Light at the End of the Tunnel, Kawatiri Tunnel, Feb 2011
This is the time of year where everyone starts to reflect on the year that has been, and starts planning their New Years Resolutions. I want to look back over the year for another reason, because there has been a lot of turmoil this year for me.
At the beginning of the year, I set the goal of writing three novels and I was well on the way to achieving that. I had 57,000 on Blood Gold by August, 55,000 on my Ice Planet story, and I planned on doing on in November (for NANO) but instead, my life took a rather drastic turn.
I was diagnosed with depression in February 2011 and working with my Doctor, we tried natural remedies to try and make myself better. Why I was diagnosed, I don’t know, but for years I spent a lot of time trying to make it right for everyone else, and finally nothing was right for me. The natural methods worked for a while, but when June hit, I started to feel myself going downhill. By July I had hit rock bottom and couldn’t make sense of what was going on around me. I found a lot of the time, I was in tears over the silliest things, things that I would once have coped with.
Everest on my now deceased laptop
In September, my beloved laptop crashed, catastrophically, and due to a misguided faith in the life of my laptop, I hadn’t backed up anything for some time. Hence, I lost pretty much all of Blood Gold and 30k from Ice Planet. It was gutting. So much so, that I think this triggered the deepest darkest place.
My writing was important to me. It was my escape from the real world, it was my opportunity to control a small portion of the chaos that was my life. By setting myself deadlines and goals, I was able to control how I achieved something. But instead I found myself without my greatest joy and outlet, and I went back to the Doctors for antidepressants.
The first two weeks were horrific as my body and mind adjusted to the fake feel good chemicals that my body needed. It must have been so depleted because it was hell for two weeks, but once I turned the corner, I felt much better.
Writing suddenly didn’t seem important. Nothing was important. My brain, which was my greatest source of my imagination, deserted me, my dreams left me, I had blank nights, or evenings when I couldn’t even sleep. My Mum came and stayed with me for two weeks, while I adjusted to my new life. My son, God bless him, now doesn’t like leaving me, in case I change again. It has been rough on him. My husband has also suffered through the harrowing times, but we are all a safe strong unit once again.
Writing has come back in fits and spurts, I have days when I write, but I often go for weeks without writing, and it doesn’t bother me right now. I am still getting over the effects of the antidepressants. My mind wanders freely of its own accord (I zone out!), my memory is like a sieve, I only remember what I want to remember (like my counselling sessions) and forget things that don’t seem important (like BGAC meetings!)
Counselling has been a Godsend, I love my counsellor, she is a loving, generous and caring person. I love that she listens to me, acknowledges me, and tells me that what I am doing and feeling are normal, even if they aren’t! Because they are normal for me.
One thing I have learnt from counselling is that life is all about choices. You make
choices that affect your life. Others make choices and that affects their lives. You have choices to make about how you react to other peoples choices.
At the moment, I am working on my own choices. I make my own decisions and I live with the consequences, whether they are positive or negative. It might sound really simple, but I have had to strip back years of intense anger, hatred and despair to finally come to this point. To go back over all of the choices I have made in my life and accept the results, good and bad, as part of my life.
I have also accepted that people will make choices that I don’t like. It doesn’t mean I have to like them or hate them. That is the decision they have made.
As a result I have noticed an improvement in my relationship with my husband. Initially I thought he was changing due to the changes in me, but now I realise that he hasn’t changed… I have. I am more accepting of myself now, knowing that my history has made me who I am, and I can’t go back and change things, I have to see those events as life changing and learn from the mistakes, and move on.
So, this is my year in review. It has been bad, but it has also been good. I have grown up. I now accept myself for who I am and what I have to offer, and I have plenty to offer! I have a beautiful and supportive family, who ring me to see how I am. I have friends who have surrounded me with love and support, and I will be grateful for them.
I will write again, because God gave me a talent, and he won’t take it away from me now. He is just preparing me for the next phase of my life. Good things can only happen from now on in!