heroin .

something i’ve always known about myself is that i like sad things. not in the way that i’m sadistic and enjoy inflicting pain upon others. rather in the way that i have a strange attraction towards novels, sad films, sad poetry and other sad immaterial things.

at many times of my life i have found myself reading a sad novel, crying my eyes out and then hugging it to sleep. devastated by its completion, i will then turn around and read it again, a million times over.

and i fall in love with its pain all over again. i fall in love with the characters as i live vicariously through them and hurt as they do, enjoying every moment. that is the kind of crazy person i am.

i do admit that it is easy for me to become teary at the faint twang of fictional sadness. i know this side of myself very well as i struggle to be in touch with it as often as i am able. because their stories can only devastate me for a little while before the calamity passes, and during that little while nothing else exists.


sure, i love humour and wit and charm and a fairytale ending that i will probably scoff at, but it means nothing to me without feeling, and feeling means nothing without pain.

so as i struggle to possess the most beautifully devastating component of the human condition in my mind, i find myself falling into a deeper mystery. is it because i do not have any of these things that i cherish them so much? or is it because i can relate to them so well that i feel every part of their pain?

obviously i’d rather it be neither. i do not see myself as the time traveller’s wife, or the lonely old man that reads a whole novel over and over again in order to spend five minutes with his wife. however, i can’t say that my life is so overly joyous that this is the only way in which i can experience pain.

it’s just an addiction, like drugs and life. it’s my heroin. one day it will surely destroy me.

and one day they will surely make up a name for my condition, like the shopaholics, chocaholics and whateveraholics before me.

hi, my name is liz and i’m an lives-vicariously-through-fiction-to-experience-pain-aholic.

applause and welcome please.

  1. i’ve never liked reading anything long plus the only few books i’ve read in my life were novels provided to me by the english department during high school for unnecessary analysis. that is probably why i dont read. it’s because i was forced to read shitty books. so i’ve never been able to ‘enjoy’ a book/novel.

    i’ve always laughed at people who get scared or cry when reading a book but then i’ve never actually read a sad or scary book. but then it’s silly how a slab of text can pull at someone’s emotional strings. the only thing that does it for me is film.

    maybe you should buy me a book for christmas. although im not insinuating that you do. because it’s likely i wont read it…or perhaps i will out of courtesy.

    • lianamerlo
    • October 23rd, 2009

    I can completely relate to this. Maybe it’s one of my personality flaws, but I remember the depressing books (and fondly so) much more than I remember the uplifting ones.

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