|Clio, Muse of Writing and History|
It’s hard when Passion grabs you by the throat and makes you pay attention, forcing everything else to fall away. Life fades into the background as you become a thrall to whatever has taken control of your waking mind and dreaming soul. As a creative person I find it difficult to balance life when Passion takes the wheel. It's even harder when it doesn’t.
This blog has sat dormant for almost a year. It isn’t that I don’t have things to say or thoughts to share. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to put all the thoughts running through my head down in words. I know part of it is the feeling no one is really interested in my musings and worries. How vain is it to think someone would want to hear what rolls around in your head on a daily basis? Part of it stems from an inability to find the right words to grapple with all that I have been trying to sort out. I have a book, a series of books actually, that I have been working on for almost five years. I have short stories and essays I have written. I have words, stories, thoughts, feelings and fears but I don’t seem to have the ability to get them out. What the hell is that all about?
|Pandora's Box by Waterhouse|
I also have a secret. Well, not so much a secret, some people know but it isn’t something I talk about unless life forces my hand. I wonder though if keeping my struggles to myself, holding the silence, is somehow gaging my voice. Could it be that secrets bleed silence into more than the object of the secret itself? So, I suppose the only thing to do is let go of the secret, make it less, give it light, let the monster out of the closet because when we keep our fears and weaknesses in the dark we are only allowing them room to grow.
In 2008 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing spondylitis- a disease where your immune system attacks cartilage, fusing bones over time. When I moved to New England in 2009 I was on a medication that depressed my immune system. I caught H1N1 and became very, very ill. I recovered but, in changing doctors, I also had a diagnosis change from AS to Fibromyalgia. I will be honest. It really pissed me off! Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis many doctors and people alike consider fake and affecting only the weak minded. AS was scary but it was real. I felt hopeless and hurting not to mention crazy. Depression creeped into the edges of my life until it took over almost completely.
Between the pain of daily life and emotional pain the depression has caused, every day since then has been an excruciating challenge. I am grateful for the fighting “screw you “spirit I inherited from my parents. This “never say die” attitude has been my greatest weapon but also my biggest challenge as I resist the very things that help-medication, rest and relaxation. I have been blessed with a husband who not only accepts my limitations but encourages me to rest when I don’t want to let go; but I see the toll it takes on him when he feels like the whole world is on his shoulders and it hurts my soul. I don’t want my kids to have their childhood memories tainted with a pervasive image of Mom sick in bed or not at This Game or That Function because she didn’t feel well.
I am lucky. It isn’t cancer. For now it doesn’t seem to be AS- a disease that progressively destroys the axial body- even though there is the chance that my diagnosis will change as a possibly slow progression of AS shows itself over time. I am grateful for what I have but I want more. I want to write. I want to be able to think without struggling to find simple words. I want to wake up with the energy to take on the world. I want to let go of the shame of not being enough and embrace my life and my future with the passion I once had.
I used to say “I will do it later. There is time.” It’s later and I am tired of waiting. I want the world and I want it now. I am not afraid to work for it, to risk and fail and rebound. I am only afraid this never ending struggle to push through the crap of everyday will overwhelm me. I can’t bully my way through this as I have always done with life’s inevitable challenges. Brute force doesn’t work anymore and I am so very tired of trying.
Maybe that is the lesson here. In the past, I have reached every goal I set for myself through sheer determination and moxy. I pushed. I pulled. I clawed. I never gave up. Maybe this time it is about giving up and letting go. I don’t mean letting go of my dreams. I don’t think that option is in my DNA. Rather, it’s about letting go of control and learning to steer the boat on the river rather than pushing so hard against the current. It’s about trusting in the future, letting go of the past and really living in the now. It’s about letting go of the shame of not being perfect
The secret is out- I am not Wonder Woman. Not such a big one, is it? So then why do I feel like I am standing here in my underwear?
The first step to writing is having something to say. The second step is being honest about what you say- brutally honest. Writing is about Truth. So here is my Truth: I have limits, boundaries and that has to be ok. I have good days and really sucky days. There are days when I hurt so much that I can barely move. There have been days when my depression was so severe I didn’t even care that I hurt. But there are days like today when I remember that I am on this earth for a reason. I am a writer and I tell the truth.
I teach my children to, above all else, do everything with truth and compassion. Perhaps it is time I give some of that gift to myself. Truth: I am human. As for Compassion? That is a work in progress but it is a worthy work accomplished by love and patience and there can never be enough of that in this world.