Joining a local Book Club last July has been one of the best decisions I have made for my mind and my soul.
Four months before I found my local book club in the tiny town of Kuna, Idaho I had been diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. The diagnosis and subsequent surgery to remove a ten pound tumor larger than a cantaloupe had me spiraling into a deep depression. I had an ovary and fallopian tube removed along with parts of my uterus as it was discovered I had endometriosis during the surgery. My body was struggling with regulating my hormonal balance due to the changes. Overwhelmed, stressed, and scared I was facing some huge decisions in my life.
I was told that if I wanted to have children I would need to do so immediately because a hysterectomy was inevitable and it would have to be performed as soon as another tumor started growing. The average time of reoccurrence was two years. I definitely wanted children but I was not in a point in my life where I was ready. The thought of not being able to carry a child was killing me with sadness and worry. But I wanted to be fair to the child I might bring in to the world and not have one just because it may be my only chance. If I was to have a child I wanted to be able to provide and care for it properly. I decided to keep my fingers crossed and see if things were in a better position for children in the coming years; praying that I wouldn’t have a reoccurrence before I had a chance to have a child.
I felt like my emotional state was spinning out of control. I had little to look forward to and even less to feel joyful about. My boyfriend was becoming increasingly worried and began encouraging me to find a local book club I could join. He knew it would be good for me but I was hesitant. I am very introverted and feared that I wouldn’t fit in if I did try to put myself out there.
Eventually I did decide to go to a meeting, figuring the worse that could happen is I didn’t like it and I wouldn’t have to return. I still remember how awkward that first meeting was as we were all getting to know each other and I was asking what each woman did for a living and replied “That’s really interesting!” to each person. An eruption of laughter started from the group after I said it the third time. I joined in, realizing that in my anxious state I was trying way too hard. To me that simple moment was the beginning of my friendship with the group. It helped me to loosen up and tell them why I had decided to join and the struggles I had been going through. They were kind, understanding, and very welcoming.
Now I find myself looking forward to getting together with my book club ladies constantly throughout the month; counting down the days until coffee, updates on our lives, and of course all the juicy book talk. I have grown so fond of the four women in my book group. Each of us are so different but we are bonded by our love of books.Their friendship and kindness has helped me through a very difficult year and has helped me grow as a person. Best of all they have given me the courage to follow my dreams, to get out there and try new things, and fall even more in love with the world of literature. I’m getting a little mushy here, but I don’t think they even realize what an amazing impact they have had on me. I appreciate that they have helped to rekindle my passion for books and writing and I feel a great sense of gratitude towards them for helping me regain my emotional strength.
So go out there and find a book club, in doing so you will find yourself.