Vensey’s Book Briefs

The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading.

David Bailey
My reading chair in our former Northern Virginia home’s office

As a child and adolescent, I was not particularly fond of reading. It was boring. Reading made me drowsy. It was difficult to keep my mind from wandering into whichever thought crossed my mind as I stared at the words on the page. Following the storyline oftentimes required my rereading previous paragraphs. At times, I found myself reviewing entire chapters. Reading had become a source of frustration and shame.

At 34, I learned some of my trouble with focusing overall and particularly while reading was related to a larger problem of not being able to fully concentrate. This was coupled with unexplained fatigue. Rumination. Bouts of depression. Crippling anxiety. Excessive self-criticism.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – a diagnosis I never knew exist – and adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were the culprits. My healthcare provider at the time suspected incessant exposure to constant uncertainty, anxiety and invalidation with no healthy reprieve were the origins of my conditions. With the problem identified, my then Northern Virginia based psychiatrist and I worked to methodically address these issues. This work continued under the guidance of my now Seattle-based psychiatrist.

Nowadays I read more than I once did yet not as much as I like. This is due more to a busy schedule created by overcommitments, not exhaustion from untreated GAD and ADHD. I now yearn to get lost in a book that nourishes my psyche, broadens my perspectives, and expands my vocabulary.

Consider some of the books I’ve read over the years by clicking here.