I have a dirty little secret, well, not so secret now. A guilty pleasure if you will. Hi, my name is Kate and I am a soapaholic.

I DVR Days of Our Lives every day and every evening after the news, my husband and I watch it. I enjoy it very much but that is not the guilty pleasure.

Ryan’s Hope. 

Yes, that’s it. A half hour soap that ran from 1975 to 1989. It runs on the Soap Channel at 5 and 5:30 a.m. every Monday through Friday. I DVR it but I don’t share the watching with anyone else. Years ago, when it was still on the air, I caught brief periods of it twice – during pregnancies. So I have not seen it from beginning to end – or much of it at all, for that matter. And unfortunately, Soap Channel was already up to about 1978 when I discovered it was on. But that still gives me lots more to go. 

I’m very greedy about it too. I want it to be on seven days a week. And as there are two episodes each weekday, I should ration it and save some for the weekend. But I can’t do it. If it is there on the DVR, I have to see it. As a matter of fact, after I was in the hospital for a week in early 2009, I came home and had a Ryan’s Hope marathon. Greedy little pig – I had to watch them all in one night. It’s my crack. 

I wait until about 10:30 p.m. when all is quiet. I am by then pretty “medicinally enhanced” – I suffer from a chronic pain condition. And then I start to watch. It is like going to a Broadway play. Most of the actors were New York stage actors and the quality of the show is incredible. None of the craziness on Soap Operas today – possession, being held captive on an island, etc. As the second episode of the evening is drawing to a close, I start to get anxious… How will I make it until tomorrow? It truly is the high point of my day. I am absolutely transported. And it has helped me with my pain management. Nothing I take for the pain really helps me all that much. At 10:30 p.m. on a week end night, I am not pain free. True, I am “enhanced” to where it is just a dull sort of pain. But when I watch Ryan’s Hope, I truly am able to transport my mind right out of my body and am completely without pain. 

Nuts, huh? But in talking to someone else with a chronic pain condition, they understood completely. Everybody has their own thing that just completely transports them. Mine just happens to be an old Soap.

Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

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