I haven’t felt able to connect with writing lately. When life becomes hard and I have to grit my teeth to get through it, there’s a certain point at which I mentally flick off so that I won’t delve too deeply into what I presume is a morass of adversity. Why go there when life itself is enough of a struggle on a daily basis?
A friend and I, embroiled in latenight wine and pondering years ago, surmised that my failings in writing fiction — as I had been trying my hand at long form and assessed that my shortcomings came from my inability to create the conflict needed to propel my story — came from the fact that my life was entirely filled with conflict, so the creation of any more, even fictional, was just too much for my inner editor.
This is how I protect myself. It’s how I’ve always protected myself. Walls. Non-load-bearing walls, merely aesthetic ones I can install, move, and remove at will. Does it make me unique? Probably not. My conscious doing of it, however, probably makes me aware of the choices I’m making and the consequences that are entirely possible as a result. I accept the fall-out before it even comes my way. I see it coming like one sees weather hours ahead on the Prairies.
Meaning, if I lose readers by going into a protect-thyself phase or piss off a friend or two, I accept the collateral damage as what’s required by any given moment. Right now, it’s all about me. Because it has had to be.
My life went off the rails for six weeks, the majority of it spent heavily medicated and sprawled motionless in spasms on the floor, and much of the coming days and weeks will be spent putting myself and life back on track, whether it’s just cleaning the house or working diligently to rehab this body of mine. I’ve been given a definitive diagnosis now on my back injury: It’s to be two months until I’m entirely well.* Meaning, I’m only half-way through the struggle. The upside is, I’m past the hardest, I’m past the insufferable then-seeming unending pain. The upperside is, when I’m through, I’ll be a stronger, better Steff for possibly the remainder of my life, since I’m doing everything right in this struggle. Isn’t that all you can do? To do all that you can do?
I want to say I appreciate everyone just chilling and being patient with me through all this. I’ve not been the most interesting blogger, and I know it. Sorry. Priorities. I’m coming out of my shell, I’m catching up with my life again, and I’m soon going to want to get back in the mix with boys and fun and life and love and writing and fitness and everything there is that makes me love this life so.
I knew I needed to press my existential pause button for a spell, but the universe took me at my word a little too strongly. The funny thing is, I now think this back injury may wind up being one of the best things to ever happen to me. It forced my hand in so many areas, stuff I just can’t begin to sum up in itty-bitty word counts. Reckonings with things I never wanted to acknowledge regarding my dead mother, dealing with some financial things I had been avoiding, telling certain people in no uncertain terms what they meant to me [for good or ill], reaffirming for me how far I had come physically over the years since my last serious injury, reassessing my values, and it gave me the time to think about what goals were really important for me to make progress on, and how. Not to mention, I’ll finally be clinically healing this one problem area of my body that has never quite been right — before it’s too late to do it in my elder years.
Adversity’s what you make of it. Yeah, my life went off the rails, yeah, I’m just getting back into life again. But I’m grateful for it all, still. And I’m grateful I forced myself to look for positives while caught in the whole thick of things, because suffering through pain without squinting to see light, well, that’s just no way to live at all, is it?
So, thanks, readers, for your patience. I’m getting there. Stick around. :)