The sun is shining. I have coffee in hand and lemon yogurt in tummy. The floor is once more covered in black dog hair, and the laundry seems endless. My office is slowly taking shape: it was pulled apart, over the last year, for many reasons, and I’ve been working–when I’m home–from the living room.
I’m contemplating curtains and painting and new shelves. I’ve refilled the bird feeders–didn’t really clean them first, which is Bad, but I only have so much energy to work with. The gross ones I set aside for a day with more functionality, and we even bought a new feeder to offset the ones out of service.
My mom is doing really well under my sister’s care. Sometimes, I think my sister is doing a better job than I ever could have managed. Other times, I think I did the best I could and that’s good enough and fuck feeling inferior to anyone for any reason.
Sometimes I play World of Warcraft for hours. Sometimes I just stare at the wall. Sometimes I drink whatever alcohol is handy. Sometimes just I take a Xanax and go to sleep.
On really good days, I write my self-assigned five hundred minimum words of fiction. I think about where to take my business–The Scribbling Lion–in 2017. I think about how to shape and steer my writing career in 2017. I drop ideas for blog posts–including saving entire web pages–into a folder on my desktop in an effort to sidestep the blank glaze that hits me when facing an empty document screen.
While writing this post, I’ve already gotten up three times to let the dog out, let the dog in, go See What The Dog Wants This Time. I wonder if I’d manage more focus if I didn’t constantly have interruptions. If I’m being honest, I doubt it. Left alone for hours, I’ll just sleep or play WoW.
I spoke to my mom on the phone the other day. She was bright and happy and clear–for about five minutes–then I heard strain in her voice and I knew it was time to let her be.
I look around my house and I see her mark everywhere: the fabulous easel she bought me (that I’ve rarely used, to my shame); blankets passed down or sideways from my siblings; the big stack of fabric in what should be a metal decorative plant pot but is serving to hold cloth at the moment. The plants in my house, many of which were transplanted from her sunny Florida garden. Hell, even the sunshine striping along the walls makes me think of my mom.
I haven’t cried lately. There’s nothing to cry about. Mom’s healthy (considering), she’s cogent (considering), she’s being taken care of with complete love and devotion by a very smart, savvy person with a great array of resources at hand.
I’m concerned, at times, what my family and friends think of me, when they read these blog posts. I suspect it sounds a lot like I’m falling apart, or maybe being a drama queen: making this entire process All About Me.
Let me be clear: I’m not writing these personal rambles for folks who have their shit completely together and sail through the day without anxiety attacks, clinical depression, random suicidal thoughts, or a sense that each day is a Sisyphean labor of sheer, stubborn fuck you I’m not going to stay down.
I’m writing this for the folks who feel like they’re not trying hard enough. I’m writing this to let those who are chipped and cracked and fragile know you’re not alone, you can do this, look, I’m doing it, grab my hand, come on, let’s hit the track together.
Doesn’t matter if we’re walking, crawling, jogging, running, staggering, whatever word you’d like to use. What matters is to keep moving forward. Always forward. And always moving. Don’t measure your worth by the folks sprinting by. They have their own challenges to face. There are folks leaving them in the dust. There will always be someone faster, smarter, more together, more everything.
It’s enough to be yourself.
About the campaign:
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiative, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SNAE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
To fide out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to http://www.HoldOnToTheLight.com and join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WeHoldOnToTheLight