I read a fiction book called “In Love With Nowhere.” I loved the name as soon as I read it. I automatically interpreted as something positive like we can be in love with “nowhere” like either being physically “in the middle of nowhere” or loving each stage of life even if it seems to be going nowhere.
The book is about a man who is 30 something years old and struggling with severe substance addiction. He is a popular writer of horror fiction books and is well loved by many fans, but his addiction gets the best of him and his career, his marriage, and his whole life are suffering.
So his agent sets up a place in the woods, a cozy cabin, for him to stay alone for a while to get better. He’ll have no contact with the outside world, other than walks through the woods and the kritters there, and no access to drugs except smaller and smaller doses of Valium until he’s off it completely. He has to write a blog post each day to let the world know how he is doing and what he’s up to but he has no contact with readers.
Shortly after he gets to the cabin, very strange things begin happening. He’s not sure what’s real and what are hallucinations and delusions. He suffers immensely, both physically and emotionally. He experiences depression and serious physical opiate withdrawal symptoms. He is plagued with nightmares and terrible visions.
It’s a psychological thriller and a horror fiction book but runs deeper than just thriller and mystery. There are little life lessons and reminders throughout the book.
Also it helps deepen our empathy for those struggling with addiction. Some scenes are gutwrenching. The author really goes into detail about the physical and emotional torment that people with addiction experience.
The book is also full of hope and inspiration.
There are little reminders to cherish the beauty all around us. To be mindful of nature and the people we see everywhere we go.
It also reminds us to take comfort in the simple pleasures, when we are sick and in pain, hot tea, a hot shower, a comfortable bed, a cool breeze, just focus on each little thing and allow it to distract us so we don’t have to focus too much on the pain or sickness we are experiencing. It’s ok to find sweet little escapes to help us cope and bring some sense of consolation no matter how small.
Also it reminds us to let go of our painful past, not to be haunted by mistakes we have made and horrific things that happened to us. Acknowledge that they happened, never repress them, but just let them go. They can’t be changed and letting them imprison us does no good to anyone.
The book also conveys the message that as long as we’re alive, there’s always hope no matter how terrible our life seems now.
Also, it reminds us to smile big like a “simpleton!” lol! A couple occasions the man smiles a big goofy grin like a “simpleton,” The author calls it! My grandmom often called me a simpleton when I was little and I still think it’s funny! There’s nothing more beautiful than those moments where we are so filled with joy, we can just laugh and be silly without a care in the world no matter what’s going on! I have those occasions sometimes no matter how depressed or how much physical pain I’m in. We’re never too old or too bad off (as long as we’re alive) to be simple and silly and full of child-like wonder! 😀
Some scenes are beautiful and serene, some bizarre, and some frightening and very distressing but all together it’s a beautiful story and even though I don’t and never have had a drug problem, I can relate to so many of this man’s underlying experiences.
This isn’t really a spoiler but a line out of the book in case you don’t want to read it and read the book first.
Just when the man is about to just give up, someone has this to say to him:
“You have so much potential, you can give the world so much, you will give the world so much.”
“Like I said, the world needs you and eventually it will find a use for you. But not as a repressed drug addict.”
I find this message to be beautiful and inspiring. We are more than just our struggles and pain and we all have potential and so much to give.
We are more than a drug addict or a depressive or schizophrenic, or someone with an eating disorder or low self-esteem or someone drowning in grief. We are more than an asthmatic or cancer patient or an anxious person or whatever physical or emotional ailment or disease we have been afflicted with. So much more. Even when it feels that all we are is someone with pain or a disorder.
We are not a disorder or a condition or an addiction. I am not my pain.
You are not your anxiety or painful experiences or emotions or words that have hurt you. You aren’t your bad habits or mistakes or flaws or shortcomings.
We have a whole personality and love and skills and gifts beneath those labels and agonizing experiences. Look, feel, and they are there. Here.
We have so much potential.
So this book is a fun thriller and mystery but it’s also much more. It’s grounded in hope and healing.
And I just feel the desire to share!
Even if you don’t read the book, maybe you can find these little reminders helpful or inspiring anyway!
Lots & lots of love to you! 😀