SO what happened was...
It’s been awhile. I haven’t checked in, I know. I sort of checked out on every platform actually. According to my last entry FOCUS was my word for 2022, and I really tried to focus. I spent the year working on my health, getting appointments and routines down to keep my Rheumatoid and Fibro under control. By the end of last summer I felt like maybe I had my body under control again and I was just doing things that made me happy. I was ready to get back to work, picking away at plotlines and stories I hadn’t finished. Of course the end of the year became hectic with holiday things, so I told myself with the new year I’d be given a fresh start to conquer the chaos.
Unfortunately that thing I'd been avoiding like the plague (you know, the actual plague) hit me. Covid invaded our house for the first time and knocked us down pretty hard, although I’m grateful it wasn’t worse and nobody ended up hospitalized, it still set me back a long way with my goals. Even months later my body is struggling. Struggling against brain fog, muscle pain, and fatigue. My writing is at a snails pace, I lose my words so easily, and my sewing is collecting dust while being scattered across the table.
Some days It leaves me feeling like I never made any headway at all against my disease. I know my fellow chronic illness fighters will completely understand this post, and will recognize their own struggles in it. Struggles that are completely valid.
Swimming through the sea of social media I am often reminded that I am not surrounded by people living the same struggles as I am, the invisible illnesses are holding strong to their title. It doesn’t always bother me, I know everyone lives a different life, but it has me thinking a lot about the things we hold as standard and how they can make us outliers feel like we’re performing sub par, even in things we tell ourselves we’re doing ‘just for fun’. In order to exercise (or maybe exorcise) my brain I’ve come up with a plan. I want to share more openly about living (and writing) with a chronic illness. Maybe it will help someone else out there in their fight.
Focus is my word for 2022, it's what I'm striving to find this year. What I'm struggling to regain. Sometimes we get so far off the track we thought we were on that we have to stop and completely readjust. That’s what I've been doing lately and you know what, it’s going pretty well.
I’ve gotten better at managing my time. I’ve gotten better at managing my stress. I am working on my health and all the mess that comes with chronic conditions. I’ve taken more time to do things that I find peace in, like quilting and sewing. I’ve worried less about reading trending books. I’ve also spent a little less time stressing over social media, allowing myself a little bit of space.
I’m still writing, working through the mess of unfinished projects from last year that I couldn't get my brain to finish. Things are coming along better now, just at a more leisurely pace. It’s not like I need to be in a hurry, it’s really not a race, and I can’t tell you how great it feels to put a few words down and walk away without feeling like I'm not working hard enough. These past couple years have been a massive weight on all our shoulders, if you say none of it bothered you, you're probably lying. So you deserve to take a moment, breathe, and find your focus again.
It's my favorite time of year, in spirit at least. I love the spooky season vibes. The cold rainy part of Fall, not so much. I do enjoy being curled up in lots of layers with a cozy drink though, so I guess it evens out.
The kid's are all back to school, emphasis on the ALL. That's right, I HAVE FREE TIME! I've not had alone time at home in years. At first, in September, I was so overwhelmed by it (and the anxiety of just everything) that I went into rest and recover mode. I did absolutely nothing, no reading, no writing. I needed it though, and I highly recommend it.
In October I got a lot of my energy back, minus a few bad weather flair ups. I binged lots of movies, have been working on reading the back log of books stashed on my kindle, and plotted my return to some writing projects. I'm semi-prepared to NANOWRIMO too.
And finally, even more of a boost of motivation (and a kick in the ass to impostor syndrome) is the release of Don't Break the Oath - Women of Horror Volume 4 from Kandisha Press, featuring a story of mine titled "An Agreement". I was beyond excited to get this story acceptance, I love all the Women of Horror volumes, and I can't wait for people to read this story. It's available everywhere today!
Here is the link: books2read.com/brokenoath
Happy haunting today guys and I'll see you on the other side!
No spoons left, only a pen.