Getting better…

I’ve fought with my stomach, my mind, and my temper over the last week. I’m winning the battles, but the war continues.

I started writing a new story today. I don’t know where it came from, as I often never do, but it’s words, and I’m grateful for them. I’ve barely written since my time in the hospital and while I’m working to get better I’m also struggling to maintain my writing.

I took a hit to my mind, my body, and a bit of fear crept in. I’ve never spent time in the hospital. It was a new experience for me and I didn’t much care for it. I’ve always been relatively healthy and spending 48 hours in the hospital, mostly alone, did some damage. You can only watch so much bullshit TV without wanting to pluck your eyes from you school. I’m just glad they gave my plastic spoons for my meals.

Writing post-hospital is difficult. I’m on some new medication for depression and anxiety. It’s something I’ve needed to do for a while, but held off. I reached a point of needing that help while in the hospital. It wasn’t an epiphany, but a realization of sorts.

I’ve struggled with depression most of life and getting better is part of our journey as humans. I have to get better for me. That started with taking something for my anxiety and depression. I’m moving onto the next part, stay with me.

Writing horror is challenging for me. I grew up watching horror. I read a little bit growing up, but I mostly read Tom Clancy style thrillers. Which is why my most recent novel is a thriller in that vein.

Horror feels difficult to me. Maybe it’s because I watched more than I read growing up. I’ve worked to fix that as I grew older. I’m working on a few projects and I’ll put them up in the next couple of months.

I hope you’ll follow along as I make my way and get better.

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Boy, do I have a story for you all

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I’ve dealt with stomach issues for the last year. It was preceded by a colonoscopy.

I didn’t think anything of it. I started having back issues a few months later. I didn’t think anything of it and went to a chiropractor. I dealt with severe migraines while working in Las Vegas, and adjustments helped.

I’ve gone to my chiropractor since March, but over the last month or so, I wondered if the back issues were something else. My back pain was consistent, and the chiropractor didn’t alleviate it. It did help with my neck issues, however.

Last week something was different. My stomach issues stayed throughout the day. By Friday night, it hurt, but I went to work at my new job bartending at a local bar.

Throughout the night, I’d get bits of warmth, moments where I’d have to stop and take a few minutes to catch my breath. When I finished that night, I was ready for bed.

I got home, almost falling into bed, and my stomach killed me.

Saturday morning was a whole other ballgame. I felt like I’d been punched. Every movement hurt. I was supposed to bartend a Halloween party that night, but I called off. I told my boss I was headed for the doctor as my stomach hurt too bad to move.

Once at the clinic, I was told it may be my appendix, and I should go to the emergency room. My wife drove me to the emergency room. It was a visit I didn’t want as I believed my appendix would burst.

I received a CT scan around 11:30. A hour later, I was in room told I had possible sepsis. If you don’t know, I linked to the Mayo Clinic’s definition and details. Needless to say, my wife and I were freaking out a bit. They admitted me to the hospital and started me on antibiotics.

Over the next 48 hours, my pain subsided, but my anxiety skyrocketed. I’d just been told something was in my body that could kill me.

I’ve never been sick enough for the hospital. At 46, it’s something I was proud of.

My diagnosis was diverticulitis. I linked again to the Mayo Clinic as their explanation is better than my own.

By Monday, Halloween, I felt better. My white cells returned to normal. My blood work no longer worried my doctor. They released me. Since Monday, I’ve eaten a low-fiber diet. I still have a bit of uncomfortableness in my stomach, but not the pain I dealt with Saturday.

I learned from this. Never believe your back pain is from your spine. Always get it checked for other things before going to a chiropractor. I will have diverticulitis forever and will watch for flare-ups.

All of this happened the week before my book launch. I know bills will roll in as I live in the States, so please buy my book. It will help my wife and I when these bills do come in.

I wanted to start NaNo this month, but that’s on hold as I navigate this.

The Fear Of Pushing Too Hard

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I have this fear. It rouses its ugly head every so often. I’m working on whatever project, then I think about how much harder I could be working on my writing, on my life, and other things.

This fear becomes complicit in my not pushing my projects when they come out. On not trying hard enough to edit. Each and every one of them deserves my attention, but then there’s this fear.

It tells me that if I work too hard, I’ll alienate those I care about. That they’ll not like me as much. That I’ll break those relationships. I’ve dealt with abandonment issues since childhood. It’s one of my overarching issues.

Within this fear is the worry that if I don’t work harder, what I write won’t go anywhere. I don’t care anymore if it makes money. I care someone gets something out of it. I don’t write for anyone but myself. Some people won’t care about you’re writing. Others will. I stopped worrying about those who won’t. I focus on those who will.

Writing Disunion By Force took me to a few places I hadn’t dared tread since my teenage years. I wrote this book for my teenage self. He read a lot of these kinds of books. Most of them to keep him sane, others to keep him from killing himself.

I found solace and a bit of peace writing this book. I’ve come a long way from the kid afraid of screwing up. He continues to pop up, but I’ve shoved him down a little. I know he’d enjoy this book. I know there were times he was done. Times when it was just him in an apartment reading, watching horror movies, and trying to keep his head above water.

I live through the fear of pushing too hard, but it comes out right. I write for us.

Lost & Found

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I see it when the world stops. I feel it when my heartbeat goes through the floor. There’s a resonance to it and an underlying pulse.

When it morphs, my breath catches, the breathing stops and the rhythm of it all falls into place.

There’s a tragicness, a solemn regret to the meaning of it. A distant path of neglect. It’s a scurrilous falsity. It comes and goes with the way the world turns. It’s tragic in its breath. It’s undeterred in the space it occupies and yet it is there. In runs the gamut of emotions. It finds its hope among the rotting and the refuse of the left behind parts. The phantom life. The perilous thing that wants to be, but can’t.

It runs across the floor and yet…we don’t see it, not yet. It rolls across. It fumbles the mechanics of it all and when it does, we don’t feel the push. We don’t understand its rhythm.

We’re lost in the heartbeat. We’ve sold our souls to find our place and within the strategems of willing it to continue.

In the last heartbeat, we’ll see the distant underlying pulse, the resonance, and when the breathing stops, we stop.

It’s coming together.

Emotions, endings, and decisions.

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I haven’t written a word on here in a few weeks. Today felt like time to say something.

I’m dealing with some severe mental issues and its taken me out of my head. I write because its the only thing I truly enjoy anymore, but even that has been difficult.

I have a novel out with my editor, a novella out for consideration with a publisher, two other novellas sitting on my hard drive but after the last three months I’m not sure I want to do this anymore.

Once the novel is done with my editor I’ll go through it and submit it to agents. I don’t know what else to do with it. If that doesn’t pan out I’ll self publish it. The novella with publishers is one I hoped would do well, but after almost a year of it being out, my hope is dwindling.

I’m having all kinds of feels for my writing and while I’ve struggled with depression before, this time feels different. This time is more difficult to pull myself out of it. I’ve had so many bad thoughts over the last three months and I’m beginning to wonder if the lack of my writing going anywhere is a part of it. When you’ve written 12 1/2 novels, 4 novellas, and hundreds of short stories with nothing to show for it, life begins to look different.

Am I writing for the right reasons? Is my mental health worth this?

I’m beginning to wonder about those two questions more and more.

Why do I write? At first it was to prove to someone that I could do it. As I continue down this road of being an unpublished author, that’s no longer the reason. I like stories. I like to read them, to create them, and maybe I’ll continue to write in my free time but only for me. I’ve reached the point where I no longer feel a benefit to myself for my writing.

My mental health is the worst its ever been. I’ll be in California with my wife and kids celebrating my son’s high school graduation next week. The following week I’ll be looking for a therapist because I can’t do this by myself anymore.

If I decide to continue writing after those first few sessions of therapy I’ll figure it out, but I’m leaning towards stopping. It’s not enhancing my life anymore. It’s drudgery and it’s screwing with my head.

I will be spending tonight watching my son graduate from high school. I’ll be considering whether I continue writing over the next few weeks. I am leaning towards quitting.