Why I Stopped Writing

Forbidding_Stop_Sign

Photo credit thecrazyfilmgirl on Flickr.

I have simultaneously looked forward to and dreaded this moment for quite some time, having been seriously thinking about it for more than a year. What would I say about a four and a half year unplanned and totally unintentional hiatus from this blog? How could I explain all that went into that happening and everything that’s happened since? The answer to both is I can’t. At least not in one post.

So I’m just going to tell you why I stopped posting here (hence the title of this piece) and share additional details in due time. Full disclosure: I’m almost as afraid of publishing this post as I was when I published my first post more than seven years ago. There’s something sort of terrifying about putting myself out there to be judged.

Oh, well. Here we go.

I don’t actually remember making a conscious decision to stop writing. After I wrote my last post, Here’s to the Dark Bits I just remember not knowing where to go or what to do next. And being tired. So damn tired.

I had been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue in May 2012 after suffering from severe fatigue, pain, and some other random symptoms for more than a year. My friend Donna recalls that I told her (although I don’t remember this) I wasn’t going to write anymore because with my adrenal fatigue I was just too worn out to write.

I went to several doctors over the years to try to get help; sometimes having to borrow money from my parents to pay for it because I didn’t always have health insurance (support single-payer, yo!). But it wasn’t until February 2017 that I was finally correctly diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease (along with Lyme’s friends Mycoplasma, Babesia, and Bartonella, and Epstein-Barr virus just for kicks).

It took a while to get my immune system to a point where I could even attempt Lyme treatment since the treatment itself can be hard on your body. In September 2017 I started treatment and recently added a new protocol to what I was already taking (my entire day focuses around taking pills and drops and sprays at specific times of the day, with and without food — it’s a job in itself).

For years, I’ve told myself I’ll write again when I feel better. I try to remain hopeful, but so far, not much has improved and I’ve finally come to the realization that this may be my life now. That as much as I want to be healthy again, it could be a long haul if it happens at all. So I decided there was no good time to start writing again and as hard as it is to add something extra to my life right now, I have to do it.

There are so many things I want to talk about — and by ‘talk’ I mean write because I am far better at expressing myself in writing than speaking — so it’s hard to predict what direction this blog will take going forward. I keep an ongoing list of topics in a Note on my iPhone and they run the gamut from what it’s like to live with Lyme disease to how I fell in love with David Duchovny. I just know I want to focus on something more than my job and my treatment and just getting through each day.

My posts may be shorter than they used to be and there may be typos and incorrect grammar since one of Lyme’s many fun symptoms is cognitive difficulties, also known as brain fog, (thank god for the Grammarly app) but I’m going to write anyway. I’d love it if you’d cut me some slack for now.

Here’s what I can say: I will write what I can when I can and hopefully it won’t be four years in between posts. Seems like a reasonable goal, right?

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I’d love to hear your comments below. If you liked this post, then please ‘Like’ it and share with your friends. And don’t forget to click ‘Follow’ to get email notifications whenever I post something new. But most of all…thank you for reading and being a part of my journey.

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Thought for the Day

Life is like a roller coaster. One minute you’re on top of the world, hands in the air, smile on your face…and the next minute you’re screaming at the top of your lungs, holding on for dear life, and just praying you don’t pee your pants.

And yes…you can quote me on that!

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I’d love to hear your comments below. If you liked this post, then please ‘Like’ it and share with your friends. And don’t forget to click ‘Follow’ to get email notifications whenever I post something new. But most of all…thank you for reading and being a part of my journey.

Closure…It’s Not What You Think It Is

Clo·sure Webster’s dictionary defines closure as : an often comforting or satisfying sense of finality <victims needing closure>; also : something (as a satisfying ending) that provides such a sense. Dictionary.com describes it as a bringing to an end; conclusion. But I call bullshit! This has not been my experience. When you lose someone you love; due to death, divorce, a break up, there’s nothing satisfying about it. And there’s certainly no conclusion. Maybe the hope of getting closure someday keeps us going when we might otherwise give up. I suppose that’s a good thing. But I don’t think closure exists…at least not the way most of us look at it.

I’ve been thinking about closure alot these last months. Ever since the man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with walked away and my heart was broken beyond words. The ‘solution’ I am often presented with is closure. Well-meaning friends and family members often say, “You just need closure.” Or, they’ll tell me something negative about him saying, “Maybe this will help you get closure.” Apparently, no matter what the circumstance or how deep the pain, all you need to do is get closure and that matter will be behind you forever. They make it sound so easy. It’s not.

Most days come and go without tears, but not without thoughts of him. I get up, I go to work, I live my life. But then something out of the blue sparks a memory. I hear a song, or a line in a movie and the pain comes flooding back. Before I know it I am consumed by the longing to see him again, to hear his voice, to touch his sweet face. Often those journeys into darkness are completely unexpected. The other day I picked up a book off my shelf thinking I’d sit down and read for a while. Inside the front cover was a folded piece of paper. I opened to it find a print out of an email from him professing he would love and adore me forever. He didn’t. And just reading those words all these months later brought back the pain of him leaving as if it were yesterday.

There are also times when it’s a funny memory. I was at the grocery store recently and suddenly felt the urge to start drumming. You can imagine my confusion since I am not, nor have I ever been, a drummer. It took a minute, but then I realized the song playing ovehead was also on the video game Rock Band. We used to play that game until the wee hours of the morning. We had our own ‘band’ and we were on ‘tour’. He was the guitarist, of course, and I was the drummer. I wasn’t very good at it, but we had alot fun! It was our thing…something we did together nearly every time I visited. I laughed out loud in the aisle when it hit me.

And then there are the times when I wonder if the Universe is messing with me. Has that ever happened to you? I was driving through Eatonville the other day. This is the town where we met…were we went to high school together. I have to drive through town on my way to my parent’s house. He was already on my mind as he often is when I drive past the high school. As I was sitting at the four-way stop in the middle of town, I looked up and realized the car in front of me had Virginia license plates. That is where he lives and where I was going to move. Virginia is where we were going to build a life together. I just looked up to the sky and sighed. Really? There are 49 other states; why Virginia plates? What does that mean? Or is it just a random coincidence? I still don’t know what it means, but don’t believe in coincidences.

To be honest I was starting to think something was wrong with me that I couldn’t get to that ever-illusive state of closure. I felt like people wanted me to get over it already and move on. Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. Then my mom loaned me Jerry Sittser’s book, “A Grace Disguised.” It’s the story of a man who lost his mother, his wife, and his daughter in one fateful car crash. He talks about loss in such an honest, real way. And reading his story reminded me that while my life goes on, and so does yours, it will never be the same. You can’t go back. Losing someone you love leaves a hole in your heart that nothing else can fill. That’s not to say you won’t be happy again. But you’ll never stop missing them; they will always be a part of you.

I have to admit I still get angry sometimes when people tell me I need closure. As if that’s the magic pill that will make my heart stop hurting; the memories stop flooding back at the slightest provocation; the longing to see him again fade away. I just don’t think closure is the right word. I think the word we’re looking for is acceptance. You can accept the fact your loved one is gone. But that doesn’t mean you forget them. And I don’t think you should. The memories will always be there; some sad, some happy, some just downright weird. But I think acceptance brings peace…a little at a time.

So here’s my advice on loss. You can take it or leave it. It’s your choice. Let yourself feel the pain. Remember that person as often as you want and cry or smile or both. Don’t fight those feelings because you think you shouldn’t have them. This is not about wallowing or feeling sorry for yourself; though you may feel that way at times. This is about being real. The experiences of your life are as much a part of you as your fingers and toes. The pain will come and go. There is no closure; no magic moment; no satisfy ending; no conclusion. The person you love will always be with you; in your thoughts, your mind, your heart. Life is a story that goes on and on. And they will always be a part of it.

“Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.” ~Frederick Buechner