The Real Problem
I don’t think I have to point out the fact that it’s been quite a while since I posted here, though I also don’t think anyone’s too surprised! I haven’t been around in quite a while, even before my last post, and there’s a good reason for it. So I’m not going to beat around the bush getting to it, and I think the bottom line is that my personal life is in a state of upheaval.
With that said, I think I should start this off by explaining that the troubles I’m having are actually pretty hard to articulate. I feel as if I owe some people an explanation, but on the same token, I’m a fairly private person. I don’t really like going into details over matters in my personal life, and sadly, the upheaval I’ve mentioned is pretty much related to nothing but personal matters.
So the best question I have to ask myself is where to start, and the best answer is to say that I’m not entirely well. At present, I’m in the process of recovery, or at least, that’s the only way I can think of to describe it.
But what am I recovering from? Well, I’ll get to that in a second. First, I need to apologize to everyone about the delay on Tempting Eternity. I postponed it for publishing back in August, and thought I’d be able to finish it by the end of the year. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely any longer, and I’m just getting to a point where I can accept my failure to produce results sooner.
I’m an extremely stubborn person, after all, and I pushed myself to write as hard as I resisted accepting defeat. A few years back, I’d set a goal for myself to write at least two books within a year, which I think is an acceptable goal all things considered. I love writing, I love creating my worlds, and I adore hearing people say they were swept up in one of my books. I feel I owe it to those people to continue producing stories as well, and not simply because they enjoyed the books, but also because a lot of people need them.
Still, there are some things I owe to myself as well, and I can’t ignore those things anymore than someone can stop eating–and that, I do believe, is where this all begins.
So I’ll keep things simple, and take us back to July when I made the decision to quit smoking. I can’t entirely say that’s exactly where everything began, but it’s had such a large role in what’s going on that I haven’t been able to identify any other source. With that said, I think anyone would tell you that quitting smoking is certainly a step in the right direction! I even mentioned I was on the verge of quitting in my last post which was actually on my birthday, about 6 days after I smoked my last cigarette (and just so you know, I haven’t smoked since).
Until then, I’d been a smoker for 19 years, and was a heavy smoker for a good deal of that time. I could easily smoke two packs a day, if not a little more truth be told, so yeah, one might say I was dedicated to the habit. But anyone who knows me would also tell you that picking up the habit from the start had become one of my greatest regrets. I was 17 years old and barely two months out of high school when I first lit up, and while you may read this and think “Oh, she started smoking and then she quit, this isn’t such a huge deal,” I do believe smoking had a much larger impact on my life than anyone would guess at.
And this is where things get incredibly hard for me to articulate.
I honestly don’t know where to begin outside of throwing out the fact that I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and I’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression as well as generalized anxiety disorder. So it’s fairly obvious why this is so difficult for me to talk about. Anyone who suffers from mental illness in any capacity is reluctant to speak of it because of the stigmas placed on mental disorders. Most people don’t understand it because they don’t have to live with it, so when you tell them, “I had to flip the light switch five times before I left the room,” they typically tend think you’re just crazy.
Now, here comes the hard part. I’ve dealt with mental illness since I was 7 years old, and I won’t go into detail over some of the issues I’ve had, but I will say things became much more difficult to deal with after I turned 18. Ever since, it always felt like I was struggling harder than before, and the reasons why eluded me. Maybe getting older was the culprit, or perhaps my mental illness was simply severe, and I had to learn to cope. Whatever the case, it wasn’t until I made the decision to quit smoking that I realized my choice to start could’ve been why.
After all, cigarettes contain more than just nicotine. If you research it, you’ll find that cigarette smoke also delivers over 7,000 chemicals into your body, and there’s evidence that those chemicals can exacerbate mental illness, which is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. So introducing the different chemicals from cigarettes could certainly have an impact on those imbalances.
Sadly, there hasn’t been much research done into the matter judging by what I could find in searches, but I honestly don’t need searches to prove that this is, at least in part, what’s happened to me.
I can tell just by the way I feel, and the things I’ve experienced now versus then.
I’ve been off of cigarettes for just a little over three months now, and the impact it’s had on me has been pretty profound. I can breathe more easily, I don’t cough nearly as much as I used to, my skin feels softer, my hair stays cleaner longer, and I can smell/taste things again. But those are the physical changes, and there’s certainly been a shift to my moods. I’ve had a few episodes of anxiety for the first time since I was 18-19 years old, and though they weren’t severe, they were certainly reminiscent of what I went through back then.
Sadly, this has caused an upheaval that’s put a damper on my ability to focus on larger tasks. Even writing this post out feels like a huge chore I’ll never be able to accomplish, and as for writing a 100k word manuscript like Tempting Eternity?
Yeeeah, good luck? =\
So I’ve found myself in recent months spending most of my time watching youtube videos, shows, entire series, and so on, because they don’t require as much focus as writing. I’d peck out a few sentences in between bouts of playing games like The Sims 3, all while wondering when I’ll be able to get back to doing what I love most. There have been times where I thought I should just give up because maybe the reason I couldn’t get myself to write anything substantial is that I’ve simply lost interest.
But if so, why do I still long to finish my story?
The answer is simple; I haven’t lost interest, I’ve simply lost my footing. I’m in the process of recovering from nearly 2 decades worth of, well, poison, and it’s going to take some time before I can stand on my own two feet again. When I posted back in August, it was all about stopping the habit of smoking. Now, it’s about letting the pieces fall back into place, and finding myself again through it all.
So though I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen, I do know I’ve been pretending for these past few months that this is just a hiccup when it’s actually a little more serious, and I’m tired of it. I’m not going to pretend anymore, and I’m not going to act as if I’ll be getting my ninth book out by next month, because it’s simply not going to happen. Right now, I need to take care of myself, and if that means I only write down a few sentences at a time everyday, then so be it.
The good thing about this, however, is that it’s allowed me to step back and really examine where I am as a writer, which is to say no where special. I’ve gathered a few readers that I’m endlessly grateful for, and I hope you’ll all stick around as I work to get Tempting Eternity on the shelf so to speak (because I can fucking promise you it’s going to happen!). But I do need to cut out the parts of this that aren’t working, and one of those parts happens to be this blog.
I’ve run this blog for several years now, and while it serves a purpose for me in making announcements and so on, it’s not entirely convenient, nor does it have a huge following, and I certainly don’t have the time to go out and try to gather more. I’m more active on tumblr and facebook than I am here anyway, and in fact, my website has a blog, but I haven’t used it because I’ve been to busy making posts on this one. Now, with that said, I have no plans of shutting this blog down, never fear! But I’m also not going to be entirely active here anymore (saying I was from the start!).
As for the rest, I’ll be doing what I usually do, and I’m certainly not giving up on my writing. At present I’m feeling overwhelmed, unfocused, and completely out of place. But those feelings will fade over time, and I’ll be ready to continue on when they do.