An update.

Hello my friends!  If you’re here it’s because you care, personally or professionally, and I deeply appreciate both.  I am also grateful for the buzz surrounding the World Fantasy Award nomination.  While I’m not on social media to see it directly, my husband has told me that there have been many supportive comments, and that means a lot to me.

Item # 2 on the agenda: if you have interacted with me at all in the last month, I’d like to apologize if you left feeling drained, confused, or vaguely unsettled.  My mental health is as bad as it’s ever been.  If you’ve interacted with me recently, you’ve been talking to a person who is in the process of drowning and trying to subtly use you as a flotation device without your maybe noticing.  That’s not really a thing.  I realize that now.  I’m sorry.

I’m redoubling my efforts to tackle this on my own, because my relationships are extraordinarily precious to me and the thought of damaging them makes me feel even worse.  By “on my own” I mean, not leaning on people who are not professionals.  I have spent a few weeks in vain trying to contact my last therapist; she seems to have left the last place she was working, and her voicemail box is full and not accepting new messages.  (My demons say, “she quit her job and withdrew from society after working with you.”  Very funny, demons.)  This means I have to start from scratch, but I’ve made appointments with four different therapists over the next few weeks to try to find another good match.

Some good professional news: I did manage to put the finishing touches on Impostor Syndrome in time for it to come out on schedule next spring, and I’ve already got another book in the pipeline to get back to work on once I’ve got my energy and focus a bit more under control.

On the physical health side, there’s more good news.  We have finally, finally isolated the cause of my headaches.  It is the cataracts, but it isn’t so much light-related as it is related to the compensatory thing my brain is doing.  Imagine looking through your windshield and having a smudge right in front of your face.  Assuming the wipers didn’t take care of it, you’d keep craning your neck this way and that trying to peer around it, right?  Well, imagine the smudge was a tiny dot on the very center of the actual lens of both eyes.  There’s nowhere to “lean” to get away from that, and yet your brain keeps trying.

Amazingly, mine mostly succeeds.  If I am looking at something stationary (say, a computer screen) my brain actually does pretty well at compensating.  But something like driving, which causes me to constantly shift my focus, means my brain is having to readjust its magical compensation-trick over and over and over again.  Eventually it just burns out and I’m left lying in a dark room wishing for an anvil to drop from the sky and end my misery.

The fix: cataract surgery.  The doctors are finally starting to agree on that.  I have one more appointment in October, and then they will probably be willing to commit to a surgery date.

So, solutions, both mental and physical, are in the pipeline.  It’s just a terribly long wait, and in the meantime I am miserable!  Huzzah!

But everything is temporary.  Everything.  Kind of a poignant thought in times of happiness, but a lifesaver in times like these.  What I’m feeling now will, eventually, be one of those memories I can look back on and say, “Thank God I’m not there anymore.”  Sometimes I think that’s what times like these are for.  So that we can remember, in good times, not to take them for granted.

I love you all and look forward to the day when we can have fun together, when I can be a shoulder for you, or just be a general presence in your lives.  No ETA yet, but we’ll get there.

5 Responses to “An update.”

  1. Jasmine Stairs

    I’ve had the experience of a therapist drop me as a client and go out of business before. It totally sucks, no two ways about it. And a doctor. The good thing is that both times it turned out to be their health, not me being useless or distressing. That’s the most likely reason here too.

    I’m very glad to hear you are still taking steps to get better, physically and mentally. It’s a tough road but you’re tougher.

    (This message may make no sense and be full of what can be parsed as platitudes, but what I wanted to communicate is that you’ve been on my mind, and I care about you flourishing. Good luck with all of it.)

  2. Cheryl H.

    I am so sorry you’re feeling so horrible! I hope you can find a therapist you click with, and that the cataract surgery goes well.

  3. Deborah

    I am so sorry you ever have to go through this, but I am so glad that you have the strength to do it. The world would be a rather dimmer place without your amazing stories.

  4. Shauna S Roberts

    Congratulations on your award nominations and condolences on being in such a bad spot right now. I hope you can get your cataract surgery soon and get rid of your headaches. The good thing about having relapsing-remitting conditions, I’ve found, is that you know the bad time won’t last forever. I just grit my teeth and wait it out. I hope you have a coping strategy too to get through to the place where colors are bright and food tastes good again. You always have my best wishes and good thoughts.

  5. Dave

    Excellent news, thank you for sharing it 🙂

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