Confession: I wasn’t going to do this, this week. I was going to send the HTML round to everyone and just not be here. Or sneak in later on Saturday with a short, minutely-worded post giving very scant details of a few things scrounged from the barren wastelands which have been my brain lately, to be somewhat, half-heartedly thankful for.
I don’t know what’s changed. But something has. It might change back, too, because it’s been a bit like that lately.
I couldn’t tell you *really* how long ago it all started going slowly wrong for me. It probably *was* the miscarriages which triggered a lot of it, and compounded with the left-over crap I still have from early years and teenage years and, oh, all the years…it’s just bubbled up to a point where once again, I’ve gotten stuck and ended up mired in a very destructive set of thought patterns, now complete with my very own diagnosis, and a mood which behaves like a toddler (sweet, sparkly and full of sticky-mouthed kisses one moment, and the next; a biting, hollering ball of fury, the like of which Hell itself would be hard-pushed to match).
I’ve been up and happy and ready to meet life head-on. I’ve been down and Abyssal and ready to go out in the rain and just lay down there in the mud until I stopped existing. I’ve been lairy and defiant and rude. I’ve been trembling and frightened and in desperate need of someone to cuddle me and make it all stop. I’ve been blase. I’ve been in floods of tears. I’ve been panicking so hard I could barely breathe. I’ve been numb. I’ve been to the point where all I want to do is reach out and hear from friends. I’ve been to the point where all I want to do is delete everything and never talk to anyone ever again. I’ve wanted to leave. I’ve wanted to stay. And sometimes much of that has all taken place in the same day. Sometimes within the same hour.
But today something changed for the better. How long it will last, I don’t know. But I’m sticking with it, and writing while it’s here. It started when the sun began to shine…
Sunshine is something I’m always thankful for. No matter how fitful or weak (though admittedly, I far prefer the blazing, glorious days of high summer, when you can feel the world simmering and baking, and your skin rejoices for being out under the vast, blue sky and hot-yellow loveliness), when it shines through green leaves and makes that pretty, lime-bright colour, or when it shines through trees and makes leaf-shadows on the floor, or even if it just very gently beams down and warms my arms and face as I walk to and fro between the van and the surgery, whilst working…I LOVE the sun. And I miss it. It’s been a cloudy, miserable week, for the most part. There have been some RAINY rainy days, which have done nothing to improve my mood. I haven’t been able to go boxing, because of conferences, and I missed pilates because of an appointment, so I am low on endorphines and my dopamine levels are severely depleted.
Husby has been a star through it all, and has been very generous and understanding about my horrible moods and general horrible-ness. He’s been good with the hugs when I’ve wanted them, and good with keeping his distance when I’ve been snarly. I think the season’s to blame as much as anything, because each time I’ve written about how difficult I’m finding life at the moment, as much as there’s been a resounding (and wonderful – thank you) show of support and care, there’s also been a huge show of hands and a chorus of “Me too”s, which is sad and I wish it weren’t the case, but it’s also nice to know that we who are struggling are at least, in our strange way across the Blogosphere, facing our challenges in solidarity, and raising our hands for one another, and hoping that we all make it through.
I keep telling myself it’s going to be okay, because on Saturday I’m going to be taking part in Brutal 10 – a 10k race across heathland, through rivers and puddles and marshes and pot-holes and swamps, and it’s going to be EXHAUSTING, and AMAZING, and I’m going to be THEE MUDDIEST EVER, and I absolutely 100% cannot WAIT. I shall probably injure myself. There will definitely be mud in my everything (there will probably be mud in places I didn’t know I had…) and I don’t know whether I’ll be able to walk properly afterwards, but it’s going to be BRILLIANT.
Last weekend (but after my TToT post, though I referred to it), Husby and I went to the March On Cancer event. I’m not sure how far we marched, but for the most part it was a fairly quiet, sombre affair. Husby indulged me and bought me a whizzy-spinny, light-up glowstick-y thing, which I held so it lit my sign (full of names of the people we were marching for) and kept my heart somewhat happy as we trudged through the rain, in the dark and the cold, with a crowd of other people, trying to be all meaningful, and really just wishing it would be over so we could have ice-creams and go home (then berating myself in my head for thinking such douchey, selfish thoughts, because CANCER…and then reminding myself that at least we were THERE, and that counted). The whizzy-spinny thing was good. The ice-cream was good. My mood was not good. But I did manage to capture a few points on Instagram, and they were well received by all both people who noticed.
In spite of a low mood, the conference was good, too, even though I was so incredibly tired. I shared a lift with a colleague on the way up, and we had some very meaningful chats, which were helpful and wonderful, and I was able to share a bit about what had been going on with me lately. I think each time I have one of these moments with a colleague – the kind which slightly transcend the gubbins of doing the job, and become a bit real, and a bit personal, and lean into the more-than zone – I am able to be grateful again, that I work with such lovely people, who are genuinely kind and understanding and who seem to be for one another. I really, really like that about my job.
I’ve also had terribly, awfully EXCITING news this week (though I confess, I was in no mood at all to receive or deal with it, and confess I might have come across as rather churlish about the whole affair, but nonetheless, it’s gorgeous news and I’m HUGELY happy to announce to you here that some of my fiction writing is going to be in a book. An Actual, In Fact book-you-can-hold-in-your-hands. This is THRILLING! And although it’s also going to be terribly fancy-schmancy and come out in a hundred different e-manners I know nothing of (because I am a book snob, lovelies, and will NOT be convinced on Kindle, or any of those other things), that something *I* wrote is hopefully going to be published, is AWESOME. It’s not all about me, though, because my part is really very small, and it’s the incomparable Helena Hann-Basquiat, who is weaving her magic and ‘is it *really* fiction?’ and general Dilettante-y *supermazingFABulousness* through it all, and putting it together, along with pieces from other luscious, illustrious writers and artists. It’s truly a VERY exciting project to be part of
BEHOLD – you won’t have to wait too long to learn of the wonder that is #Jessica. And somewhere in the mix, is MEEEE!
Talking of writing, the next people are ticked off, on my list of names of the wonderful supporters who bought into my #KickCancersAss idea, where I ‘sold’ my writing in return for a donation to the cancer charity of their choice. Sandy received her letter, and I’ve just finished writing Gretchen’s, so I’m looking forward to being able to post it tomorrow, and then (please, please good mood, last a bit longer!) start the ‘Considerings’ posts.
And what to round off with? There are a few things, really. I’m glad that I’m still keeping up with OctPoWriMo over at Bards (even though some of the poems have been decidedly angsty of late). I’m glad to be healthy and capable of functioning. I’m glad that I’ve once again confirmed to myself that when I’m feeling low, what I need most is PEOPLE, and that contact with others is something I find very healing. I’m glad I have inadvertent strategies for making sure I don’t reach for alcohol when I’m feeling dire, and I’m HUGELY glad for WhatsApp (in which I keep some of My People*), for Pintrest (which engages me with beautiful things) and YouTube videos by Ann Reardon, a lovely Aussie with an incredibly soothing voice, whose channel How To Cook That, has kept me zoned out and thinking yummy thoughts when I would otherwise have been thinking horrid ones.
So. There you have it. Ten Things of Thankful which even surprised me by how thoroughly I was able to write them. So I guess, bonus – I’m SO thankful for this hop, because otherwise I would have no need to even think about trying, and would probably have stayed in the bad mood a whole lot longer. So thank you. Your turn.
*My People – those whom I have decided belong to me, in some way or some fashion, and that I also maybe belong a bit to them. Whatever it is, the connection runs deep and inexplicable, and it matters.