The Dark Side of Memoir Addiction

Memoir addiction can be a lot of fun. There are very few things like the thrill of picking up a book and finding yourself completely lost in another person’s life story. Feeling the rush of emotions and being enchanted by someone else’s excellent writing is an intoxicating feeling. Unfortunately, memoir addiction has a dark side to it as well. Although those pages may seem like a benign use of your time, memoir addiction has a dark underbelly.

Sleep Deprivation

I have learned about sleep deprivation more than any of the other side effects of memoir addiction. From the moment I open up a new memoir and begin reading those first few pages, I find myself unable to resist completing the book as quickly as possible. This often means that I will sacrifice much needed sleep in order to read as much of a book as I can. I often find myself telling my husband, “One more chapter and I’ll go to sleep.” Unfortunately, I do not realize where the chapters have ended and the new ones have begun, and find myself at four in the morning with the book completed. Despite my need to be up early, I will sacrifice sleep to continue reading a memoir I am enjoying.

Regardless of the consequences I may suffer because of lack of sleep, I repeat this cycle. Each time I find myself in the throes of a new memoir, I again read through the night. All the while, I tell my husband, “One more chapter.”

Financial Hardship

Memoirs are expensive. Because of the speed at which I, a memoir addict, go through these stories, this can bring financial hardship if I am not careful. While libraries are an option, there is an allure to the option of owning books. Even though I get most of my books from the library, late fees often plague my life because of the forgetfulness caused by my sleep deprivation.

Relationship Problems

Time seems to stop while reading a great memoir. Sadly, it doesn’t. Despite the fact that hours feel like minutes while reading, those hours are still lost. So is the time with my loved ones. Although my husband has his own independent hobbies, I can find myself engrossed in a memoir (and talking about memoirs) for long periods of time. While I may sometimes feel some sense of guilt over this missed time with my husband, especially, I am often so preoccupied with the lives of those in my memoirs that I hardly notice.

My husband, friends, and other family may feel neglected while I am spending time reading. They may feel they come second to my love for memoirs when all I talk about are memoirs. This can lead to distance and difficulties in those relationships, as I am often oblivious to the fact that he or she is being distant. When reading, I may often have delayed responses, as it takes five to ten seconds for my mind to process anything outside of my books. This can lead to my husband feeling ignored and unimportant, especially if what he’s trying to say is more important than my latest book. If not intentionally combated with some time away from memoirs, memoir addiction can lead to relationship problems.

Where to Get Help

I sure wish I knew. I’m sure there’s a book about that somewhere. Perhaps I could find a memoir about it!

Please note that this article is an exaggeration, and does not accurately reflect the exact state of my life and my relationship with my husband, despite the “nuggets” of truth to it.

One thought on “The Dark Side of Memoir Addiction”

  1. It’s all genetic. I used to sacrifice a LOT of sleep to have alone time at night, usually for reading. Now that I’m older and can’t tolerate missing sleep as well as I could a couple decades ago, I make more of an effort to shut the lights off at a not-completely-ridiculous hour.
    Since I am sacrificing reading time to get sleep, I can be pretty resentful of interruptions. If I’m reading, I don’t want to see anything on Facebook, I don’t want to watch something on TV, and I don’t want to talk!
    If Momma’s reading, beware…

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