Why I Won’t Be At the Nebulas.

I’ve tweeted a few times, but I wanted to make a more formal statement that people could find more easily.  The heading could also be “Why My Website Is Out of Date” or “Why I Haven’t Answered Your Letter Yet.”

Things have been good for me the past few years.  Really good, to the point that I pushed myself too hard, let all my self-care rituals slide, and put myself in a more vulnerable place than I was aware.

Then November happened.  For a month or so we were focusing mostly on dealing with my intrusive thoughts of suicide.  I am not a suicide risk–because of my children it is not an action I would ever perform no matter how much I desired it–but it’s amazing how much one’s life can be disrupted when every thought is answered with “What’s the point?”  We got through that, and things were looking up.  Had a wonderful trip to Detroit, Toronto, and Ottawa in January for my birthday.  Then I finally finished the very belated draft of my third novel.

And then all hell broke loose.  We’re still not sure what’s going on.  There are physical symptoms at play too, and we’re trying to untangle cause/effect.  It’s possible there’s something physically wrong, and the stress of it is making my mental state more fragile.  It’s also possible that the mental health collapse has caused so much continuous stress that it has begun to affect various body systems.  We’re doing all the things wise people do, making all the appointments, etc.

But I don’t feel safe traveling and socializing professionally when both my physical and mental health have, over the last month or more, consistently unraveled at even the slightest introduction of stress.  Right now we are metaphorically installing padded bumpers in my life on all the sharp corners until I remember how to walk straight again.  Reducing responsibilities, simplifying my social life, all of that.

The bright side is that I’ve been here before, and I actually know all the steps I need to take to get better.  But it’s also a situation where a lot of those steps are things I can’t do until I’m at least a little better.  So it becomes a sort of triage situation.  And I don’t know how long it will take.

As of this moment I feel optimistic about 4th Street Fantasy in June, but I’m almost certain I won’t be worth much of a damn to anyone but me before then.  My apologies to anyone to whom I made commitments, and to any people who worry I don’t love them anymore.  The love is still there, but it’s packed away in boxes until such time as the simple daily maintenance of existence doesn’t feel quite so grueling.

Have no fear; I’ll definitely see you on the other side.

13 Responses to “Why I Won’t Be At the Nebulas.”

  1. Don Randall

    Please just regroup & get well. As much as I love your work …I’m willing to reread your books forever.
    No book sequel or new series can replace your presence in this realm.
    Wishing you happiness & joy.

  2. Carina Bissett

    My thoughts are with you. I’m so glad you’re taking the time to recover. You are a bright light in a dark world and I imagine that would take a toll on anyone. On a side note, I loved the second book in The Arcadia Project and pretty much devoured it in an afternoon. I’m looking forward to book three. Thank you for everything you do. Take care, Mishell. I hope you feel better soon.

  3. Autumn

    So glad to hear you are taking care of yourself. The political/ social environment since last November can’t be helping your mental state, either. Much love to you and yours.

  4. John Wiswell

    I’m very glad you’re taking care of yourself. Much as I’d enjoy hanging out and hearing you talk, anyone who knows you would be happier to know you were safe. All my strength to you.

  5. John Marvin

    Don’t worry about anything but self-care. Your friends and fans want you to know we are pulling for you.

  6. Erin Schramm

    I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself and we will all be here with open arms when you’re up to it.

  7. Annalee

    I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself. I’m also glad to know you, because you’re pretty great.

  8. Patricia Kintz

    Best wishes to my sister in mood disorders. My bipolar two has morphed into bipolar one, or somewhere on the borderline, as I near menopause. No fun. Thankfully, 75 to 80% of bipolar 2’s experience complete remission just after menopause. I am counting myself in that group for now, because hope is a good thing. I am saying a prayer today, as I have said a few in the past month, for your state of being. Whether you are a believer or not, that can’t hurt, right? 🙂 If there does happen to be a God… well, we are told he loves each of us and works actively in our lives, and even more when we ask him specifically.

  9. Patricia Kintz

    See my review of Borderline, revised, here: https://elitistbookreviews.com/2016/09/27/borderline/. I am a Mishell Baker fan and can’t wait to read/review Phantom Pains. Already jumping up and down, but will put on my unbiased-pants like a good book reviewer. Really I will. Contacting agent/publisher today.

  10. Mike Ososki

    Be well, Mishell. Nothing real can be threatened 🍒

  11. Deborah

    Never apologize for taking care of yourself; having children certainly emphasizes this need. Do what you need to do and we will wait until you are ready to continue your journey as a very talented author. I discovered your work this year and have greatly enjoyed each book. I am a retired RN and appreciate you incorporating education of BPD in your work. It is so important that the world understand psych issues that so many struggle with. Thank you for your work and dedication. Take care.

  12. Jo Gratziano

    I am reading your book and having that wonderful feeling of connectedness that comes with identifying and seeing yourself in others. Oh, look, this character has issues like mine andit’s not her fault and she’s doing the best she can and she is saying it out loud for all the world to hear, AND it’s also kinda funny and heartwarming, not to mention a good read.
    You have done me a service on this day. I hope you feel better soon.
    Jo Gratziano

  13. Mehdi B.

    A thought from Paris, I loved your books and I really hope you feel better soon.
    A few books made me laugh , made me feel or impressed me as much as yours these last years, but yours are definitely in the top 5, and I just wanted you to know that you have a reader in France who will always keep an eye for your works and your blog posts.
    Take care, prenez soin de vous, bonne journée !

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