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The Struggle is Real

fshbtyThis is a hard one for me to post about. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but feel like it’s important to be real about things, so this is me being real. I’m not looking for any sympathy, just sharing my journey.

I’ve been doing it pretty hard for a few years now, lots of ups and downs and me coming up with reasons why it’s all totally normally and acceptable.

You see, my life is busy! I home school three energetic kids, each with their own special needs, I write, I edit, I keep everyone fed and clothed. I also have bipolar 2, and anxiety. Of course I’m tired. It’s totally normal, to be expected even. Right?

Right.

But it hit the point where I had to admit that I wasn’t okay. I ran out of excuses and I had to do something about it. And that something was to go and see a Dr, take a bazillion tests, and get a diagnosis.

Turns out I have Fibromyalgia (possibly with a side of Chronic Fatigue, I’m waiting on a specialist appointment). The symptoms I’m living with are not new (have in fact been around for years), however it’s been a bit of an adjustment getting my head around this diagnosis and realizing that it’s not just a thing that I’m going to get over if I go to bed earlier or do more yoga.

People often say things along the line of ‘I don’t know how you do it all’, and I am often thinking, ‘I don’t either’. Hell, I don’t think I DO ‘do it all’, at least, not in the way I would like. Not in the way I believe I should be capable of. It’s kind of just enough in all areas to keep things ticking over, but if one thing is getting more attention, then another thing is sliding until I’ve got the energy to drag it back up to where it needs to be. It’s a constant juggling act where I have to make decisions about what I can manage on any given day.

Now I know why. I have a legitimate reason for all the aches and pains, for my constant fatigue. For always juggling. I’m not a ‘flake’, I’m just not super well.

And it sucks. It really sucks. No one wants a chronic health issue. Sure, it could be worse. I could be dying. But it’s still pretty crappy. I was hoping for a magic pill that would ease everything, but it’s just not that simple.

What it does mean is that I need to change my expectations of myself. I’m not going to get back to the level of energy and output I had just like that. There is no quick fix. I need to try different things to see what works for me, and most importantly, go a little easier on myself. Or a lot, depending on who you ask 😉

I feel like these past few years have seen me constantly pulling back on my expectations. And while I fully understand why that’s important – now more than ever – I feel so much resistance to it. I want so badly to be doing all the things. It’s why those things are in my life! And I’m sure as hell not going to let illness get in the way of me achieving my dreams. Though I might need to modify some of my desired timelines for said dreams.

Three weeks ago I started taking antidepressants which are meant to help with Fibro. It’s also meant to be pretty good for bipolar 2 and anxiety, so maybe this will be a magic pill after all, just not the one pill and done kind. My pain levels have decreased a bit, but I’m still in that ‘wait and see’ zone – these things take time. I’ve never been a very patient person when it comes to myself, but I think maybe I’m finally learning that lesson.

And while I wait and try out new things to help my health, I’ll keep writing and making the most of the energy I do have. If I’ve learned anything these past weeks it’s that regardless of whether you’re unwell or not, you need to make good choices about what you spend your time on. Life is short, energy is limited, and we live in a crazy busy world. Surround yourself with awesome people who lift you up and make time for the things you love – read those books, watch that movie, play that game, hug the people you love, laugh lots.

That’s what I’ll be doing.

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life

R for Recovery

RI feel like I have been getting over this sickness forever. The road to recovery is sometimes longer than the actual sickness it seems! April, in general, has been a rough month health-wise, and I am very much looking forward to feeling 100% better and getting back to work on my many projects.

First up is assignment writing. I began the first one today and am hoping to blitz it over the weekend so that I can get back to revision (that would have been a good blog post, maybe another time). Now is really when the year starts to get intense for me and I’m filled with some nervous energy about these assignments. The first one is always the hardest in that you’re unfamiliar with your marker, and with the subject matter, opening results is as intense as opening an email from a publisher/agent/market (though those are more likely to contain rejections than passes lol).

Anyway, I am going to do my very best to catch up with the A-Z! I’ve enjoyed it so far, even though it’s been harder than I’d have liked with the health stuff going on. I’d like to finish off the month anyway, even if the posts end up being shorter than normal.

How are you all doing this month? Anything come at you out of the blue? I hope you’ve all managed to stay healthy anyway.

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Clawing my way back

Well, I’m happy to report that I am mostly better. Apparently it was the flu, and not a cold. My sinuses have taken a beating and are still causing me a fair amount of pain – but it’s less than yesterday, and less than the day before, so I can only hope the trend continues and I feel better again tomorrow.

I’m 100% over being in pain from the moment I wake until the moment I fall asleep at night.

I’m also totally over being sick and not getting anything much done, so today I worked my way through the second half of yesterdays list and I’m almost to the end – the last tasks are to write this post, and get some words down on my latest short story.

I can do those things, because I really want to. Almost two weeks of doing very little when it comes to writing has left me really wanting to get stuck in. I’m determined this month to finish off the current story, and to edit another story that’s been sitting around for too long, as well as get whatever planning/pre-writing/whatever I need sorted for Delaney, because it’s not long now until I plunge myself into the depths of a new novel.

For the record, that thought scares the crap out of me, but I’m not going to let it stop me. A novel is just a bunch of sentences strung together, and I can easily write sentences. Therefore I can write this novel.

So, yes, that’s me at the moment! Still not in perfect health, but getting on with it anyway. Time to get back to business.