Hello, again.

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.

18 thoughts on “Hello, again.

  1. Hello, lovely to hear from you and thank you for sharing such an honest post with us. I look forward to reading more reviews from you, when you’re ready and able. Take care of yourself x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lily, it is so good to see you back on here. Be kind to yourself and don’t feel pressured to post- your readers will be delighted to hear from you whenever you are feeling up to it. Take care, lots of love to you & your girls 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely to hear from you Lily! I missed reading your posts but looking after yourself is much more important. I have gone down to a blog post a week because other things have filled that blogging time, it felt like I was putting unreasonable expectations on myself to blog more during a huge time of change.

    Enjoy getting back to reading, enjoy getting back to blogging – but do it all for you :o)

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Catherine, hopefully I will get back into a rhythm of quality content, just not at the quantity it was! And yes, the time away from it has made me long for it in a positive ‘ I want to do this again’ way rather than a ‘stupid me why Can’t I do it?’ Way. Thank you so much for your support

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  4. Hi Lily – I’m so pleased to see you back. I’ve missed you! 💚 Thank you for sharing this post. Your honesty and courage shine through. I’m so glad you’re getting back into reading – I’m always here to read your wonderful reviews – when you’re ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mary, your support and kindness is such a wonderful lift.
      Review wise I’ve got some drafts I’ve fussed over not being ‘good enough’, now got to be brave and post them!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was so pleased to see this pop up in my reader today. I’ve missed you bucket loads!
    So many very relatable thoughts and familiar feelings and experiences, I think you’re doing brilliantly and I’m so glad you’re starting to feel like both reading and reviewing a bit more again, and managing to do so.
    Hopefully this means you’re on the up again, even if it’s still a long haul back to top form.
    Honestly though, so pleased to ‘see’ you again 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This means so much as you’ve been there through the blogging journey and a little light of hope in this descent, I’m so proud and delighted when I see your blog posts pop up in my notifications even if I have lacked the ability to like/comment I’ve been cheering you on in my heart.
      I hope I’m on the rise again, but hopefully we shall see more of my words and thoughts posted! 💜💜💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ah, thank you, that’s so lovely and also means such a lot to know you’ve still been behind me 💜

      I’m truly glad things are taking a positive turn and looking forward to seeing more from you again over time, but just remember not to put too much pressure on yourself, especially now you’ve made one post – don’t start feeling it needs to be immediately followed up by another (sorry if I’m harping on and stating the obvious, just know what my head would be doing now!) We’ll all be glad to see you back but we’ll all be here whenever that is – don’t rush and remember that no one else holds you to your own expectations 😉 😘xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, it’s wonderful to see your post and to hear that you feel you are on the up again. Don’t worry at all about struggling during these last few months. Plenty of people have struggled with reading and blogging, myself included. I think it took me two months to read quite a short YA novel. This whole situation has thrown everyone into a weird place and the whole world feels a bit wrong, so it’s definitely okay to not feel okay, and as you’ve already seen from the support you’ve received here that the book community is here for you and happy to read your posts whenever you feel like putting them up.

    The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your family. Mental health is so important and even moreso now. If there’s one piece of advice I’d give, which I’m trying to give everyone, is to not pay attention to the news or all the medai about what’s going on. It’s all turned into quite a pro-fear based narrative and doesn’t help any of us who are sensitive. So just tune out of it and concentrate on whatever makes you happy. Animal Crossing is definitely something that can help 🙂

    Also don’t worry about feeling different and concerned that you might be on the high functioning end of the auticstic spectrum. To be honest I think many people are and just don’t know it, (I soetimes wonder if my ocd and anxiety puts me there too) but at the same time there’s nothing strange about feeling different and it doesn’t automatically put you on the spectrum even if you feel you might share some of the traits of someone who is. The most important thing is simply to look after yourself, and do things to make you smile. It’s good for mental health and good for our immunity too.

    Big virtual hug from me and I’ll look forward to your posts whenever you are able to put them out. Take care ❤ ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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