3/7/16

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

I haven't posted much lately because my writing efforts have been focused elsewhere. The good news is that this effort has paid off in other ways, the first of which is pretty exciting. A story that I wrote is now published in this book of essays. This is my first time to be published in print, like with ink, and real paper, so I'm kinda pumped. It's also a privilege to be part of a book with these writer friends that I've looked up to for so long. I haven't got my copy yet, but you can buy one here if you want. I'm in Volume Four.

The second thing I wanted to point your attention to is this little website. I've been editing it with a friend for a year now, and we've garnered a bit of a following. If you're interested in reading what I've posted there, you can follow this link. I'm proud of this site, and I think the work I've put in helping other writers has made me a better one myself.

The last bit of news is not so good. In January I applied for grad school at UT. The application process was no small task. I had to take the GRE, and submit two lengthy writing samples, one of which required me to do research. Ugh. It was difficult. I also had to get three friends to recommend me for the program. It was a two year degree, a Master in Fine Arts, but it looks like I won't be getting that after all. This morning I got an email saying my admission was denied. Rejection. It hurts, I won't lie. But hopefully this will motivate me to get back to work on my book.

The truth is I don't really need the degree. I wasn't looking to be a teacher or go on to get a PHD. I just wanted an academic setting that would force me to work on my writing. I was hoping that getting regular feedback from teachers would improve my writing as well. And I wanted the chance to do college again, without the distraction of looking for love and happily ever after. But no one needs any of that to write a book. I've already got everything I need to do that. I just have to make myself do it. I'm tempted to say it's no small task either, but when I think about it, that's exactly what it is. It's just a whole bunch of them, strung together, day after day, until the big job is done. 

I hope to tell you all about it when that happens, and I hope it happens soon. Thanks for cheering me on. 

11/20/15

Update on November

I set some goals for myself this month, but apparently I don't do too well under pressure. The day after I posted about exercising and writing more this month, I fell into a deep funk. I kept up with the exercising for about two weeks, but I didn't write anything else during that time. It's worth noting that I was scheduled to take the GRE and needed to put some of my energy toward studying. Maybe that's why I wasn't able to focus on writing. I'm not sure what happened.

The good news is that the GRE is behind me now. I got a 156 for my verbal score. I was hoping for a 160, but I'll settle for this. It's 5 points higher than the practice test I took online at the beginning of September. Now all that's left to do is get my writing samples ready to submit and complete the online application process. The deadline for UT is Jan. 15th, and I think I'm on track to finish in time. Yay, me!


The day before I took the test, I went to see my doctor. I told her that I felt like my monthly PMDD struggles were starting sooner, lasting longer, and proving harder to bounce back from in the past year. She suggested I start taking an antidepressant again. I took her advice. I was tired of losing days. We only get so many of those, you know. I don't want to not be able to function for three days every month (sometimes it's more). I don't want to keep feeling ashamed of being sad when I have no legitimate reason for being sad. I don't want to feel so sad and angry and tired all the time. My kids deserve better. My husband deserves better. I do, too.

Depression doesn't let you see that when you're in the midst of it. It convinces you that you're broken and it's your own fault. That's not true. I'm really trying to adopt this new language and educate myself about how this is a medical condition that I need to take seriously. I don't want to become another statistic. If I was diagnosed with some other chronic illness, would I be embarrassed to talk about my treatment? I don't think so. I want to do what I can to erase the stigma that exists around these issues.

It's not a lack of faith or some unconfessed sin that makes my brain crazy sometimes. It's an actual chemical imbalance. I'm more sensitive to hormonal changes than most people. I'm more sensitive about a lot of things. That's part of the reason I'm a writer. I can't change that, and I don't want to. But I also don't want to hide anymore. Taking medicine is not like some magic happy pill. I know because I've been on it before. It doesn't automatically turn you into a different person. That's not how it works. It just takes the edge off my feelings and helps them to be less intense. That's what I need right now. I hope that if you're feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, you'll seek out the thing that helps you, too.

Last week I posted a poem where I basically confessed to having been suicidal before. I've never come up with an actual plan, but I've gotten close enough to know how it happens to people. I want to be an advocate for those of us with this kind of pain. If you're a reader who's been there too, please let me know if there's any way I can help you find some relief. You can find me here on FB.

As always, thanks for reading. Cheers and sunshine, people. Drink them in.

11/13/15

Lifeline

I’ve
often heard
the siren song
of self destruction
and I longed
to end it
all

It’s not to hurt
the ones I love
It’s just myself
I can not
trust

My mind
says things
which are
not true

My heart
gets lost
inside the
blue

est black
of dark
est night
though I search
and search
to find
the light

to feel some warmth
to believe in love
I look up to
the skies above

“Go tell someone,”
God says to me
“It’s not your fault
that you can’t see”

So I’m writing
this poem
to throw us
a rope

It’s all trite with rhyme
but I still hope
that it will reach
us both in time

to convince you, too
that though
we’re blind

We are never alone.

I’m still out here
I’m climbing up
Let’s make this work
Just don’t give up

Together
we
can reach
the top