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    “Help! I Love to Read, but It’s Interfering with My Life!”

    Hey I love to read so much, and sometimes when I read a really good book, I have a hard time focusing on reality. I will try to pay attention to other things, but I find it more interesting to be inside my head daydreaming about what happened or finding a way to bring the story to my own life. I have noticed that my way to deal with life is to just go into my head like this and shut everything out. This used to not bother me, but now I think I am doing this so much that it is interfering with my everyday life. What should I do?

    Hey, girl! Well, I love to read, too, and I can see how sometimes the storyline in a novel, which is fiction, can seem way more appealing than real life. But as you’ve pretty much discovered, it can be concerning when fantasy takes over your reality.

    Here are a few reasons why your situation is concerning:

    1. You use it to escape from life. This is a problem because you can’t learn how to deal with life when you’re escaping from it.
    2. It’s interfering with your everyday life. When anything becomes an interference, it’s a problem. You need to learn how to balance.
    3. It’s controlling you. This is evident because you write that you have a hard time focusing and that you’re “shutting everything out so much.”

    I understand that when things get stressful, it’s easier to escape, but escaping teaches you nothing about dealing with the problem. And trust me, life is going to deal you lots of problems. You need to face them head on and not be afraid of them.

    Also, God didn’t create you so you could get lost in a fictional world. He created a world that He wants you to be a part of. Everyone has a purpose, so find your purpose and make the most of your life. You can’t do this lost in a fictional world.

    So, here’s what I think you should do:

    1. Be honest with your addiction. Something usually becomes an addiction when you allow it to take over your life. And when you allow something to take over your life, you divert your attention from what is important. The only One you should be consumed by is the Lord.
    2. Give it up. Can you? If you can’t, then you definitely should. I’m not saying give it up for good. Reading is a great pastime. But that’s all it is. Everyone should read, but when it takes you away from life and interferes with your everyday life, then it’s really a problem.
    3. Make your life more interesting than your books. Get involved. Meet people. Make your life more exciting—in a Godly way, of course—so that you don’t have to read to feel as if you have a life.
    4. Pick up the Bible and let that consume you. If you love to read, learn to love to read the Bible. It’s full of action and romance. But more importantly, it’s full of Truth.
    5. Pray. Turn to the Lord with your concerns and He will give you the strength to both face your difficulties in life and help you control your focus.

    Good luck and God bless!

    Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below, and I might answer them in a future article!

    Ask Olivia
    Got a question about boys, your besties or God? I'm here to help! As the girl all my friends always came to for advice, I've turned my girl talk, level-headedness and love of Jesus into a job -- one I love because I was a teen not long ago, too! Click into Ask Olivia in our Girl Talk Forums to ask me a question!

    8 COMMENTS

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only bookworm that daydreams. And I’d agree! With how it consumes one’s life at times. My mom never grounded me but only took away my book reading privilege and it was terrible! But it helped so much!! I love how one of the steps is to read the Bible!!

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