Last week, I had a pretty negative (for me) post. That was where I was. Alone. Lost. In a dark place. I went ahead and posted it because we all cross over to the dark side sometimes. Despite my best efforts, life is not always rainbows and lollipops. I'm only human, and a "normal" human at that. You might even relate to my experiences.
My dark place was more than a figurative spot. I felt drawn to the rec room in my basement where I drank my coffee, in the dark, and laid on the couch until I felt up to emerging. I admit that I was hiding. From myself? From life? I'm not sure. I needed to clear the storm cloud hanging over my head before I could stand in the light.
I let a wave of sadness and despair colour my normally optimistic and determined self. The wave pinned me down and wouldn't let go. I had to borrow some of my husband's strength until my own returned.
I started somatic therapy last week. Somatic therapy (my abbreviated definition) considers the relationship and connection between mind, body, spirit, and emotions; and proposes that past emotional and traumatic events can have lasting effects on the central nervous system. It seems like a good fit, and I hope it helps me. For a pain-and-suffering-adverse person like myself, these past years have been very difficult. To say the least.
I don't want to be here. In this place of pain and suffering. I'm tired of hurting.
Yet here I am. Working through life the best way that I can. Wanting to make a difference. Hoping to make the world a better place.
Maybe it means something. Maybe it means nothing. And maybe someday it will end.
If you have your health, then you have everything.
Unfortunately, you don’t learn this particular truth until you lose your good health. I can’t help but feel frustrated at my health situation. I’ve had this particular rant before so forgive me if you've already read it.
Five years ago, I was in the prime of my life. Happily married for ten years with two amazing sons. In a career with a great salary / benefits and room for advancement. Newly published author. At a time in my life when everything seemed to be going my way. Falling into place. The future looked bright.
That’s when it happened. It being the rug pulled out from under my feet. Or whatever cliché you can relate to best.
I was 32 years old. I can only speculate why my coworker targeted me so viciously. Jealousy seems to be the most logical reason. Whatever the reason. It doesn’t matter. I was harassed and assaulted at work. My whole belief system fell apart. And I got sick. I suffered a trauma that manifested in physical symptoms. Ones I still experience daily... years later.
Sick is such a broad and insufficient term to label what I am. Disabled is another label I’ve used to explain my condition. Hell would also be an apt description.
I’ve gone down the ‘why did this happen to me’ road more times than I care to count. I don’t want to feel sorry for myself. Although sometimes I still do. It’s not fair. Life isn’t fair. But, at least, it is fairly unfair to everyone. We all have our crosses to bear. Mine is a miserable one, but not a death sentence. So I know it could be worse.
Somehow that doesn’t make living it any easier.
Especially when the things I enjoy like writing have been taken from me. Some of the time. Most of the time. I had a great idea for a story last week. I’ve been trying to write the prologue ever since. My brain won’t focus on the task. I just keep blanking out. It’s not writer’s block. I wish it were that simple. I want to write, but I can’t think. I can’t envision my story. My whole process is hijacked. So I stare at my computer screen for minutes or hours, and I feel discouraged and frustrated. And angry.
I feel like crap. My head hurts and my neck hurts and I’m tired. I’m lying down typing this onto my phone. That’s how terrible I feel. I know complaining is futile, but sometimes I can’t keep it in any longer. My husband would ask me what I’m going to do about it. Right now? I’m going to wallow for a few more minutes and then I’m going to have a rest.
I’m fighting a losing battle. I’m trapped in my body while my mind fixates on all my to-do lists and the constantly increasing amount of tasks that need done. Will I finish my spring cleaning before summer arrives?
I feel lost in a world where purpose brings meaning. I can articulate these helpless feelings, but I can’t write my fictional story. Not yesterday. Not today. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
From ancient folklore to pop culture, we have different ideas about wizards and dragons. When you think of a wizard, are you picturing Merlin or Harry Potter?
Are they good? Bad? Either? Do they use wands? Does magic flow straight from their hands? Are they mortal? And the answer to all those questions: it depends on the version. The last time I faced so many conflicting opinions, I ended up writing a book about vampires. I have a very firm idea of what a vampire is and isn't. If you've read A Vampire's Tale, you'll know what I mean.
I started watching BBC's The Adventures of Merlin yesterday on Netflix. My eight year-old son wanted to watch a show about knights... He turned on The Last Kingdom (I've seen it, it's a great show, but not for an eight year-old) so I told him we had to find a show that wasn't rated R or M or any of the other ratings that means unsuitable for eight year-olds. Saves us parents from nightmares and unnecessary questions. <<wink>> One episode in, and I already know it's good show. Plus, it has five seasons so I figure I'll have at least a month before my son starts looking for his next show.
Yes, my kids watch a lot of Netflix. I hardly watched TV as a kid, but I read A LOT. Like a book (or more) a day. The boys are simply switching one format of entertainment for another. And, we make sure they do plenty of reading too. I'm a reader and a writer—I want my boys to love books. They won't love books if we shove them down their throats or don't make an effort to find books they'll enjoy. Whoa... that topic seems like it could a blog post of its own...
Back to wizards and dragons...
My soon-to-be released book A Wizard's Choice, following characters I introduced in A Vampire's Tale, is obviously about wizards. I do (in my humble opinion) a comprehensive job of defining wizards. That subject could also be its own blog post. Who knew writing a blog post would give me so many ideas for other blog posts? I guess that's what happens when I let my muse run free.
Back to wizards and dragons...
Last week, I started writing a new book—my Camp NaNoWriMo project—with dragons as my inspiration. It's amazing how much "information" is available on dragons.
Before I start writing in earnest, I need to do A LOT of research. Stay tuned for my perspective on the mythical creature that is the dragon. I have a strong feeling I'll write a few more blog posts on this topic before the book is complete...
The balance always seems to be shifting. Like a teeter-totter. Adjusting and adapting. Yin and Yang. Does the equal and opposite principle always apply?
Even our bodies constantly seek homeostasis—maintaining a stable internal environment as conditions change. I had laser eye surgery two weeks ago. My eyes are (pretty much) healed now. It's amazing. I can see clearly now...
The first few days after my surgery were very low-key. When you can't use screens, read, or exercise... and you need to rest your eyes... your options are fairly limited. So, I did a lot of sleeping. And chilling. And it was just what I needed. After a busy March break with the kids—aged 10 and 8—home, I needed another break. Unfortunately, when you have kids—who I love more than life itself—there are no breaks. You are "on" all the time. Having an amazing partner helps. My husband and I are a great team and, between the two of us, all the bases get covered. But a break usually only comes when there is no other option... in other words, I lie down or I fall down.
Being a parent is a full-time plus job that nothing on Earth can prepare you for. Our twelve year-old shih-tzu has had congestive heart failure (CHF) for the last two years. He was given months to live. He's beating all odds just by being alive right now. But a geriatric dog comes with its own set of challenges. He takes—albeit reluctantly—medication three times a day. He has to go outdoors in the middle of the night. He rests more and takes shorter walks. But, in his mind, he's still a puppy.
When I have an "idle" moment, my brain kicks into overdrive. I think. I think. And, as you can imagine, my thoughts run into each other, and I don't stop thinking...
There is a lot happening in the Canadian political arena. As a general rule, I don't pay attention to politics. For an optimistic person like me—politics is the anti-thesis of everything I believe in. I believe in democracy. But the game of politics? That's a whole other matter. It's enough to make even the most optimist person cynical. I don't want to be cynical. I want to live in a world of rainbows and lollipops. I do.
I write fiction. That's why I write fiction.
And, the greatest fiction we are fed seems to be that politicians are more concerned about making a difference for their country than getting re-elected. And when you add "abiding by the law" in the equation? Well, we've seen time and time again that the justice system is two-tiered.
Jody Wilson-Raybould. Jane Philpott.
If those names are unfamiliar to you, Google them. Or you can read the blog I wrote that mentioned Jody Wilson-Raybould from a few weeks ago. Is "Superhero" One Word or Two?
We seem to live in a world where the truth-speakers get punished. Yes, that's a very cynical viewpoint. I don't want to believe it, but I've seen too many examples. I would love to be wrong about this.
Prove me wrong.
Until then, I'll try to capture the swirl of my deeply disjointed thoughts here on my blog and in my other writing... and, maybe make sense of this mess.