This post is kind of personal. I’m not sure why I feel so nervous writing it, but I do. But I also feel like I should. So here we go.
I want to talk about why this blog has been a dead zone for the last seven months. Until recently, I thought it was just because I couldn’t think of anything to say. But that’s not really it. I have lots of things to say. It’s why I write novels. It’s why I take part on social media. It’s why I talk to myself when I think no one’s listening . . . I mean, that’s totally normal right? Yeah, totally normal.
But lately, it feels like I’ve been in a fog. Like I have things to say, but I can’t articulate them. A brain fog. And I’ve been tired. Super, ridiculously tired. Tired to the point where I got concerned and thought for several months about maybe going to the doctor, and then finally actually went, and spilled my guts out about everything I was worried could be wrong with me. This is not something that I do. And it was especially hard, because it was a brand new doctor. My old one, who I was sort of used to (if you can say that going to see someone once in a blue moon when I felt like I might have a sinus infection is enough to get used to someone) moved away a few years ago, and yeah . . . I hadn’t found a replacement since. I don’t like to go to the doctor unless I’m dying. Not the best philosophy, I know, but I’m working on being better about that.
So anyway, I went to the doctor. I said I thought maybe it was my thyroid. Or I thought maybe it was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Or I thought maybe I was just depressed. Or maybe all of the above. I did not tell her that I thought maybe it was cancer, but of course I thought maybe it was cancer. Everybody always thinks maybe it’s cancer. Even WebMD always thinks maybe it’s cancer. (Spoiler: it’s not cancer.)
I’m not a hypochondriac, but it really was getting ridiculous how tired I was. It was interfering with daily life. I couldn’t keep up with the house, I couldn’t keep up with the kids, I certainly couldn’t exercise. And I couldn’t write. Not very much anyway. I could write more than I could do the other things, because I could do that while sprawled on the couch. But with the physical fatigue came mental fatigue, and so any writing time that I had, I used for working on the bigger “more important” stuff: the novels and my monthly blog post for Thinking Through Our Fingers. Short stories, flash fiction, and personal blogs fell to the wayside.
I know there are some of you who know me outside the realm of the internet who might read this and be surprised. If we’ve hung out, I’ve probably seemed fine. And I mean, I do have good days too. Some days I’ll wake up and have tons of energy, and I’ll feel awesome, and so I’ll want to take advantage of that and spend time with friends and/or get a bunch of stuff done while I can. And I usually overdo it because I know that for the next day or two or three, I’ll be wiped no matter what. Happens every time. And sometimes I just force myself to get out despite how tired I am, because hello, I want to hang out with you. But not here. Over at your house please, or somewhere in the middle, because I’m too exhausted to tidy everything up. And though each and every one of you has told me it’s okay and it’s probably not that bad, I’m embarrassed. Because I’m a perfectionist too. Exhaustion and perfectionism do not make good bedfellows.
So anyway, it turns out my thyroid is awesome (yay!) but my iron and vitamin D levels are super duper low. In other words, I should have 1) been taking my Flintstones everyday like a good little girl, and 2) gone to the doctor a hell of a lot earlier. Now I’m on some mega-dose vitamins and after a month or so of taking them, I’m just now–like, within the last week–starting to wake up.
I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking for the last year or so. And as I’ve been getting some energy back, I’ve been remembering things that I used to do, that I’d stopped doing, that I want to do again. I’ve been remembering what I was like before I got so tired. I didn’t remember any of that while I was tired. I was just tired. I just didn’t want to do anything. I was depressed, but I didn’t know if I was depressed because I was tired, or if I was tired because I was depressed.
Seems like maybe I was depressed because I was tired, because I’m feeling a lot better now.
So what is the point of this post? I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to explain where old me has been the last year or so. Probably longer than that. It’s been slowly building for quite a while, and I think maybe it’s been more obvious to other people that I’m not like I used to be than it has to me. And I guess the other point of this post is to say that I’m trying. I’m working on it, and things are getting better. I’ve been exercising every day. I’ve been getting out more, communicating more, being more…present? I guess? I’ve felt more present anyway. I’ve been in a better mood. And I feel like my brain is starting to work again–I’m feeling creative again, I’m feeling smart, and I’m feeling much more focused. It’s amazing what the lack of one little mineral and one little vitamin can do to you.
The old me isn’t back yet. But she is on her way. And she’s looking forward to whipping life back into shape.
See you next Monday.