So, I’ve been incredibly quiet over the last few months, and it’s upset me to ‘lose’ myself in this way. Of course talking about why it’s not possible to avoid the words pandemic as a reason, sorry to anyone who is struggling with the turmoil or loss by my mentioning it.
I’ve suffered with anxiety, imposter syndrome and bouts of depression since my teens and they’ve usually been triggered by major upheaval whether change in routine, emotional stress or social dilemmas and of course 2020 brought all these things into play hugely exacerbated by the peacocking by feckless governments, the ‘calm down dear’ attitude of British media trying to smother the whistleblowers and twist the daily infected/dead data into ‘winning’, not to mention the feverish determination to ‘return to normal’ or ‘soldier on’ despite the data suggesting otherwise.
My twitter timeline descended into cataloguing the human anger, despair, grief and frustration the bookish and education community were experiencing and the emotions of others was like a tidal wave and I began to drown.
Then, there was the notification that my children are on the clinically extremely vulnerable list. I think that finished me off.
When I’m in the truly dark place, I struggle to read. It happened after Littlefae was born- a birth and first few weeks that led me to have complex PTSD, it happened when I was pregnant with Tinyfae and undergoing extensive testing.
But my girls are ok, they and I have only left the house once since March to go to a hospital appointment earlier this month- a huge panicky stress that has taken me a few weeks to get over, not only the stress of leaving the house, but the stress of the meaning of these visits. I get very low in the weeks before & after a hospital appointment, and the experience of the actual visit knocks me out for days if not more in normal circumstances!
It’s me that’s not ok, but I’m slowly getting there step by step. I’ve been slowly reading books again. Slowly being the operative word and often aloud is better than in my head- for which I have discovered I do a rather good Eartha Kitt impression for Nightshade the cat from Nicki Thornton’s Seth Seppi Mysteries!
Where I once devoured in hours it is now taking me a week or so, and that whilst slow progress has lifted me- the reviews take a bit more time as they are a little piece of my heart, which takes longer and more effort to give right now but I’m getting there.
So why am I telling you all this? I think I need to say it’s ok not to be ok, not just to you but to myself. I’ve got help, it’s slowly working, and I have coping mechanisms and the girls are ok, I have bad days, good days and days when all I can do is sleep.
I’m not going to lie the video game Animal Crossings may have saved me, and it’s only on reflecting I can see I have shaped and stylised my island inspired by natural scenes in the Childrens books I have loved; Fleur Hitchcock’s Clifftoppers with the blink and you’ll miss it passageway to smugglers beach, Eloise Williams‘ Wilde inspiring much including a waterfall grotto, a campsite on the beach evoking Fig Swims the World, a magical glowing woodland inspired by one of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency destinations by LD Lapinski among many other in inspirations and that has also brought me back to the glow of books.
The biggest things to come out of this experience is knowing through this how much I WANT to blog and review, I WANT to keep being part of this community and contributing, but right now the social media side is still a struggle as each time I log in again I see the loss, despair & anger interspersed amongst the beauty of the community.
Another thing is the question that has haunted me for years, and brought up again by reading A Kind of Spark is wondering whether I am in fact neurodiverse and like my brother and other family members on the autistic spectrum, except on the (urgh sorry) ‘high-functioning’ Asperger’s end. Whether I do anything about that I don’t know, whether I am or not, I don’t know, but many things rang a chord with me and might explain why I feel so different to others around me and why I get so very exhausted after social interaction.
Anyway, know that I’m starting to rise again. I can’t be as prolific as I was posting nearly everyday, but I hope to share my thoughts with you all much more often than I have, and to regain my confidence in myself.
I hope you are still out there listening. 💜
TLDR: I’ve fallen apart, but I want and am trying to blog again and hope you are still there for me.