|What will my own project tomorrow be? Time will tell.|
Sorry for my absence, it’s been unavoidable.
Everything that has been happening/has happened in the past year or so finally caught up to me a few weeks back, and my brain just completely locked up on me.
It was a mixed state that my meds were only so effective in unraveling (going to have to talk to the doctor about that next week) and which finally resulted in me doing what I sometimes do when pushed to my absolute limits: I ran away from home.
Of course, my husband knew about this and even helped me plan it, so it wasn’t like I disappeared for days without anyone knowing where I was. I just disappeared alone for a few days without all but a couple people knowing where I was.
And I walked.
I walked as far as my legs would possibly take me, the mania in my mind driving my body beyond its usual capabilities (and I am still paying for that days later.) When I couldn’t walk any more I rented a scooter and I tried to make my way through crowds that were higher than expected for the few days that I was “home”, at my retreat from reality, Walt Disney World.
When everything got to be too much (crowds, noise, people) I’d find a nice hotel restaurant, sit down, eat whatever my frustratingly fragile stomach could tolerate (sometimes only chicken soup and tea) and I would just not think.
Because thinking is all I’ve been doing for a very long time, and I’ve burned out some of the pathways in my brain, I’m sure of it.
I came home with a new clarity as to what makes me happy and what doesn’t. Sadly, part of what makes me unhappy is something that is required if you’re going to be an author, so I suppose that’s why I have gone back to considering myself a ‘hobbyist writer’ and not an ‘author’.
For all I’ve done in the past four years to become a published author, what it’s taken out of me feels like so much more than it has given back.
For decades before that, the words gave so much more than they took from me; since I started looking at them in a different light, the light of sending them out into the world, that was the moment when they began to take more than they gave.
It’s nearly impossible to get your books noticed in the sea of new releases that are launched every day; supply far exceeds demand when it comes to books these days.
I hit the wall with marketing awhile back, now I’ve just hit the wall with all of it; with all things writing.
Under medical advice, I will be cutting back my time on social media, and when I’m there it’s going to be much more for fun and less for anything else.
I’m not going to force myself to do things that make me unhappy anymore. I can’t afford to. Bipolar changes the game when it comes to handling stress and strain on your soul, and especially while still grieving the loss of my father, I have got to take a new look at how I’m doing everything else.
So I will still run promotions from time to time (there’s a big one coming up next week, stay tuned…) but promotion will become a smaller part of my existence as I make space again for doing what I should be doing; taking care of myself, and my health, above everything else because without it I’ve got nothing.
This last meltdown/breakdown whatever you want to call it really scared me. It scared those who saw it, too, and no one knew, for a few days there, quite what to do with me.
I didn’t know what to do with me, and that is/was the most frightening part of all.
It took going a thousand miles away from home physically and a million miles away in my head and heart from anything that felt hurtful to my soul to jolt me back into some state of functioning.
It took walking farther than I thought I had the ability to walk (and again, I am still paying; I walked until I nearly collapsed) to get my brain to unlock and finally slow down. At points I kept thinking of Forrest Gump, running and running, until he ran himself out.
I had to walk it all out.
It has taken a week of days spent sleeping to begin to recover from the trip and the weeks of sleepless nights that preceded it. It will take weeks more for me to return to what is for me a normal state of physical being. Right now the pain levels are off the charts. I’m swollen, exhausted, and hurting, physically, but at least my mind has been freed from lock down.
I find myself thinking of a quote I heard repeated while I was in Disney World; Qui-Gon Jinn, the Jedi Master said, quote; “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”
My focus has to shift, because I have got to get back to a reality that my mind can begin to cope with.
Whether anyone ever notices my books or not, that doesn’t mean I’ve failed. I’ve put them out there, and I’ve tried my best to shine a light on them without blinding people. They’ll still be out there, waiting for the right readers to find them, and I have faith that some folks will, still.
Until then, the focus that determines my reality will not be based upon rankings and sales figures.
It’ll be on the fact that I managed to have five novels published, despite Bipolar, despite my ill physical health, despite it all; and it will be about doing more of what makes life livable, instead of what makes me want to give up on trying altogether.
I hope you are all well.