Chronically Something or Other
It took multiple attempts to put together this blog post. It first came to me as a result of not having posted one at all. I'd set the task on one of my many to-do lists “post a blog update" and without fail, I'd see it, tell myself I should really do that and then completely let it go. I've done it so many times now I almost felt the need to just post "Sorry, my brain is out of order" It feels like a pretty good excuse. I make excuses like it often. "Sorry, it slipped my mind. Sorry, I had so much going on. Sorry, I was just too tired." But what I really mean underneath all of it is “Sorry, I'm sort of sick.” Chronically ill. Under the weather. Indisposed.
I suffer from an inflammatory arthritis condition, as well as fibromyalgia. They've plagued me for years, since my teens. But I still don’t always have a handle on it, there are a lot of things that make the struggle harder.
I'm “too young”
I "don't look sick"
“Other people have it worse”
It's difficult sometimes, especially while connecting with others over social media to be surrounded by people with so much motivation and energy. They always seem ready and busy. The writers are always on about writing every day, how easy it is to MAKE the time for it, that you keep on hustling nonstop. For someone chronically ill, that just doesn't always work.
I have responsibilities that eat up a lot of energy, and sometimes I can't get a break. When your body is in revolt and you don't give it the rest it wants, every part of you suffers. Including the parts that just wanted a few minutes to create something. I have insomnia, I'm awake well past the time I want to be, but those are not productive hours for me at all. I'm fatigued often. My body will tense and ache if I try to sit too long, or just because it's a bad day. I often get migraines. But it’s also the brain fog that can be the biggest nightmare. There're days where I take twice the effort to speak to a person because I've suddenly forgotten half the English language, let alone where my sentences were supposed to be going. How am I supposed to work or write if I can’t focus my brain? Days like that scare me, make me wonder if I'll lose my focus so badly I won't manage to write anything again.
So I take breaks, step back, try to breathe and forgive myself. Not that there's anything to forgive, not everyone is built the same. We struggle differently. So your writing advice might not work for me. I work slowly, intermittently. This is how it goes. So don’t mind me over here forgetting to post things, or giving vague updates on my work in progress. I set my goals and then trip on my way there and I guess that's okay, maybe we're even on the same track. Chronically ill writers of the world, I see you.
Is it to early for a nap?
Life has been a doozy around here the last two months. Actually, I'm really not sure doozy is a strong enough word... rollercoaster, runaway train, shitstorm maybe?
Of course, I know almost all of us are probably stuck on the same ride together, strapped in, and unable to get off. I feel for you all, I really do. I raise my sixth cup of coffee to you and promise to add an extra shot of booze to the next one.
The herd of wild raccoons that are my children (actual human children, I promise I'm not hoarding trash pandas) have been busy destroying the house with all their new stuff from Christmas and making me want to bang my head off the table with their schoolwork. We're still doing distance learning in this house and although the oldest doesn't need much prompting beyond the reminder to actually get up and put clothes on before class, the younger one basically needs his hand held ALL DAY LONG.
Can I add part-time Kindergarten teacher to my resume after this?
Needless to say, we are all very impatiently awaiting the arrival of Summer vacation. The chance to escape our house, enjoy the (hopefully quickly approaching) Michigan sunshine, and of course NO MORE SCHOOL. Seriously, I thought I was done with this kind of schedule.
Summer also brings me, personally, the freedom to get much more in-depth with my story writing. More uninterrupted hours of the day means my brain can jump into the setting and walk alongside my characters. After recent job trouble, financial worries, and general pandemic style anxiety - Writing is always a very welcome distraction. There are a lot of projects swimming around in my head right now and I'm also working on a few things that will hopefully improve things around here in the long run.
Brew another cup, have a stretch, and let's do this.
With a new year, comes new responsibility, or something like that.
My word for 2021 is BALANCE. We all know 2020 was a dumpster fire, everything was overwhelming and off kilter. I'm not saying this year will be miraculously better, it really doesn't work that way. What I am saying is that I really hope this year, I can spend more time trying to balance out all the chaos, in many different ways.
I set myself a few goals, nothing extravagant or even difficult, but if I can list even a few accomplishments by the years end then I win.
During this past year, even when I felt like I had been failing I managed to still publish a set of stories, connect with new people, learn some new skills and even received some exciting soon to be announced news.
So I look forward to being a little less caught off balance, a little more ready for anything, and a lot more productive. I have a hundred to-do lists on stand by and I've plotted so many amazing things.
Let's do this.
No spoons left, only a pen.