From Our Readers: How JK Rowling Saved Me from Depression
This week, I decided to write about my favorite superhero. If we were talking about Marvel, DC, folklore, local, or mythical, I don't have any. I can't think of any. I could write about the people who saved me, though, but I'll save that for later. Right now, I want to write about my favorite author.
My sophomore year in college was revolutionary—life-changing, soul-shattering, heart-wrenching. I began to see what life was really about; it was far from the fairytales that they made me believe and read when I was younger. Thanks to my depression, I became a bookworm.
I held on to books as if my life depended on them. And by books, I meant To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Looking for Alaska, The Women's Room, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Bridget Jones' Diary, 13 Reasons Why, and more. These books justified the realities of life and the existence of negative things—evil, racism, loneliness, being alone, depression, societal sexism, injustice, failures, and death. These coming-of-age realizations made me want to disappear from the world completely. They knocked down my studies, relationships, and above all, my emotional, physical, and mental health.
These coming-of-age realizations made me want to disappear from the world completely. They knocked down my studies, relationships, and above all, my emotional, physical, and mental health.
All of a sudden, alcohol became my constant companion. My favorite pastime was to drink the night away with my college friends. I wanted to leave the city and disappear forever like Margo in Paper Towns, but I didn't have money. Even if I did, I didn't have the courage to leave. One day, I decided I'd be Alaska Young. I thought that perhaps if I smoked and drank too much, I could suffer from a serious disease and die. Still, I didn't. I was like Marla in Fight Club. My philosophy in life, like her, was that I could die at any moment—the tragedy was that I didn't.
Then I decided to read everybody's favorite—the Harry Potter series. For a girl with great disdain for mainstream books, I admit that I have fallen head over heels in love with this series.
I was lucky I became acquainted with these witches and wizards. In the times when the Death Eaters cast unforgivable curses on me, I buried myself between the pages of the books and lived in fantasy. In those moments when the Dementors tried to kiss me, I relived the movie scenes in my head and became happy. At school, my friends and I even formed a friendship as strong as the Dumbledore's Army. To make the long story short, the Harry Potter series became my ultimate escape from reality.
So thank you, J.K. Rowling, for saving me from real-life Dementors when they kissed my soul and sucked all the happiness out of me. You are Sirius to me, the one who inspired me to keep fighting while the Slytherins awaited my downfall. You are also Ron and Hermione to me, the friends cheered for me when Draco caught the Golden Snitch. You are Professor McGonagall when Snape closed the door to the Headmaster's office. Yet you are also Snape who saved me from the worst enemy of all.
You are Sirius to me, the one who inspired me to keep fighting while the Slytherins awaited my downfall.
You were like me once—the aspiring author who suffered from depression and chose to write her way through life instead. You are the Molly to my Ginny and the Lily to my Harry. You are the Mad-Eye Moody who inspired me to become an Auror. You are also Dumbledore, the greatest Headmaster I've ever known.
Thank you for creating all these characters that became my companion during my life's darkest hours. Thank you for teaching me Defense Against the Dark Arts to prepare for Voldemort's return to power.
Thanks to you, I am now on a journey to find the Deathly Hallows and destroy the seven Horcruxes. Thanks to you and your magical spells, I am now ready to fight the Dark Lord.