Oct 22 2011
I have wonderful people at every turn telling me good things, sending me unsolicited but supportive emails, leaving awesome comments on my blog, helping me out in every way, and still I feel poised on the brink of collapse into a deep dark place. I think part of it was getting sick; it is no exaggeration to say that along this path every time I start to feel like I’m getting a handle on the road to healthiness, something happens to set it back. This time it was my stamina that was drained by the flu or whatever illness it was. In fact, I’m still running a mild fever (though now within the “safe zone”) off and on and still resting or sleeping large parts of the days, so it makes sense that I feel weak as a premature kitten.
This hole that appeared under my left arm (instead of the one mostly healed on my right) doesn’t help either, opening up one or more times a day to drip fluid down my side. Of course everyone assures me that it shows no signs of infection, the fluid is the “right” color to be draining, but that side is so sore and weak, and that was my stronger side, so now each side is weak. My walking PT shows how much stamina I’ve lost, hyperventilating and in tears walking the length of two houses trying to maintain proper core muscle engagement and walking form. I had been up to three, maybe even four house lengths before getting sick.
The helper looks for ways to cheer me up, though that wasn’t part of her job description. She also looks for ways I can interact with Wednesday without having the baby cause too much pain (kicking and squirming and such), and all of that helps, just like the kind words and emails and comments mentioned above. I don’t let myself think about how much lower I’d be if I didn’t have those things to keep me going. But I’m riding the ragged edge, and wondering how much longer, how much more I can take. I’ve been making myself keep writing bits and pieces, making myself send out stories. I never used to care about rejections before, they’re part of the process; but the latest (at least it was personalized) rejection on a piece of flash fiction saying they were too obtuse and didn’t get what was happening, when I thought it was a finely-tuned piece where what’s happening is obvious and it all fits together, even the title…well I was warned that there would be a percentage of readers that just don’t get it. You can’t dismantle your work for those sorts of folk. I know all of this, have learned it over and over.
And still, I feel weak. If I could sell just one story, I know that would rejuvenate me, give new life into my work on that front, but personalized or not it’s rejections that keep coming back. And I know all the pep talks about the right story finding the right market and gotta keep sending them out to have a chance of selling them and so far…I am doing those things. But I am tired, and weak, and the work never ends, and there’s not even a break in sight much less a step forward. I’m running on a treadmill that’s being dragged backwards. And these are NOT the sort of thoughts to have if one wants to stay cancer-free. The mind-body connection does matter, just like the modern drugs and radiation that killed it matter.
So far, the light is still winning; so far, I can still remember why it’s worth it to keep living (love, always love, among other baser things); so far, I still believe in the power of modern medicine and the awesomeness of my doctor and the love for myself and the love those around me give me. But please, universe, if anyone is listening, send some big positive tangible lasting step forward soon. I’m floundering here.