I shared this over on my author blog, but it shows the journey I’ve been on over the past year with so much more than just my writing. A year ago I had my full mental breakdown and here’s how that makes me feel now.
I’ve wanted to write this post for a few weeks but I’ve never been able to get it going. This weekend I went to Leeds to meet up with the Hourglass ladies and to support them with the launch of the ticket sales for Leeds 2018. This weekend also marked the one year anniversary of the ladies first signing in Leeds where I was a signing author.
The train ride there was slightly surreal and I was unexpectedly hit with a wave of emotions. I was excited to see the girls and the other authors and readers who were joining the launch party, I reminisced about the many highs of the previous year and all the new people I was fortunate to meet, but that weekend a year ago was a massive moment in my life and I was suddenly overwhelmed by the last twelve months.
For those who have followed me and my work over the last three and a half years I’m sure you’ll have noticed I’ve become almost nonexistent on social media and any news about writing has been very few and far between and that’s because on my way home from a fabulous weekend I had a full mental breakdown. At first when the tears came on the train I put it down to post signing blues and utter exhaustion. I went home and slept for hours only to wake feeling worse than I had before. I couldn’t eat, I felt sick and as though I had spiders under my skin and crawling over my brain. The hardest hit I took though was feeling so worthless and a waste to my family; especially my daughter and husband. How could I go from walking on air and feeling like I had been the best version of myself the whole weekend to wanting to crawl under the covers and cease to exist?
The five months that followed were the worst of my life. I developed agoraphobia, I had to leave my job, and I stopped talking to people and started self harming. It was the lowest point of my life.
Writing became impossible because the only things I wanted to write scared me; I didn’t know if the words were inspired by how I was feeling or if I was actually in a much worse place than I had told myself I was in. I’d try to write, but it added to the list of things I couldn’t do anymore and I would berate myself more. I tried to research a lot of the topics I knew I’d need for the projects I had just laying there mocking me. The research gave me something to do and I actually enjoyed it and managed to write a few hundred words here or there and told myself it was better than nothing, but it wasn’t. It was just another reminder that I couldn’t do something I had dreamed of doing since I was fifteen.
I had to completely turn off from writing and the writing world. I needed to look after myself and my health for my sake and that of my family. Learning to walk out of your own front door at thirty three isn’t as easy as it sounds. I needed to go back to work, but the job I had wasn’t an option so I went back to my old stomping ground and became a Spork once more. People thought I was crazy for this as it meant being around a lot of people at times which is something I still struggle with now in certain situations, but in regards to my health I think it was the best option for me. I’m now more confident again and I love my job…most days.
During my dark time reading didn’t come easy either, I began to resent the words on the pages and the people who write them because they were living my dream while I was locked in my own nightmare. Books in their total existence became a trigger for me.
Just as I was getting back on my feet and starting work we discovered my dad had cancer. I COULD NOT FALL APART no matter how fragile I still felt, my dad needed me, my little sister needed me and my whole family needed be there for him. He’s doing great now and his surgeon is blown away by him every time he see’s my Daddio because his recovery couldn’t be going any better. Since then though there has been one thing after another with his health as well as some other fucked up shit going on in my life and even before my trip to Leeds I was wondering how the hell I’m still standing; how have I not crumbled yet.
Yup, one little train ride had all this going through my mind, but also made me see just how far I had come. My writing has still been eluding me, but I’ve been reading a lot more than I was and just this week I have been writing/editing and existing project. Being with the book world people also inspired me and reminded me of the love a support we all offer each other. There are times where the drama and hate brings itself to the surface for the small few who thrive on such antics, but I have found so many beautiful people in the indie world and it those people I want to thank. Thank you for your support and encouragement even when I’ve had nothing to give in return, but thank you more so for giving me something I want to work my way back to. Without the readers and author simply writes diaries of fiction, its the readers who turn them into stories.
I may have had a year without words, but my year has taught me so much about words, life and myself.
I’m not saying my writing mojo is back in full effect, but I am feeling the bug again and who knows what that little critter will have me doing.
Stay Kind, Stay Kinky, Stay True
Ps. I’ve not edited this post; I haven’t even reread it before posting. It’s too personal, too raw and any mistakes I’ve made just show I’m human and aren’t we all flawed in some way or another?