Sometimes the need to write is strong but the desire to tell the story that comes, seemingly unbidden through the fingers, is lacking. Need, but no want.
If I could explain that better, I would. One of those weird writer things, I suppose.
I left this blog just before Christmas, creeping back, unannounced, a few weeks ago. The sabbatical was necessary. Last Fall – I bit off more than I could chew. I got burned out. Still am burned out, in many ways.
With no pretense at a smooth segue, here’s what’s been going on the last four months:
- I’m back in therapy. After a five-ish year absence, I have returned to the cozy office and comfortable couch of the wise, godly woman who walked with me through some of the darkest days I’ve ever experienced. Again I can taste the dirt and feel the bruises that come from falling, suddenly, into the ravine. I’m on a low dose of Zoloft, the only antidepressant I can take given my liver problems, which tackles my brain’s habit of flooding itself with “fight or flight” chemicals for no dang good reason. Stops the hands from shaking and the sweat from trickling down my neck so that, with great effort, I can focus on what’s actually bothering me – not something I plan on sharing at this time.
- My health is very unsteady. December 2016 was golden. Great. I made it to work every day. Exercised every morning. Few aches and pains. Limited nausea. I got this little taste of what it might be like to feel “normal,” or at least as normal as it would be possible for me to feel. Then, crash. Bang. Boom. Thud. Increased migraines. Liver swelling and all the discomfort that comes with it. Insomnia. Exhaustion. Eczema that won’t go away. Yay.
- I have doubted my ability and calling to write. Not looking for you to soothe my ego here. I’ve been doing this for nine years. I failed, miserably, at getting a book traditionally published. A huge part of me wonders if I’m making any difference when there seems to be no progress or measurable impact…
- …but then I see all the straight-up bad “teaching” out there. And I feel compelled.
- Still, I find myself with big questions. What does God want of me? What is my purpose?
- That book nobody wanted? I published it myself. It’s titled The Harm in That: False Gospels, Alternative Medicine and Suffering. (You can click on the image to the right of this post and check it out over on Amazon. No pressure to buy). This book isn’t a long rant against people who are into alternative medicine. I know and love many who are. Disagree with them, but love them. Rather, this book tackles the question, “What does the Bible actually say about medicine, illness and suffering?” Not a medical textbook. Not expert testimony. It is a very broad commentary laced with snippets of my own experience.
- In continuing writing, I must come to terms with the fact that I don’t “do it” in a way that is readily embraced by today’s celebrity-obsessed and often-shallow Christian culture. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Church. I love Christians. But how many Amish fiction series do we need? How many books about the Nahum diet? (That doesn’t exist).
- Cleaning up my online life. Oh, the things I “liked” and “tweeted” years ago. Embarrassing.
- Small group drawing to a close. Normally, I am against groups taking a break for the summer. It’s so easy to fall out of good study habits. This year…did I mention that I’m burned out? We’ve been meeting for two years. I love these people. But I need a nap. A long one.
- Church changes. Our pastor left in October. As one who thrives in routine, the resulting shifts have been interesting some days, highly difficult others. Things have smoothed out recently.
- Drawing away from social media. I’m all for fun. For memes. For photos. Right now, I simply have a desire to share only what’s worthwhile and participate in conversations that mean something.
- Near-paranoia regarding Bible teachers. I am the last person who’s going to claim perfection. I don’t know everything. I want to learn from solid, wise, orthodox, godly people. But, boy, the amount of concerning statements and associations lately… My innate cynicism and suspicion has, to use a culturally favored pair of words, been triggered.
- Miscellaneous. Afternoon coffee. Avocados. New study Bible. Snoring dogs who look so handsome after going to the beauty shop. Trying recipes from The Great British Bake-Off.
So, there’s your wide-lens view of this blogger’s life. Still seeking to slay the dragons of anxiety and depression. Still sarcastic. Still longing to know and love the Lord better each day.
Now with 50% less dog fur covering her shirts.