Look! Look! New website and site design courtesy of my fabulous husband, Mike (check out some of his designs at www.bluedragonflydesign.com). I am more than a little thrilled with the site and I really hope that everyone else will be too.
Of course the first bit of feedback I got from the people who looked at it for me (beta viewers if you will) was that there are no recent posts. If you followed me over from the original WordPress or even on Facebook or twitter, then you know it has been several months since I have been active online in general.
There are several reasons for this. Over the past year and a half I have had some fairly serious health issues which I am not sure I want to discuss over the Internet. Not because I am being mysterious, but because I am really still not sure I can put into words how I feel about some of these things. In the beginning no one could tell me what was really going on, which was frustrating and I bounced around between several Doctors for a while. When we finally got a working diagnosis (and a Doctor who would listen to me) things improved mentally, but I still felt very overwhelmed and discouraged because while there were a lot of things going on, nothing actually happened to make me physically feel better for a while. In fact, as often happens with various treatments around cancerous issues I initially felt worse.
I am not a person who gives up lightly, and I have always had several health issues that have been ongoing since childhood, however it was determined here that the root cause of the problem was an injury that happened when I was a child. I felt that I had overcome the emotional and physical issues of the time involved and it was a pretty big blow to discover that not only did the event still have a hold on me, but that it was now running my life. I felt as if my own body had betrayed me, and worse, felt completely defeated. The monster that I had fought so hard to defeat, had believed that I had defeated, suddenly was there looking me in the eye again and laughing at me. I stopped taking care of myself. Sure, I took the medications and did the daily life things that are needed, but I stopped taking care of me. I stopped wearing makeup, fixing my hair or worrying about how I looked. I stopped taking care of my garden and let a lot of things die in the summer heat. I did minimal cooking and housekeeping. I stopped meditating and attending synagogue. Worst of all, I stopped doing the one thing that in my head defines “me” – I stopped writing.
I have always been writing something. As early as elementary school I wrote short stories and poetry. I even won several contests for it, the most notable being a contest that included Charles M. Schultz as one of the judges. My first job involved writing for a small children’s magazine before I had left high school. I worked for CBS as a News Editor/ writer, did freelance projects in New York and even spent time as a LARP (live action role playing) coordinator for a group that did star trek conventions. Even when I wasn’t getting paid for writing I have always done it. I stopped. Cold turkey. Even when I wanted to write, I didn’t.
I realize that I have been punishing myself. Writing has always been my refuge. No matter how rough everything else has gotten in my life, I have always been able to retreat into my own head and write. I have worked out things in stories that I couldn’t figure out any other way and resolved a lot of emotional issues. A lot of things that I have written will never be read by anyone but me. That is completely OK. I have written a lot of things that have been published and broadcast too. Of course the less I wrote, the more guilty I felt because I happen to have the most supportive husband in the world when it comes to writing, and he didn’t understand why I wasn’t writing. I watched people unsubscribe from my blog, my social media followers dwindle, and decided in some part of myself that I deserved it. All of my frustration with things completely beyond my control, has been poured out on the one thing I have absolute control over. Sure I rallied a few times. I hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner for friends and enjoyed cooking again for a couple of days. I went to a writer’s conference with a friend and had an absolute ball. (I had purchased the tickets a year in advance so I told myself I had to go). Friends who perhaps didn’t understand where I have been, because I have refused to talk about it, but who have nonetheless still stuck by me. (Especially the amazing Sidney Bristol who now shows up at my house routinely to help me color my hair when she heard my lame excuse for not doing it was that since I wear it very long, it was too difficult to manage on my own). But the “current” work in progress, that I had been so excited about, sat unopened for several months.
Here is the thing that I realized a couple of weeks ago – I haven’t actually done anything wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong as a child, and I haven’t done anything wrong now. This isn’t some kind of Karmic punishment. This isn’t news to me. I have made the realization several times in my life over this particular issue, but somehow I manage to forget this truth from time to time. Oddly enough what has helped me climb out of the spiral has been another health issue. I was diagnosed in February with type II Diabetes. No, being diabetic isn’t exactly good news, but it has forced me into a new discipline of self care that has been good for me. Now that I have a basic understanding of the rules of how I should eat and when, I have started to have more control over “good days” and “bad days”. I have a doctor who is helping me take charge of things, and I have a plan of action now. I have started meditating again, taking care of myself again, and taking steps to make several significant and positive changes – One of which is not one, but two new blogs. We are having a few difficulties making what I want to happen on the other site happen, so I am holding off on the unveiling for another couple of weeks, but it will come about too. I am still climbing out of the mess of things here, and I am behind on several things that desperately need my attention, but I am getting there.
Oh, and that work in progress I stopped working on? I have added another 4,000 words in the last week.