in the midst of, and trying to figure out what to make with the food at hand.

So, you probably know about the MCU, if you’re not video phobic like I was. But I posit this technique: find a favorite fictional world with three or more stories to read or watch in a row, which you can read or watch without reacting negatively. (If it makes you angry or unhappy it’s not doing what we’re after here!)

As much as you can, dive right in. The world will be no different when you return, but you might find your emotional batteries recharged, or the landscape of your home may feel less confining.,

When my world was truly awful: filled with pain and absolutely hostile, this worked. It still works for me. It may work for you too?


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