Writing to Heal or Healing to Write?

Even though it’s been a few months since the “mascara hit the fan” as my mother so oddly puts it, it’s only in the last few days that I finally feel as though I’m healing. Yes, my days feel more empty if not outright hollow, and yes, I miss the Stray terribly, thoughts and memories and dreams often floating to the surface of my mind. But the thing is, I’m not entirely miserable anymore. One step at a time, I’m moving forward.

So maybe a massive fight where we both backed off from one another for various reasons (most likely not wanting to put up with angry attacks and refusals to apologize for attacking, not to mention the pain of feeling like nothing more than a huge disappointment) was a good thing, at least for me. Okay, maybe not. I still feel the void left behind, but I suppose there is something that can help fill that. Like my writing or taking on my newest everyday adventure: audio books while driving. Seriously, today alone I killed a third of a pen from writing this story I’ve had in my head for a while. This is a good thing! And I enjoyed my drive to and from work so much more with a story playing in the background than listening to the news.

I went most of today without daydreaming of things that may never happen or reliving memories that will never again come about. While at work, for the first time in a long time – or so it seems, though I’m terrible with my temporal cognisance – I felt almost happy. I have a bunch of really neat people around me, supportive and experienced in different walks of life. We’re all working toward the same goal – survive the damned training course. And as long as some people don’t throw temper tantrums over nothing again, it’s mostly stress-free. In fact, I came to realize just how at home I am in a classroom environment. I like having people around me who are working toward the same goals without really competing for the same single position or promotion or whatever. I like having the teacher droning on and on about the same three or four things for hours on end. I’m most productive during such periods. My few pages from today are a testament to that.

But I suppose it’s even more amazing because just last night I tried to write something, anything and nothing would come out. Everything I tried felt wrong or bad. Nothing was good enough. Judging by how easily this story came out today, I’d say that perhaps I’d been trying to write the wrong story and need to step away from it a bit. I think I’ll do just that after I finish the sequences of events I have already worked out. (Alice, you’ve never seen the Wonderland I’m painting you.) I’ve heard tale that when you’re starting out, it doesn’t matter WHAT you write, just that you do it, and that you eventually finish it. That last part is tricky for me.

But writing might just be what I need right now. I feel better when I do. I just need to keep reminding myself of that fact.

“Let the Challenges Make You Strong.”

I apologize to whomever cares to read this that I’ve been silent for the last few weeks. These past few weeks have been a bit rough for me. Between personal problems, health issues arising from said personal problems, and another push to find employment of some sort, it’s not been fun.

To put it simply, something in my life had me suffering a full-blown anxiety attack. I’d never had one that bad and over the days afterward I had mild aftershocks. Two days ago I had another one that left me terrified of some other health effects. Stress always goes straight to my stomach, so I lost a few pounds as a result. As of today, I’m happy to report that my stomach is no longer hating me upon waking up in the morning. I can eat a little without feeling nauseous or like it’ll make a return appearance.

It’s kind of sad when that’s my happy moment of the day, isn’t it? And truth be told, I’m a little disappointed in myself. I’m the cause of my personal problems. It’s a psychological issue and it amazes me how much control the brain and emotions can have over the rest of the body, how much damage we can do to ourselves just because of fear and anxiety or whatever.

A friend of mine shared an image via Facebook today. It’s a classic motivational poster type image with a scenic background in muted colors with an inspirational quote on top in white letters.

“Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Let the challenges make you strong.”

And it made me realize that even though I used to do that regularly, I haven’t been doing that much, if at all, recently. The question of “when did I stop” floated near the surface, but in the end that answer is irrelevant. When I stopped doesn’t change when I’ll start again. But it does bring to mind a truly relevant question: What other good habits I once built for myself have I been ignoring and thus forgetting? What did I used to do that made me happy and fulfilled that I’ve stopped doing for one reason or another or no reason at all?

I used to meditate. I used to do regular tarot readings for myself because it made me think about my life and feel good (even when the reading was more negative, I still felt good for some reason). I used to dance regularly. I used to sing more. I used to sit at my computer and write almost daily. I used to sit down and enjoy a few cups of tea in the afternoon (haven’t been since my stomach has been upset, but I’m fixing that today). I used to go for morning walks. I used to stay up well past midnight and enjoy the quiet that comes from a house at rest. I used to play more puzzle and hidden object games than I do. I used to devour books and not feel bad about it. I used to go out for myself every couple of weeks (now it’s once a month if I’m lucky, and I’m not counting going out to fill out an application as “for me”).

So what am I doing to fix all of this? I don’t know yet. But I need to. And the consequences are mine alone to suffer.

The Day Off or Why My Brain Decided to Betray Me

So, originally I had planned to use today as yet another day of plotting and planning and maybe get a little bit of writing in. My body (or more specifically, my brain) decided to betray me instead. See, I’m female. I’m PMSing pretty bad today. And I know that there are a lot of people who say PMS ISN’T REAL. Well, then I challenge them to properly define a true crankiness, depression and a major thinning of the proverbial skin during this one week before my period. I have been to the doctor before and was never actually diagnosed with the proper term: PMDD. Maybe this was because I was too young (roughly 18).

For the record, this is how it turns out for me: I wake up, feel fine enough and go about my day until suddenly and for no apparent reason I start feeling horrible. It’s like every shadow and ghost and memory I’ve got locked inside my brain come out as if the gates of a Lovecraftian Hell dimension have burst open. I find myself facing a painful depression where my mind haunts me with all of my past, every ghost of my memories comes out to tell me how I’m useless and worthless. And no matter how hard I fight back, I still end up emotionally drained, crying, and feeling sorry for myself until I look up at the calendar, count the number of days since that little stamp mark from the last time I felt relief from this very same feeling, and realize what this really is that I’m fighting. See, knowing that I’ve fought against this particular demon and survived multiple times brings with it the relief that I can do it again. And somehow it brings, while not a full cure, at least a hope that I was lacking before so that I can go back to facing my day. For the next few days I just keep reminding myself that it will end until finally the day when Aunt Flo comes to visit and I finally do get relief… unless I end up with cramps just then, but that’s a different matter entirely. I’d honestly rather just suffer cramps than this emotional self-flagellation. (Lovely image there, right?)

I took myself off medication for very personal reasons related to my living situation, which I ask you to respect. My living situation in the intervening years has not changed except that I no longer have health insurance. I cannot afford it. And even with it, I would refuse going back onto pills until after my home life has changed for the better. (Mainly, I refuse to have my need for medication shoved into my face daily and with condescension, patronization and pretension.)

So anyway, I’ve decided that today I’m taking a day off from writing simply because I’ll only end up a) ranting, b) putting too much of myself into my main character, or c) both. Today is about surviving and finding something to smile about and appreciate.

Wasted Time, or I tried being productive and failed

Okay, so I know I promised in the last post that I’d try to figure out what sort of writing I’d post on here. I’m working on it, I promise. I’ve got the planning out of a story I think I could share online, but that I don’t think should go here, per se. I think I’ll make a separate blog somewhere else for that one. For here, though, I’m still drawing a major blank. I’m sorry.

So what have I been doing these past couple weeks? I’ve been writing. And job hunting like half of the US it seems. Things don’t look like they’re going to be improving anytime soon in that regard either. Anyway, writing. Yes. What have I been writing? Well, I wrote this wonderful little short scene featuring a romance inspired by two people in my real world life. There were smiles and heart emoticons when I shared that with those involved. And I finally finished one of the shorter stories I’ve been working on for a few months. (Hey, this one didn’t want to finish easily like it should, okay? I can’t do anything about running out of ideas on how to end it well. Don’t judge me. *hides*)

That one is going to my friend for her editing class project. Well, it will once she gives me the paperwork I need first. Silly editing classes with their not dispensing the important pieces of the assignment until the last moment ways. Then again, it’s a creative writing class. When aren’t things left to the last minute? Seems to also be the way of the world at the moment. Oh well. I shouldn’t really complain since I’m the same way.

So, this other story, the one I don’t think I’ll post here? Yeah, I’m still planning it out. And I hate doing that. See that word? HATE! I’m the type who loves to jump in both feet first into the projects I start, make a big splash and hope for the best. So far, I enjoy my work a lot more that way. Outlining who my characters are, the exact details of the setting, the backstories… it’s all so boring and it feels like I’m not doing any real work, which is the writing itself. But I know for a piece like this that I have to. *Sigh* Cannot win.

Well… back to the outlining. Maybe I can jump in with the first thousand words by the end of tonight. If I can get the first few chapters down, I might be able to convince myself that it’s worthy of blog status. Wish me luck! Take care~