I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and before I dive in, I want to say, this IS about writing. In it’s own way at least, but it’s a lot more about how serious something that looks innocuous can get to be.
I’ve spent the last six years dipping in and out of anaemia. Due to a reason I’ve already written about (the book I’ll eventually re-release, with all the others, “I don’t want to wear incontinence pants”, which is basically about how bad it is for me when I get my period, and what I’ve found worked for me and didn’t, and for a few people I talked to.) and possibly some form of autoimmune, genetics and waves hands. The net result is because I can’t tolerate supplemental iron, and the medications they’d use to sort that out blocks absorption of iron, I started infusions during the pandemic. Two bags of iron, about every 18 months.
This year it hasn’t been that. This time last year, near enough, I did have my iron infusion, but I was also B12 deficient. Badly as it turned out. And I’d been borderline for the last couple of times they’d looked at it, so, basically, being anemic had kicked off being unable to absorb B12, and foliate, and the three of them…they fed off one another. I did my iron infusion, and dutifully took tablets.Six weeks or so after the end of the course, they tested me again. It was the summer and I still felt a bit….meh, if I’m honest. Oddly, my B12 was still down. It had blipped up a little, but still under 150, and waaaay off the 200 they wanted. More tablets ensued for both B12 and folic acid.
Last month, I went back in and found out I’m anaemic again, my B12 is refusing to come up and I finally asked if I could just go for B12 loading doses. I understood that it wasn’t ideal, but neither was how I’d been feeling. The doctor agreed, and I’ve been for my loading doses.
It wasn’t easy. I’ve reacted poorly to them and I’m two weeks on and a few days from my next iron infusion (yearly, as the guy at the project that does them predicted), and I’ve got a few things I wanted to talk about.
I don’t think I’m burned out. I think my body is completely depleted. My mind has no resources, and my well has run dry. None of that is exactly fun, but I think I know why…
One of the first things I noticed when they did my B12 loading doses was there was this… I wouldn’t call it fog exactly, and other than bitching occasionally that I should be able to understand something, I didn’t realise how… numb and still I’d become. I thought I was just getting stupid, as dumb as that sounds. My interest in working out puzzles, playing anything other than basic games, and reading went out the window. Writing took…a lot. In fact, everything took all of my energy, and while I wish I didn’t make it sound so silly, I can’t describe it other than it feels like I’ve suddenly been given a better pair of glasses and everything is…sharper?
See, still recovering. The thing was, losing my ability to code complex stuff, to think through projects properly, to deal with anything other than basic chores, to have reminders on my phone for things I should just manage….it was all horrible. Alongside that, I was dealing with physical challenges – from not getting the hang of a form I was learning to just… being tired all the dammed time, it’s not been a good period of time for me.
I kind of feel like I’m coming out from that bank of fog, but I don’t know what I’m stepping out into. I’ve got so much I want and need to do, but I really don’t know how to get it done – yet. I am trying to be gentle and give myself time to recover, but quite honestly, I’ve been static and stuck for so long that I don’t know what to say any more. I have gone from being convinced I was burned out, to being pretty sure it was health related, to knowing it was health related, but still suspecting burnout.I am, in short, stuck.Which is why I’m doing paid stories once a week, to get my hand back in, and sharing what I can and trying to plan through as much as I can right now, but…planning is even difficult.Where do you start when you’ve dropped everything, and don’t know what’s relevant any more?And that’s why I’m writing this. It’s good news that I’m starting to feel better, but has been bad news for the last few years that it’s gotten to this.Good news that I should get better. Bad news that it’s not instant, or anywhere close to it.I don’t know what I wanted to say other than I don’t know where my life is going right now. I want to write part time, code part time, but until I get through sorting out how unwell I am, and whether this is something we manage or this is cured, and what damage is left either way, I’m not sure how that’ll look.
Which makes it an ideal opportunity for you guys.
I don’t know where to start with all of this. I really don’t. I don’t have a clue whether I should be talking about how I’m rebuilding, whether I should be showing off something new that I’ve been quietly working on, whether I should go all in on a series, or spread out over a few. I just…don’t know. Call it decision paralysis, call it still recovering, but I don’t know what I’d like to do now, I just know I am coming back to myself, and I don’t know what that’ll look like, and as I trust my community to steer me right, I need to ask right now what people think.
So… let me know?
(this post is cross-posted on Substack, where I have started posting once weekly paid stories and snippets. Last week was the “421 words for snow”, this week is going to be something spooky ;)).
(image from Openverse)