Broke The Rules

It has been so long since I have written and really written anything and my brain has even engaged in a Dreams and Reality novel that I broke the rules last night.  And I paid dearly for it.

I wrote 7,000 words yesterday morning.  I wrote another 1,500 between 10 pm and 2 am.  And then I went to bed.  Now, I know the books themselves aren’t that scary, but my brain goes well beyond the books because to me these are not just fictional characters they exist in my brain.

And my sleeping brain can create some very scary scenarios.  Especially since I find Raphael scary.  I don’t dream of Aislinn Cain or Gabriel Henders or Malachi Blake because in my brain they are already 100% fleshed out.  I only ever dream about my serial killers, things they might do, things they could have done, things they probably shouldn’t do, them kicking down my door at 2 am to attack my family because someone fits their victim profile or because they are angry with me, their creator.

The scary part of Raphael is the duality of the character.  I, his creator, feel sorry for him.  I don’t want him to be likeable exactly, but I want his rage to be understandable. Not just his rage with Gabriel but with the entire world.  He’s also out of his fictional skull.  I occasionally find the crazy ones are the hardest for me to write, because I have to think like them which disturbs some part of my brain that isn’t a serial killer or crazy.

In other words, Raphael plagued my dreams last night, if you can even consider them dreams.  I awoke feeling exhausted and haunted by some of the things my brain came up with last night for Raphael.

However, it has been nine months of my midnight reminder alarm going off and me instantly silencing it.  So I kinda forgot why it existed in the first place.  The dream I remember most vividly was Raphael breaking into my house.  Lola attacked him and the serial killer attacked her back.  Not with weapons, like most of my killers, but with his teeth.  He was ripping bits of her off while trying to fend off her longer and just as dangerous teeth.  My poor Lola baby.

I do believe this is why my characters are sometimes so realistic that some readers can’t handle them.  I’ve had reviewers and readers contact me about the violence in my books.  I get it.  They definitely are not for everyone and I’ve had readers tell me they couldn’t sleep after reading this killer’s first chapter or his seventh or after this particular scene.  Skinned from Elysium Dreams is no longer my most violent or demanding chapter.  That award goes to a chapter in Fortified Dreams…  I get comments about both chapters though.

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CRPS A Poem

Someone shared this poem with me today and I thought I would share it with my readers to try to let them understand that I am coping as best I can, which admittedly isn’t very good.

The only thing I can say is I am writing Demonic Dreams.  It feels good to write.  It feels good to clear my head and start telling these stories again.  Aislinn Cain can be a dominating fictional character, even when she’s just trapped in my brain.  I feel her hands beating against the barrier, demanding to be let out.  No, I’m not crazy yet, at least I don’t think I am.

I know a lot of people are tired of hearing about this disease and I get it.  I’m so sorry for my repetition, but until God decides to start talking to me and explaining exactly why he gave me this – because I am really tired of hearing “God never gives us more than we can handle from people”… So I’d like a little chat with God.  I can only guess that my reason, my purpose for having this as bad as it has gotten is because I am supposed to try to get the word out about a disease nobody knows anything about that is a battle for so many and often a losing battle.

Having had someone in a support group for CRPS recently commit suicide because she was no longer able to cope with the pain and judgement of this disease is a first for me, it doesn’t seem to be for others in my group.  They are now talking about other people they’ve lost to CRPS because they just couldn’t handle the pain any longer and their discussions about how many of them have thought about committing suicide is sobering because it is everybody.  In my little group of 30 every single person has thought about it and for everyone but me, this was not the first suicide by a member of their CRPS support groups.  One person mentioned that in her local group which has just 21 members, they had five suicides in a single year.  There seems to be a consensus that while some of them are medication related, most are just people who no longer want to deal with the pain.

For me, there aren’t even words, just tears.  I have cried every day since I found out.  Writing is helping me cope.  I knew a few people in high school that attempted suicide and two that succeeded, but this one seems to have cut deep into my soul.  We had many things in common including the fact that it was in our torso.  She also had it in her hips.  Unlike me, she didn’t get it from being clumsy, she got it from giving birth.  Just a regular birth.  Nothing special about it.  It wasn’t’ even a C-Section. So when someone shared this poem with me today in one of my support groups I shared it in my pain blog but felt since it was somewhat writing related and gave a better understanding of how I was doing day in and day out, I decided to share it here even though I know some of you are tired of hearing about it.

“Hi my name is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome… some friends who have known me for a very long time call me RSD or CRPS…… I’m an invisible inflammatory disease that attacks your sympathetic nervous system.

I am now velcroed to you for life. If you have CRPS you hope for remission but there is no cure.

I’m so sneaky–I don’t show up in your blood work, in x-rays, MRI’s can’t detect me, basically there is no test to prove you have me. There are only test to rule out other things.

Others around you can’t see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.

I can attack you anywhere and anyway I please. And, I will. Constantly.

I can cause severe pain or, if I’m in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.

Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?

I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now.

I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.

I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.

I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.

I can cause one limb to change color, look bruised, feel super sensitive randomly for seemingly no reason.

I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything.

OH, and just because I started off in one part of your body, don’t think I can’t travel and effect other limbs or any other part of your body I so choose to torment. I can, and likely I will.

I can make you feel very anxious with panic attacks or very depressed. I can also cause other mental health problems. You know crazy mood swings? That’s me. Crying for no reason? Angry for no reason? That’s probably me too. It is hard to not feel hopeless when you have me beating your body up constantly.

I can make you scream out loud, anytime of day or night, anywhere you are because I can create pain that makes you sure someone just stabbed you with a knife. Making you look crazy is fun for me.

I can make your hair fall out, your nails become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky’s the limit with me.

I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you lose weight. I don’t discriminate.

Some of my other inflammatory disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.

If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. You didn’t ask for me. I chose you for various reasons: That sports injury, needle stick,, or that car accident, or maybe it was the surgery to correct a bone problem.. Whatever the cause, I’m here to stay.

I hear you’re going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh. Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can even try to help you effectively. Most of them will make you feel like you are to blame, or worse, it is all in your head. I’ll convince them that you are crazy because normal people know that you can’t have all those symptoms all over your body and still walk around looking normal.

You will be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.

There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless – If your body is all of a sudden dealing with things that were never issues before…yep…. that’s probably me.

Shortness of breath or “air hunger?” Yep, probably me.

Bone density problems?

Can’t regulate body temp and poor circulation?

Constant ‘electric jolts’? Yep, probably me.

I told you the list was endless.

You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.

You’ll be told to think positively, you’ll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of doctors you’ve seen, just how debilitating I am and how ill and exhausted you really feel. In all probability you will get a referral from these ‘understanding’ (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist.

I will make you question your own sanity at times. I will make you contemplate unthinkable scenarios.

Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I can be.

Even after explaining to those you interact with regularly that I’m the most painful disease known to man, and there is no cure, they will say things like “I hope you have a speedy recovery”. Those who don’t know me well have no idea how cruel and unusual my punishment can be.

Some of them will say things like “Oh, you are just having a bad day” or “Well, remember, you can’t do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago”, not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.

They’ll also say things like, “if you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you’ll feel better.” They won’t understand that I take away the ‘gas’ that powers your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things.

Some will start talking behind your back, they’ll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation with a “normal” person, and can’t remember what you were going to say next. You’ll be told things like, “Oh, my sister had that, and she’s fine on her medication” when you desperately want to explain that I don’t impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that sister is fine on the medication SHE’S taking, doesn’t mean it will work for you.

They will not understand that having this disease impacts your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, and that every cell and every body system and organ can be effected.

The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.”

AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Found A Bottle

I found a bottle in one of my travel bags from this summer.  An ER doctor had given me 5mg Percocet to relieve some of my pain from a viral infection in my head that had caused me facial pain and since I can’t take NSAIDs or steroids orally, the Percocet had been part of my treatment.  I don’t know how this bottle ended up in a suitcase, I thought I had taken the 15 pills that were inside.

I had only taken 4 of them.  However, I have them right now and I am using them to get me through until I either get in with the new doctor or until I convince myself to go beg my primary.

I don’t need 4-6 of these a day.  I need only two to make myself comfortable.  I can take a whole one in the morning and then break a 5mg and take it in two separate doses to get through the rest of the day, comfortably.

However, the best part… I am writing.  Oh my god!  It feels great!  The first chapter of Demonic Dreams flows.  As I’m writing I know how the story goes.  I know what’s going to happen next.  And I am writing.  I’m hoping over the next week or so to get a lot done with the percocet.

I’m not clawing at my leg trying to find ways to detach it.  Just two percocet gives me more relief than 4-6 Vicodin in a day.  And the number of pills I have is more than what I actually have because I can break them in half.  I feel like I can do so much right now.  I’m not.  I’m writing.  I have some of my mojo back at least temporarily.

As for doing things other than writing, that will come later today when this one tablet has worn off.  But not too much.  I have learned I often overdo it.  I am learning to live within my limitations.

But I am so excited to get my writing back even if it is temporary.  I’m hoping the new doctor will understand when I tell him.

 

Started a New Blog

For those interested in following my journey with CRPS and chronic pain, I have started a new blog.  I refuse to use pain acceptance therapy for a condition that can cause fatal heart attacks and strokes, but I am moving those posts to the new blog.  I hope to have guest bloggers on the site to talk about different kinds of chronic pain as well as different experiences with their pain.

You Can Find the blog here

I haven’t done anything to make it pretty yet, but will eventually.

The Reason I’m Writing A Book

I’m not a CRPS expert, I’ve learned a lot though in the last 6 months or so.  I know no one has ever heard of it.

I know suicide rates among CRPS sufferers is high.  And I understand better than most why.  It’s probably not the medications, although all 3 – Cymbalta, Lyrica, and Neurontin do carry that risk.  It’s the pain.  It’s the being lumped into a into a category of drug seekers.  We aren’t.  We just don’t have anything for our pain.  God forbid you not handle opiates or not get relief from them or turn out to be allergic to hemp and all its derivatives like me.  It’s the stigma.  It’s the loss of quality of life.  It’s the loss of ability to smile.  I rarely smile anymore and I know it.

Even without risk factors for heart disease, heart attacks and strokes seem to be common among CRPS patients.  Without the opiates or some other pain medication, our blood pressure rises to dangerous levels and stays there.

The injections vary from mediocre to worthless.  For my lower legs, the spinal injections helped, but for my hip the injection lasted 3 days and I wasn’t pain free for those 3 days, it was just tolerable.

It’s the lying.  We are constantly lying to ourselves our family our friends.  I’m fine means my pain is excruciating, but I don’t want to talk about it.  Hell we even have to lie to our doctors.  We have to pretend to be excited to try their alternative therapies even though most of us are aware they don’t work.

It’s the money.  God it’s expensive to have a chronic illness or pain syndrome.

It’s days like yesterday.  I thought I was seeing an expert.  If he had tried to scratch his brain, he probably would have scratched his ass instead.  I was so disappointed when I got home.  It’s demoralizing to realize that a doctor isn’t seeing a patient in pain just a drug addict looking for a fix.

It’s the judgement.  Do you really need the pain pills?  Yes.  I really do.  I can’t waste a single Vicodin to get high.  There’s never going to be a risk of me overdosing, unless I really do cut off my leg.  There’s never going to be a risk of me using a pain pill to get high and not just because I don’t like the feeling but because in a week, that one pain pill might mean the difference between being able to see friends which I rarely do anymore and being stuck at home watching reruns of Lucifer.  I don’t mind watching reruns of Lucifer but some days I would most definitely rather go out and see friends.

It’s the depression.  Not just because I’m home but because I hurt all the time.  Nothing makes me pain free, nothing.  Not injections, not pain pills, nothing.  There are nights the pain is so bad, I don’t sleep and I really like to sleep.  There are days I’d love to go out and do something, but I can’t because if I do, I’ll use a pain pill I might need later when I have to go grocery shopping.  It’s not being able to work.  It’s not being able to relate to anyone anymore.  I’m not a crier, but I have cried more in the last handful of months than I ever thought I could.  Mostly because of pain.

And after seeing the theoretical expert yesterday, it’s thoughts of suicide by non-treatment.  I could just stop all the meds, stop the Lyrica, I have organ involvement, without the Lyrica my pain increases, but so does the spread.  It probably wouldn’t take me but six months to a year to start having kidney or liver problems.  Or if I got lucky, I’d have a heart attack because my pain would get that high, a massive one, and that would kill me before I had to deal with kidney failure.

It’s knowing that no matter what, I will never be pain free again.  I will wake up every day for the rest of my life and feel like I have been run over by a car.  My spine is going to feel crushed.  My legs, hands, arms, they are going to feel crushed, my hips are going to feel like that was the point of impact before they drove over me.  Because that is what I feel like every day.

It’s knowing that this is fatal.  It’s knowing that even with treatment this could spread to another organ, a more vital one.  It’s knowing that my life expectancy has been shortened more than smoking a cigarette ever could have done.  And for the rest of my time, I will deal with the pain and doctors that treat me like a junkie instead of a patient.  There are going to be more doctors like the one I saw yesterday in my future.

There is going to be the internal struggle of do I have the energy and pain medication to do a load of laundry?  Or load the dishwasher?  Or be able to get up and let my dogs outside?  Or the focus to write today, for an hour, maybe two, if I can get comfortable in my own skin.

It’s knowing that it’s not just me affected, but everyone in my life.  My husband suffers because I suffer and not because he loves me that much but because this has drastically altered and changed his life just like it has mine.  It’s drastically altered my dogs’ life, how unfair to them.

It’s the hopelessness.  I want to be functional.  I may never drive a car again, fine.  I want to be able to work, I want to be able to go to darts and at least socialize.  I want to be able to go out with friends to dinner without worrying about my pain increasing because the chairs or booths are uncomfortable.

There’s a new thing called Pain Acceptance that patients are supposed to start practicing.  It’s the most ridiculous thing on the planet.  Isn’t it the doctor’s cred to do no harm?  If they can help aren’t they obligated to do so?  That’s gotten lost lately.  Yet as suicide rates for chronic pain patients increase and heroin addiction rises, maybe there’s a cause and effect at play.

Other CRPS patients are functional.  I could be too.  But nobody is brave enough to write me a prescription for 90 percocet or 120 percocet because my father is a recovering alcoholic, but opiate addiction among chronic pain patients like me are low.  Overdoses by chronic pain patients who do not have cancer are nearly unheard of.  They happen but they are more likely to happen when Fentanyl patches are used than things like percocet.

Holistic medicine doesn’t work for me because I’m allergic to just about everything on the planet.  It does work for some people though.  It works better than opiates and Lyrica, but it’s not an option for me because I’m allergic to most of it.  That leaves me with opiates and Lyrica and chronic pain because to most doctors, I’m just a drug seeker, because the last two years we have beaten it into the brains of every American that anyone who needs a pain pill to function has to be an addict which is sadly not the case.  Most of us just want to survive.

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

My new specialist isn’t going to be my savior.  As a matter of fact I don’t think he even knows what CRPS is.  He’s pretty sure with surgery and injections he can have me off the Lyrica, which he didn’t want to prescribe and muscle relaxers by the end of February.  He doesn’t believe in medications at all, he told me so.  He also told me if I was looking for medications, even something like Lyrica I should have stayed at my former pain management office.

When I tried to talk to him about my digestive system he stared at me blankly like he couldn’t figure out why we were discussing my digestive system when I was there for hip pain.  He also couldn’t seem to get it through his skull that when he was pushing on my hip, it hurt because I have skin hypersensitivity, he wasn’t palpitating anything nor was the pressure from his hands doing anything more than making it feel like he was trying to rip off my skin, even after I told him.

He thinks if injections don’t help, we can just clip all the tendons around my hip, surgically, and cure my pain.  If it was that easy, don’t you think I would be pain free by now?  I mean, I wasn’t a huge fan of Amanda, but my pain management doctor wasn’t a complete idiot.

He didn’t want to talk about my hands, my legs, my arms, my back, my digestive system, my pain levels, the limp, nothing.  If this guy is a CRPS expert, I’m royally screwed because I think I know more than him about it.

I do have a date for the magical hip injections, until then I get to suffer.  Wish me luck.

 

PS:  I’m not an idiot, I’m calling my primary tomorrow morning.  I would have done it today but I was so disappointed and so dejected after leaving that office that I just wanted to come home and go to bed, which is what I did.  Then I cried myself to sleep because if my future is in this guy’s hands, I might as well hang it up now.  I’m done as a writer, any kind of socializing, I’ll probably have to live in bed because my pain will be too high to do anything else, especially if they do surgery and clip tendons that aren’t the problem.

New Kind of Charity

My mom has decided to take all my old soap, sugar scrub, foot repair cream, bath oil, bath salt recipes and everything else in my old notebook and start a new business.  And because she has a sense of humor it will be called Melina’s All Natural Botanical Bath Stuffs.

Etsy store coming eventually.  She will make the stuff and all the money will go into a fund to help me with treatments for my CRPS, prescriptions, and anything else I might need instead of just hoping people give me money, plus I’ve told her she has to keep 25% for taxes and restocking if she does it.

She looked at my lotion and burn creams but decided those were too complicated.  So today I walked her through buying all the ingredients she needs for everything else.

She discussed naming it after Aislinn’s mom, but Melina is just easier to remember.  I will be sharing the link once she gets set up and running.  As she gets more adept at making stuff – I imagine I will be surpervising her first couple of orders, I’ll help her add in new recipes for burn salves and things.  Start with the easiest stuffs I think.

And Bath Stuffs is not a typo.  She said it sounded Melina-ish and I agree with her.  So that will be its name.

Go Small

I’m not a wedding expert and I’m not a marriage expert.  I’m also not a wedding planner and needed plenty of help for my wedding almost a year ago.

Lately though, I’ve been seeing a lot of my friends struggle to plan their big over the top weddings with dresses costing half a years salary.  And it’s made me realize…

It’s okay to go small.  We had about 30 people at our wedding.  We saved most of our budget for the reception.  I got a beautiful bridesmaids’ dress for $300 that made me feel just as special as the girl next to me trying on the $10,000 ball gown wedding dress.

My Matron of Honor who was married and had helped plan a few weddings other than her own and is a master at organization did most of the planning for the wedding.

I bought $12 lace shoes to go with my dress and they matched perfectly, flats of course because I am not all that coordinated and my dress was only knee length.  I went to Kato to buy my jewelry and managed to buy mine, my Matron and Honor’s, and my Maid of Honor’s all at the same time for less than $50 and I’m allergic to metal, so I thought that was a steal and I did buy earring for me as well as a choker.  I spent $6 on the ribbon for my waist.

My Matron, always the bargain shopper, found identical dresses in burgundy in way different sizes on Amazon and so my bridal party bought their own Matron and Maid dresses because I think they were only $40 each.

Between the three of us we found 3 similar pairs of black flats to go with the dresses that we already own, luckily we are all about the same shoe sizes.  I spent $5 on white tights that I ruined the day of the wedding, but I had a back up set of black tights so I wore black tights with my Ivory colored dress and burgundy ribbon sash.  I went to Claire’s for hair accessories.  I managed to find white and burgundy hair clips for me, the Maid, and the Matron for less than $30.

Hubby requested not to wear a suit and tie, but I got him and the groomsmen in ties that matched my sash.  Since we wanted them all in grey shirts, black slacks, and burgundy ties, we bought those outfits or rather hubby did.

Our venue was a gym/car shop.  My Matron has an outbuilding that doubles as a home gym and on rare occasions a car shop.

Hubby and I are both members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in our town so we got the venue for the reception free.  This meant all the money we saved on outfits, decor, my Matron had extra decor, wedding venue spots, and the reception hall went into food.

This was our biggest expense.  Despite reading that it was tacky to go with cupcakes that is exactly what we went with.  My brother-in-law fixed pulled pork and a friend who also does competition barbecuing pitched in on sides and setting everything up for us.

We expected 150 people at the reception and when the bartenders did a count, we had over 250.  We did not do an open bar, drinks at private clubs are cheap and a lot of our friends are darters, so I wasn’t paying that tab at the end of the night.

We rented a shuttle bus but got a discount.

we went small for our wedding.  immediate family, some very dear friends of ours, very dear friends, and went big for the reception where extended family, friends, their friends, and practically everyone and their mother showed up.

We had an amatuer photographer from my husband’s family do the pictures and they turned out great.  I only had one complaint, my MIL is in more pictures than me, but even that isn’t a major deal I don’t like to have my picture taken.

Also this allowed us to have Lola at the wedding.

Every girl dreams of a fairy tale wedding, but reality doesn’t normally allow for fairy tales.  As pleased as I was with our wedding, I had to break up a girl fight.  The nephew I am closest to left early so his girlfriend wouldn’t get too drunk and puke in his car and everywhere else for that matter.  One of our good friends who plays darts didn’t get into our dart blind draw because he intentionally left his darts at his hotel because he didn’t think he was good enough.  I didn’t get to have my first dance with my husband or my father because it was so crowded and we needed so many tables and chairs, we were over occupancy level I think and that was well before darts.

But we had novices that had never thrown a dart there that night, one I think took first place and semi-professionals.  Yes we had darts at our reception… The important part was that everyone we wanted at the wedding came even though there were only about 40 of them, maybe 30 and we made up for it at the reception by having everyone else there.

Fairy tale weddings exist in books.  Every bride can say her wedding day was perfect, but the truth is, it probably wasn’t.  Life happens.  Somehow we managed to invite two girls who hated each other and we didn’t even know they knew each other.

Since my wedding I’ve had friends say to me I wish I had done it more like you.  Put more effort into the reception than the wedding and all the wedding trimmings because the wedding is just one great big bundle of nerves… The reception is where the fun really happens.

Even after 8 years together I was nervous and my husband looked like he might run away at any second… probably should have.  Oh and my minister cost me a meal at a restaurant because she was a friend who happened to be legal to marry people – Either the Church of the Walking Dude or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I don’t remember which now, but it worked out and seriously… The reception was where the magic happened.  Even without my dances.  Even with my nephew leaving early, I got to mingle because it was rather informal reception and I spent the night talking to friends I had or hadn’t seen in ages.

My advice, stop stressing about the wedding, weddings are boring and formal and stiff and rather awful.  Go small on the wedding and use your budget for the fun stuff, the reception and honeymoon.  Because sadly gals if you think your wedding is going to live up to the fairy tale, you’re wrong.  The bigger the wedding the more shit can go wrong.  At least let it go wrong at the reception so you aren’t pulling your guests off each other in the pews and I have been to a wedding where a brawl broke out as the vows got started.

I have only been to one wedding where nothing went wrong and that is debatable, but it was all small stuff.  The bride was freaking out because small stuff compounds.  Each new problem looks much bigger than it really is until you end up a wreck in your dressing room trying not to smear mascara on the $1,500 dress you bought.

My Body Kept Trying To Tell Me

This past month with the cold from Hell and all the pain that came with it and unplugging from social media has made me realize that I haven’t been listening very closely to what my body has been telling me for a couple of years now.

So I’m going to be writing and I’m going to see my new specialist on the 1st of February and I’m going to put things in the mail.  I’m going to work with my editor.  But for the rest of the month of January I’m staying unplugged from social media.

I know I have lots of messages and lots of comments, but for the first time since I started my writing career I’m going to focus on me.  This month has sorta snowballed out of control.  There was pain and the Cold that was killing me and then today as I was started to really feel better, I chipped what might be the only living tooth I have so now I have a toothache.

At that point I realized that all these calamities and disasters and viruses and things they keep happening because my body can’t get my attention.  It needs a break.  Not from writing, it needs to write, it misses that, but what it doesn’t need is the stress of social media.  Trying to respond to comments and messages all the time and keeping up with everything that is going on and trying to dodge questions about when Demonic Dreams is going to release…

I’m going to work on Demonic Dreams because it needs special attention.  Maybe if the new specialist helps me out, I’ll be ready to release it in March.

And I know the majority of the comments are wishing me better health and praying for me and letting me know everyone cares and I appreciate them so much, but I just need to step back for a few more days and focus on me and trying to get started on something that should be great by the time it’s finished.  I hate releasing a book I consider subpar.  So far, only Tortured Dreams falls into that category, but I’d hate to do it a second time.

However, if I don’t take a little more time to focus on me, then Demonic Dreams is liable to be shitty and that would be unfair to my readers as well as the characters.  I’ve been working on some stretch exercises with my hands and hips to lower the muscle spasms, so far they haven’t worked, but I have hope for the future.  It doesn’t take away my pain, it makes it a whole lot worse, but that’s okay too.

Maybe that will help me reach a point where even when I’m comfortable and not writhing in my own skin in pain then I won’t fear the pain as much when the meds wear off.

Plus, I am mentally all over the place.  I’m dealing with guilt and shame and fear and worry and stress and none of that is good for me or for my readers or my family quite frankly.

Do Crazy People Know They Are Crazy?

What if you woke up one day and realized your entire extended family was crazy.  Not just different.  Not just odd.  But certifiably crazy.  Like probably needed therapy and an asylum?

Would you question your own sanity?  Would you wonder if it was really them or if it was actually you?  I mean, do crazy people know their crazy?  And is the standard really the same for everyone?

I mean, I’m a writer.  I have fictional people in my head.  And while I know they are just characters, they talk to me.  And I care about them like they are real people.  That sounds fairly crazy.

Honestly?  If someone you didn’t know very well said there are about 40 different people in my head talking to me, would you want to sit next to them on the bench or on the bus?  Would you worry about what the voices were saying to them?

Am I crazy or just imaginative?

It’s a hard question to answer.  Most would say imaginative.  But only if they have seen the results of all those fictional people roaming around in my brain talking to me.

To most people, who know me, personally, Aislinn and Nadine both look like me.  That makes sense to them.  But not me.  Because in my head they don’t look like me.  We might have a few of the same traits, brown hair, brown eyes, but that’s because that’s my experience with the world, I have brown hair and brown eyes.  However, that is where the similarities begin and end for me.  When Aislinn and Nadine came into being in my brain, my brain used some of my bias to create them, essential features I was comfortable with, but to me, they don’t look like me.  Aislinn has lighter brown hair than me, significantly.  Nadine’s is darker and when she hasn’t had a moment, I picture her with long long, straight hair that is always brushed back and out of the way of her face.

Which begs the question again… Crazy or Imaginative?

Which also makes me wonder if I am unbiased enough to think someone in my family is crazy… Hopefully, I don’t have to find out first hand.  But you never know.  Part of the reason I have never taken more than 1mg of my Clonazepam at a time is because I know it will silence those voices.  Breaking up the dosage turns me into a bit of a zombie and also silences those voices.  So maybe I’m both crazy and imaginative?

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