I was hoping to get to the end of the next two weeks; finish at my current job, have a trip to Croatia for a couple of days, move house, then catch up on the stress from the last few months. Unfortunately there’s been a couple of additional stresses recently, and it’s all just got too much. I’ve been trying to do one step at a time, and there’s too many steps, and I’ve run out of energy to keep fighting.
I’ll be able to start up again, I’m going to keep going – just I need some time to get up out of my hole first. I’m going to take a couple of days to just relax and let everything hit, and then I’ll start dealing with it.
I’m going to try to keep posting on here (because it’s a nice schedule, and I can write what I want, damnit!) but I might not be around on social media as much. I’m ok, I’m just Hermit’ing for a bit, as one of my friends says. Hopefully I’ll shortly be back to Human’ing. I can’t promise Adult’ing, because that’s just scary, but it’s something to aim towards!
Internet hugs to everyone as well – the season’s changing, the world’s shit and life is pretty stressful right now. Remember to take care of yourselves!
Well, at least the things I’m holding on to at the moment. I’m up and down quite a lot with some big changes and scary things coming along, so I’m trying to focus on the small stuff, just to keep level.
1.I had a lovely time in Amsterdam. My travelling companion and I just chilled out, walked around, ate burgers, sat in a converted library, read books (well, audiobooks in his case), watched the bats and the parrots…it was a really nice week in a very relaxed city.
2.I’ve learned things, yay! I’m struggling with feeling like I’m failing at everything at the moment, and that I’ve lost or given up on so much…so I’m trying to hold on to this.
3.Trello – I’ve started boards for my writing, editing work, general organisation…it’s only good for certain types of organisation (ie. not in-depth tasks) but I quite like it, and if nothing else it lets me see what’s on my lists to do. I do still have post-it notes on my computer and a colourful notepad for day-to-day things.
4.I want to bake more – and a friend sent me this. GET IN MY FACE.
5. Have I said that I love this? Because I do. Walk the Moon, Shut Up And Dance. I may have been editing while bopping along to it!
I finished my latest sampler! It’s the dinosaurs and superheroes one for Logan, and I’m just in time – he’ll be two in August. It was great fun to do!
And I have sort-of finished Totoro. I wanted to do a full background: I don’t like the purple now and I’ve gained some bits of green that I’d much rather use, but I don’t really want to unpick and as he’s now off to a new (temporary) home along with a laptop, I’m just glad to have finished his belly.
Also, have some bonus (badly taken) cat pictures. I recently moved bedrooms, and he seems to be insistent on making the room his…
I have to do this, because the world is getting overwhelming, and I’m struggling badly. I need to focus on the positives and the good, and need to remind myself there is some out there!
Moana. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I’ve watched it three times and have been singing the soundtrack pretty much endlessly. My most freakin’ irritating and annoying friend keeps texting me lines and THEN I HAVE THAT SONG AS A DAMN EARWORM and it’s the. Best. Thing. Ever.
It’s a small thing, but Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations chocolate. I love the jelly bits. I probably shouldn’t eat as much of it as I do, but it’s the best when I’m feeling down! (Also, Ben&Jerry’s Peanut Butter. WIN.)
Clouds. I’ve been walking to work and watching the clouds over Stroud hills, and the sunsets recently have been lovely! I think it’s the mix of sunny days and rainstorms that has meant a nice change from overarching grey.
The cat. He might be a complete bastard and wakes me up at 2.30am because he’s forgotten where his food bowl is, but he’s also been curling up next to me at night and greeting me at the front door each evening. He is a git, but he’s also a cute panther who shrunk in the wash!
(Pssst – I now have an extra button over on the sidebar! I don’t have the energy for a Patreon or anything like that – you’ll just have to cope with blog updates – but if you’d like to show support, or keep me sane, there’s a little button there for you to buy me coffee. I may spend it on tea, because I’m a rebel like that.)
Warning: long post, and contains an update on me. Tl;dr – new job, separation from my husband, health issues, still writing, still sane (mostly).
It feels like everything’s happening at once, or has happened over the last few months. But I finally feel that I’m swimming forward, instead of just treading water. There’s a few bits of good news and a few bad, and some that are just…things.
It’s hard to write all of this because I don’t usually share my problems; I don’t like spreading worries around. I am a private person – some close friends knew some of what’s in this post, but I didn’t want to talk about it more widely. For anyone reading who is feeling left out, or upset that I didn’t talk to you; I am sorry that I have upset you, but I hope you can understand why I preferred to keep it private.
Please don’t feel that you need to comment, and in fact I’d rather you didn’t; I wanted to put this out into the world because there has obviously been something going on with me, and this is my personal blog! I’m not asking for sympathy or help; I simply want to explain and update, and let people know some of what’s been affecting me for the past few months and years, and what’s going to be affecting me for the foreseeable future.
So, the good!
I’ve started a new job
I’m doing web development in Gloucester. We have two office puppies (who are SO CUTE) and I’m doing mobile app work, front-end development and marketing (including Google Analytics) and so far, I’m liking it! I’m going to be learning so much; I get a walk again for my commute, which is awesome; and there’s a really nice little coffee bar on the way in so I may end up spending some of my paycheck on tea every morning…oh noes. And I have become a sleeping spot for the puppies…double oh noes. It’s such a hard life! Although it is going to be hard for a couple of weeks (months) while I settle in, so far it’s good. And involves puppies. (More pics further on – aren’t they CUTE?!) They’ve also been told about my depression and had one taste of an anxiety day (turns out, cuddling puppies helps a lot) and they’ve been really good with it, so I’m hoping I’ll actually be able to have some sort of normality on the job front with that.
I did have a very frustrating couple of weeks in February/March, because after nothing from the jobs for several months, I had four (!!) interview requests in the space of two weeks, and they were all for different fields! I had to decide whether to continue with my library career, go into web dev at the bottom of the field, take a more graphics/copywriting route, or get into professional editing…I’ve gone for web dev with the company in Gloucester, and I think I’ve made the right decision. It’s one of those things that I will always think “what if…” but on weighing up the fields and talking to people I trust, I think I’ve gone for the field that will bring me most pleasure and let me do what I want to.
Editing and writing
I’m also still doing freelance editing work for Grimbold Books and privately (Scritto Editing, for anyone interested!) and I’m really enjoying that. I did wonder if doing professional editing would make my ‘other job’ feel like a chore, so that was a major factor in not continuing along that career path. I am also apparently a Senior Editor at Grimbold (*mad dances*) which makes me ridiculously happy. I must be doing something right! I’m loving the stories I’ve had – I’ve had one of our new writers, one sequel to a book I loved originally, and I’m currently working on a book that both Jo Hall and I have dug our elbows into. In addition I’m getting to beta-read and slush-pile read books, and it’s fab. One of the best things about being an editor is getting to read (and have input!) on stuff before anyone else!
I’m still writing; I’m doing new things, I’m still submitting No Man’s Land to agents and I’ve got projects (like No Man’s Sky) on the go. I am reading again, and reviewing, and I want to get some more short stories done. I’ve also got projects with Cake Club, and reading for friends…so my writing and associated stuff is continuing! Obviously more news on all of that as I do it because this is primarily my writing blog, and I’ll always keep you updated on the mad plans that seem to come out of my brain and onto paper.
I miss Ryan like hell, and we have the inquest coming up soon (as he was killed on the railway, they automatically open one) which I’m sort of dreading, but also want to just get it over with. It feels like a final thing hanging over us, stopping us from grieving, bringing up the questions again and again…so I’ll be glad when it’s done and we can start accepting it. But even though I miss him so much, I have had the pleasure of getting to know his family; I’m in touch with his mother almost every day, and I’ve been visiting the family (and their mad puppies!) – I had a wonderful afternoon over there the weekend just gone, which was bittersweet. It’s really hard going over when he’s not there, and being at the pub is still so difficult; there’s an empty space, a missing friend, someone I’m just waiting for…but I am grateful for the memories, grateful that he knew I loved him, and grateful for the new friendships that I’m making thanks to him. I’m still crying every time I think of him and I know the hole in my heart isn’t going to heal anytime soon, but in some ways I think that’s good; I’m not forgetting someone I loved so dearly.
And the not-so-good
I’m separating from my husband. It’s my decision after two years of anxiety and stress and trying to work out my feelings, and it’s currently amicable. We’re keeping our mad old pub and continuing on with the renovations, so that’s going to be (fun) chaos! Beyond that, we’re just taking things as they go. It’s really hard for both of us, but in many ways I’m happier because I’ve finally made a decision and it’s not hanging over me – and the burst of relief, horrible as it was, suggests I’ve made the right one. This may be the first you’ve heard of this – I don’t publicise my personal Facebook, although my author page is here – so if you know my husband, I’d greatly appreciate your support for him. It’s a shitty time for both of us but I’m really lucky to have some brilliant friends around me, and he doesn’t have as much of that support network. I still care about him so much, and it’s been a really horrible decision to have to make…but I think it is the right thing to do, much as it hurts.
I’ve also had some health issues in addition to the depression over the past few years that have left me feeling broken, for all that I’m (as far as tests show so far) physically ok. It was mostly just routine but included one rather bruising encounter with a specialist who basically informed me that I was lying about everything, and then declared that I should have done X, Y and Z…well, if my GP had told me to do X, Y and Z originally then I would have done it! That was incredibly frustrating and hurtful, but luckily my regular GPs have been awesome. It’s all settled down for the moment, but it has been several years of additional ups and downs that haven’t helped with anything. Again, some people know the details of this, but I hope you can appreciate why I prefer to keep it private. It may be something that I do open up about further in the future, but for now it’s just too painful.
On the mental health front, I did start medication again for a month but I’ve now come off it again – against the advice of a lot of people, I should add! Being on the medication meant I had artificial ups (I was singing! Baking! I did grumble that if I had small birds trying to help me do the chores, I’d feed them to Frankie) and felt like an alien in my own skin. I haven’t been sleeping well generally, with a lot of vivid dreams that mean I don’t feel rested. While medication does make the downs less violent, I was hating the changes, and so I chose to come off it again. I am hoping that I’ll be able to weather the ups and downs more naturally – I may still go back onto it, but I’ll see how I do.
So. That’s a snapshot of the current chaos!
I’m giving myself three months (my work probation) to settle in to everything, and see how things go on both the work and home front. I’ve set myself a deadline of Christmas before I make any more big decisions; I want time to just settle into myself again, absorb the changes, and feel like me. Beyond that…I’m just taking things as they come.
I’ve also got some scarier long-term plans in the works – I don’t want to say much as it all still feels like a “what-if-maybe” dream, but let’s just say that they’re big and scary and I don’t know if any of it will even work! But I’m taking small steps towards them and if it works out, it works out! It feels odd having a long-term goal, as the depression means I often find that so hard, but…it feels good, too.
If you’ve got to the end of this, congratulations! Thank you for reading, and also thank you to everyone who does read this blog for your support. I really value your contributions and views, both from those of you I know in real life and those I don’t. Thank you.
Again, don’t feel the need to comment; just thank you for reading, and for your understanding. I really appreciate it 🙂
*goes off to hide under the duvet with chocolate for a bit*