Day 9: Losing My Mind

Losing My Mind
Losing My Mind from

I’ve had the beginning of a post sitting here for two days, but have been unable to complete it due to lack of coherent thought. Tonight it seems appropriate to write about my greatest frustration with writing instead.

With Fibromyalgia I am often working with a diminished capacity of mind. I have literally lost some of my mind. Between exhaustion/fatigue, the distraction of pain, and Fibro fog (symptoms include difficulty with concentration, memory deficits, and confusion), I do not have the same brain capacity that I did 3 years ago or more. Being someone of high intelligence for whom almost everything thinky was easy, especially writing, this is the saddest and most frustrating aspect of this disorder/disease/whatever-the-fuck-it-is-that’s-messing-with-my-brain.

Now, some days writing is hard. Having a series of coherent thoughts that deepen in complexity around the same subject is hard. Putting those thoughts into words that are both expressive and accessible is hard. (I’m actually astonished I succeeded at writing and re-writing this post tonight!). Thinking creatively is near impossible.

This means that committing to writing is a much greater feat of endurance that it was before. I used to be able to thousands of decent words in a day. Now it’s a good day if I can fill one page with something worth keeping. Let alone the background work that needs to go into a book: recording memories, digging through all of my journals and boxes of memorabilia, doing research, establishing an outline of the pieces and their flow, writing a book proposal, maintaining a blogging presence to build an audience prior to book submission, etc. So many things! It’s intimidating.

Writing a book now will require great strength, endurance and discipline. As a mother I am familiar with this qualities. But a book doesn’t have the same sense of urgency, of need, that children do.

Maybe I need to imagine this book as a literal child as much as I’m able. I know this is the happy ending to the first part of my story, a real life fairy tale come true that is calling me to be told. I believe in it just as much as I believe in my children. I love it as a part of myself like my children. People say they experience callings. Writing is my calling. I hear her song in my head. I feel her pull in my cells. My soul aches when I ignore this call the same way my heart would ache if I turned away from my babies.

I can’t put this piece of myself aside any longer, no matter what it takes to keep the writer in me active. Much like the disciplines for my body, I need to do what I can for my writing every day. Sometimes it’s a few stretches or a few sentences. Sometimes it’s taking a walk or a couple hours of research. Once in awhile it’s an all day event with the family or a couple thousand decent words written and rewritten. From this perspective, every day is a potential success.

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