I did my best to try to participate in the April A to Z blogging challenge. I've missed several days now, and looking forward I can't say I will be able to finish.
But I hate not finishing things! Can't stand it. So today is my goodbye to the challenge for this year. Bringing it to a close, but accepting my limits. A personal story... the last 14 months have been hard for me, and my household really.
Back up a couple of years. I had lost 55 pounds, cured my irritible bowel type issues, and pretty much erradicated the depression and anxiety that had plagued me for nearly 30 years. I had also changed my thinking patterns and had a new hope and joy about my writing goals.
Early last year, my daughter, who already has one chronic health condition, was not doing well. Turns out she had develped type I diabetes. She was 7 years old at the time and her world became filled with hospital stays, needles, and a complete shift in how she lives her life. It was rough on all of us, but we were managing to get back on our feet. Then I started feeling unwell. I was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy--a miscarriage. Basically my birth control had failed, I got pregnant, but the egg was implanted in the wrong place...in my ovary. It was treated conservatively with medications to stop the growth. A week later my ovary ruptured and I had to have emergency surgery.
A flash of pure happiness the moment they told me I was pregnant, something I had wanted but was not in the plans for us. Followed almost immediately by the news that the baby growing inside me needed to be terminated before it grew too large and killed us both. To the medical world, it was a bunch of cells at that point. To me, it was a goodbye to the child I had always wanted but will never have. It was also a betrayal, on a deep level. My body nearly succeeded in killing us.
Throughout this, I kept working on my writing. I was learning about audio books. I recorded several short stories for audible, worked on some print projects... I wonder how I would manage these things without writing to turn to. I embarked upon the A to Z challenge with a grim determination to "get over it." The medical world told me I'd be back on my feet in 1-2 weeks. They didn't tell me about the hormonal changes, the soul-sucking fatigue, and the return of my depression, which has made it VERY hard to get over anything. Let alone get on with life.
BUT, though I may not have had the energy and commitment to see the challenge through to the end and post every day, the challenge--and my theme--have helped to bring me back to myself and, slowly, back to the things I know to be true inside.
I started to build the self I always wanted to be before all this crapola. And it was working. That means I can do it again. And I'm oversharing all this because I hope that when life kicks you, you find your way back to yourself too. So.... to end the A to Z:
The beautiful being that you are, deep inside can overcome anything. Let it suffuse your creative endeavors and dreams.
Unless you get back up, you'll never know what you could have accomplished.
Very often we fall down. Victims stay down forever. Victors stand back up.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And sometimes it's a near thing!
X-rated romance scenes can be healing.
YOU have a gift to give to the world, and you owe it to yourself to nurture every lovely piece of yourself so that gift can grow and be shared with the world.
Zorro wore a mask. One of the worst parts of my recent struggle is knowing that most people who interact with me will have no idea what is going on. My incisions are small and hidden beneath my clothing. I have to smile and chatter and do my job even when I just want a retreat. But that's okay. I'm going to make my art anyway, because that's what superheros do. Mask on if you have to, greatness in your heart. But never stop being you. And never stop creating.
Wishing you the absolute euphoria of discovering your true self, and putting it into your art!