EMDR published today on Fevers of the Mind

Speed post to let you know I’ve a new poem about EMDR therapy, published today on Fevers of the Mind.

Year three

I’m at the start of my third year of writing “seriously” and my seventh year of having M.E.. I feel less than terrific about both of these things. If I compare to this time last year, when I was merrily writing travel pages, and confidently submitting here, there and everywhere, things feel considerably less buoyant. I feel considerably less buoyant. Sinkable, in fact.

I’m trying to muster positivity, but the bare fact is M.E. is limiting my life. It feels kind of good to say that out loud.And kind of awful. I try to downplay the impact and try to “be positive” but my reality is that I have about four useful hours each day. I frequently go over those, sometimes deliberately, sometimes through guilt, and very occasionally because I’m having too much fun to stop. Then my body makes me. No option. I’m on day five of my post Christmas crash. This year’s festive period was particularly tricky, and I’m not surprised I’m so ill. I’m just sick of being sick. There’s so much I want to do, and so much that needs to be done to try to make things better, lying at home feels both privileged and pathetic.

How to regain hope then? I’m struggling to find the answer. I’ve a nagging feeling that I need to calm down, stop pushing and start enjoying the minutes of wellness that I have. Ha. It’s impossible. I love the ups and downs and adrenaline. Recognising what is important is the hardest thing. Perfection is subjective, and my lens changes every five minutes. Mostly I need to rest, but while body has a way of just “stopping” my mind won’t quit, and I can’t even divert myself by reading or watching a good film. Or a terrible film. Even Gone with the Wind has failed to distract.

I usually end these moany posts with a flash of perkiness, but in all honesty I haven’t got one. I am writing again. I just need to regrow my skin.

Thanks for reading, and any hints and tips are gratefully received x

All change?

*This post talks about therapy. If you find that irritating/bothersome I’ll be doing more writey ones soon

All is quiet. Inside and out. I’m hoping this is a butterfly phase, even a turning into cabbage white would do. At least they fly.

Closest friends know I’ve been having some fairly intense therapy over the last few months. It’s positive, I’m mentally stronger, and undoubtedly this has been the right thing to do. For me as a writer though, I’ve relied on the extremes, the anguish, the fury as a way to propel my words…and now? Well, what? I have to look at all these things as an adult? Lose the childish pain that drove me? It’s a new way of being, and I’m not feeling safe. Which is daft, because I’m safer than I’ve ever been.

I feel a little at sea, and I suppose I’m writing this in the hope that I haven’t lost myself. Maybe it’s like losing loads of weight? Having to buy new clothes and being surprised every time you pass a shop window? Not feeling quite right with your new identity?

I am writing, despite having lost every shred of conviction that there is any value there. I’m also starting to realise that my best stuff isn’t the stuff about trees and the sea – although I like those. It’s the stuff that’s honest and that I feel awkward about. That’s what I read, and that’s what I write best. I just need to muster the guts to let it be read. And perhaps that’s what I’ll find the courage to do.