I LOVE The Twilight Saga. I read it during a time in my life when I was in an incredibly dark and destructive place. Trying to get clean- 9 years ago. I was staying with my older sister but she decided that I should be put on a sister induced house arrest and then decided that I couldn’t leave her yard (lol. Noe, clean and sober for almost 8 years, I think it’s hilarious that I let my sister lock me down when I was just 21. That was her rule if I wanted to stay there though. Anyways…) My mom lived in a condo literally the next development over and knew that I’ve ALWAYS loved to read. Always. I think Breaking Dawn had finally just been released and my whole life my mom had gone to bookstores, browsed the shelves and then always brought home some rare gem that I always loved (that’s how I got into Harry Potter when I was like 8 and it was first released. It had been out a week or so and she bought 3 copies of the Sorcerer’s Stone hoping that my two siblings and I would each pick up a copy and fall in love. My brother and sister didn’t, but I did. After that, as every book was released- mom only bought one copy.) Anyways. Back to twilight. My mom came over to visit a couple days into my sister’s self induced house arrest (plus I became her servant, house cleaner and babysitter… Yeah, my sister definetly took advantage of me being stuck in her house. Lol. It sucked. Plus she randomly drug tested me). My ma pull up with a Books-A-Million bag in her hand and told me she bought me something. My interest peaked immediately BUT then she pulled out Twilight (obviously the first book) and although I was trying to act grateful, I said “mmoooommmmm. I’m NEVER going to read this. This book is for kids. I heard it’s glittery vampires. Thank you, but not this”… My mom swore the bookstore associate said i would love it. Even if I didn’t want it, she said she would leave it there and maybe i would read it. (Ha! I immediately thought ‘in her dreams!’) She said that she’d go back and pick me out something different the next day. (*I smoked disgusting cigarettes back then so my sister’s (“fantasy, let’s try to help Jessica by locking her in”) house arrest did include their back patio to smoke. They didn’t smoke and before I was allowed back in their house I had to both Lysol down and use febreeze because my sister hated the smell of cigarette smoke.* Now, as a non-smoker, I can completely emphasize with why they didn’t want me to make their house reek, but back then I felt even more ostracized. I felt like I had to spray myself down like a dog. )Anyways. I caved that very same day and while I was stuck on the back porch (chain-smoking) I read the first book in like seven hours straight- completely getting eaten alive by mosquitos because it was terribly hot and muggy outside in Florida’s late summer heat- but I didn’t care, I was utterly enraptured.
The next day, although I was loath to admit that I loved the book, I luckily caught my mom as she was on her was back into the bookstore to find me more of a “me” book to read. I admitted I judged too hastily and begged her to buy New Moon. Same thing as the previous day- I devoured the pages, speeding through the book like I couldn’t get the words fast enough in my brain. It was like it was it’s own high. An escape from being me. I finally remembered why I used to read a book a day growing up. Reading was the escape from my real life. From all the chaos and destruction of my own making.
The next day I begged and I begged. I just had to have the last two books. (It was actually amazing timing. Breaking Dawn had just been released and I think that was why the sales associate recommended it to my mom.) This time, I accompanied my mother to our main local bookstore. I was itching to escape from my sister’s house even for an hour, so she agreed and picked me up. I there walking upstair and Twilight was everywhere on display. They had Breaking Dawn display’s as you walked up the stairs and then a huge one right in front of the Young adult section. They were beautiful. By then, I was in love. So, we grabbed Eclipse and then, of course, Breaking Dawn and left. I remember not being able to wait until I got back to my sister’s house to begin the next book. I read the whole car ride home. Twilight had awoken something in me that I had long forgotten. I finished both books just as quickly as the first two and then immediately decided to reread the whole series. (I’ve always love rereading books. It’s my thing. Like visiting old friends.)
Although, I didn’t finally get clean for good until almost a year after my first encounter with these brilliant books… They did something to me that I hadn’t experienced in a long time- they made me feel. They allowed me to dream. To escape. To forget that everyone in my family thought that I was a complete failure. I stopped obsessing about me screwing up and just burrowed into a beautiful fantasy.
I guess the point to my story is that The Twilight Saga had such a huge impact on my life. It made me remember my passion for reading. It the me realize that I wasn’t quite as alone as I thought I was. It gave me hope.
This is my story. It may sound corny but it’s true and I am so grateful to Stephanie Meyer for dreaming of such an incredible world. Without getting lost in those pages – who knows- my destructive path could have went on way longer because it was reading in those coming months that helped pull me slowly from the harsh grip of addiction. (*Obviously, reading wasn’t the only thing that got me clean, but it was a major contributing factor.*) While I was dope sick, it helped me forget my physical pain and escape into a fantasy world.
Since then, I have reread Twilight, literally, more times then I could ever count. It will always carry such meaning to me… That small flicker of light in the darkest of nights. It sustained me when I was nothing but a shadow of my former self.
I have been clean and sober going on 8 years this February. I have the most incredible little boy imaginable, a wonderful husband and six huge bookcases stacked full of books. Books helped save my life. The Twilight Saga helped save my life and I will always be eternally grateful.