Crawling Out

I finally feel like a writer again.

That’s something I haven’t been able to say in a long time. I honestly haven’t felt like much of anything lately. Ever have one of those bouts where it feels like the whole world is crashing down around you and you can’t do anything to stop it? Yeah, that’s how things have been. Between the real job (because “starving artist” is great but it doesn’t pay the bills), the financial chaos, and the all-out shitstorm that has been the last seven months, I’m probably lucky to be crawling out of this as soon as I have.

I haven’t been writing much, and it has really hurt the balance in my mind. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to write… it’s that I haven’t been able to. Whether it’s writer’s block (and the know-it-alls from various conventions can bite my butt on that “It’s another term for being lazy” argument) or the simple fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day, I haven’t gotten many words on paper at all.

Plus the two short stories I finished have been rejected at every turn. That doesn’t help.

In the last seven months I have been to five funerals. There have been eight deaths close to me. It hasn’t been fun.

Losing my Dad in April really screwed up my world. Things haven’t been right since then, and I don’t think they’ll ever be right again, truth be told. I miss him a lot, and I really don’t know how to cope with the fact that he’s gone. Everything reminds me of him, and I still find myself crying on almost a daily basis. Logically I know he wouldn’t want that, but it’s not something I can help. It’s a reaction to the situation and to multiple levels of grief, guilt and resentment toward the general nature of life. I wasn’t ready for that. We didn’t have time to prepare and in all honesty we really didn’t have the opportunity to say good-bye.

The grief has been eating away at me a little at a time for months now, and several weeks ago it got to the point where I completely stopped functioning.  My body shut down, and it was one of the scariest nights of my life.

All of that having been said, it’s probably obvious by now that I’ve been battling serious depression. It never got to the point where I couldn’t function and wanted to hurt myself, but it got pretty bad. I threw myself headfirst into the real job – not that I particularly wanted to, mind you. A coworker passed away under very unusual circumstances and it turns out that I was the only person in the building that knew his job, so guess who inherited it? That’s right… me. That was at the beginning of July. I just dug out of that mess this week.

The cooking and cleaning and general childcare duties have eaten up the rest of my time, leaving the writer-part of me out in the cold and starving.

Well, not anymore.

The fog is finally starting to lift and the world has a little bit of color in it today. Turns out I didn’t lose as much of a story as I thought when my flash drive went missing. My mind is full of thoughts and ideas and characters and situations, and I have enough in the “in progress” folder to keep me writing for years. I have family that cares and great friends who are behind me all the way. My girls are both healthy and my husband and I both have jobs. Yes, there are aspects of this picture that could be better, but over all I think I’ve got it pretty damn good. I’m thankful for what I have (and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, what better time to discover that?), and it’s nice to finally be able to see that silver lining again.

I’m not one-hundred percent back yet, but I’m getting there. Bear with me guys, because I still have a very long road ahead of me.


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