To be honest, I have been a bit miserable in my inability to write creatively. It just takes a whole lot of cognitive energy, a lot of this and that, and my brain just can’t take it these days. Even my reading of creative work has been dismal–at first, I couldn’t read it at all, then I could read about a paragraph (before I had to start over because I forgot what the hell I was reading about), and then I could read about a page (before I had to reread the page which made it just me reading a page over and over again), and now I can read about 3 pages before my brain fizzles out.
Yes, I see it as constant improvement, but for someone who can read HUNDREDS of pages a day (pre-stroke anyway) this is just so disappointing! But yes, it is constant improvement, and I have to keep telling myself that. These days, I live day by day and rejoice over small steps. Just like (my other “favorite” activity) running–when every step can be really painful. But just like (my other “favorite” activity) running, I do look back to see how far I’ve come. And I’ve come a long way since the day of the stroke. I can hold things in my head for longer than a minute, expanding the reaches of my short term memory. That sort of stuff.
But you see, it’s still miserable at times. And I try very hard to let myself feel bad if I do feel bad–one thing I have learned is that instead of holding all the bad feelings back and then succombing to chronic depression, letting myself feel in real time is a wiser thing for my own health.
Um, but that means I feel bad very often. I feel bad about the school semester starting without me. I feel bad about not being able to write creatively. I feel bad about the whole world speeding along, and me cruising along at low speed. I feel crummy. I feel bad about friendships, even still. Even though I know I’m mostly okay and will be! But that’s beside the point.
The other night I went websurfing–my husband was in bed, the dogs were in bed, and I was up and wide awake, my hands fluttering with anxiety. So I went on the internet and just started clicking here and there and here. Just aimlessly.
Pretty soon I found myself on this website where I’d found my name. It was the name of a writing contest I’d entered awhile back–and a writing contest I knew I had not won (they let me know by letter). It was a longshot, I never expected to win. But then what was my name doing there? Well, it turns out I was a finalist in the contest–one of the 15 finalists out of 509 fiction entries.
Sheeit! That was awesome. (But why didn’t they tell me in the freaking results letter?)
Life throws you bones when you need them.