How a town, a loving husband, and wonderful friends allow me to learn every day and become better and stronger for it.
I wrote a blog post at 4am this morning. Unable to sleep with thoughts swirling around my head.
I was unhappy with myself. I had taken an unexpected hit. These things happen to a writer; just not to me yet. It threw me.
So, I got up and did my therapy. I wrote.
I shouldn’t have taken it personally. But, that is what 63 years of bad habits and mental illness still do to me.
I am learning daily, minute by minute.
So, I let it out on the page. Opened me up again. Don’t hide. Don’t let things overtake you – I said to myself. And then thought, maybe someone can learn from this. Maybe another writer is going through some doubts, needs some encouragement to be true. To be themselves. To not hide.
Those thoughts were freeing.
I wrote some more.
Then I hit publish and let it all out into the world.
Glenn got up, the pot of coffee was old and almost empty. Breakfast we thought. And went to one of our favorite places a few blocks away. I answered some encouraging emails. And we talked and he boosted me up and then we took a walk.
We wandered, we talked some more. I took photos. I released any leftover tension. I let San Miguel wash over me. I listened to its lesson; breath, smile, make a friend, hold hands with my loved one, perhaps dance a bit.
We ended up at the Fabrica. Upon entering, an unexpected big hug and a huge welcome from a friend. By her side was her friend. A long chat. This town does that.
She is ADHD, a bit wacky, a writer – of memoir; we instantly hit it off. Damn, we are heading south on vacation in a couple of weeks. Not to worry, we will ZOOM. I will be sitting on the beach. Tropical drink in hand I imagine. Working hard on revisions.
We entered a gallery, I let those artists, those brave souls wash over me too. They stuck with it.
I have so much to do. But I have learned that I don’t have to stay awake for a month plastering the walls with notes and shuffling between piles on the floor. I can take my time.
I was buoyant now, but not in a crazy Bipolar 1, loose myself in the sky, way. Just walking easily. Ok, maybe a bit of a hop in my step.
I am learning to temper myself without losing myself in the process.
I am realizing I can accept help too, without it becoming a co-dependency on my part. I don’t have to do it alone. And I don’t have to latch on and suffocate another. Go into my extreme. And I can learn from others, they are also allowed to critique me, disagree. I don’t have to beat myself up.
I now applaud those members of my writing groups and friends that were not afraid to let me in on the “bad” news.
And my memoir coach Danielle Anderson has her work cut out for her. But she knew that going in. Thank god for people who stick by and let me learn my lessons and then help me become better at my craft. She is worth her weight in gold.
I am going to finish this. It will be the first project I have ever done so on.
I pat myself on the back. Can you relate? Give yourself a pat too.
If something hits you, take time to process it, then pick yourself up and be stronger for it.
I write about three main themes in my memoirs; my Bipolar 1, ADHD, and Eating Disorders. And then I throw in what it is really all about. Belonging. My lifelong search for it.
I am happy to say, I finally found it. Sixty-three years have found me settled down. Surrounded by love and acceptance. Full of lessons that remind me to not give up.
Those lessons can be from something commonplace, a chair dance, a musical event, a great sunset, a good meal, a bit of basking in the sunshine, lots of friends, writing groups.
I know that my environment plays a huge part in my mental health. We made the necessary change. Change in just about everything in our lives.
I am damn lucky to be here; at the best university ever. Maybe I won’t get a degree, but I got a life.