The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Happiness isn’t earned, but then again, it is… #MondayBlogs

Happiness isn’t earned, but then again, it is… #MondayBlogs

It’s been a weird week at Casa Wilson-Viola. It started on Monday morning, waking up with THE worst cold, and wanting to get so much done, and then….getting a call about my blood tests from the Friday before. Turns out I’m incredibly anemic again, so I was right about that. And while that wasn’t a surprise, what came next kinda did.

I don’t know enough about anemia to actually talk about it properly, I just know what I know. And what I think might be going on, but I’m still waiting for some outstanding blood tests. That was why what came next was a bit…’what?’.
So. I’m not just one type of anemic, I’m two. It could be that I’m actually only one, but I’ve got one version that’s different from the last time, that causes the second one, or if I’m actually two. So. Monday was the ‘omg, your iron count is really low’ anemia conversation. The last time I had it, I was two points lower than I am now, and went for infusions in January 2022. So, tests were arranged for once I shifted my cold, and that was that.
Tuesday though, I got a text asking me to pick up some supplements from my pharmacy. I didn’t really get to talk to the doctor this time, but when I read ‘B12 and folate deficiency’, I started researching. Mostly because I wanted to work out what was ‘different’ this time, and whether it also explained the reason I asked (turns out, it doesn’t). I’ll talk about that a bit later, cause this week has been a bit of a pivot for me, without actually changing the general plans I had.
You can be one type of anemic without the other, but this time I’m both. I’m unsure where that leaves me, and won’t know till I talk to my doctor about the tests and what my next steps are. For now, though, I wanted to share the after…

This week has been a perspective change…

I was talking to a friend about the things I was changing to get ‘better’, which added time to my day that I’d been clearing down for writing, but she raised something that led me to the idea that I wanted to share.

I’d been talking about how it kinda made sense that my motivation wasn’t there, why I was foggy and tired all the time, and I said that before, I’d have laid down and postponed stuff. Given in for now. But, the last week was basically ‘ok, so what do I do?’.
Part of it is deciding that happiness is something I work for. Another part is that giving in…it’s not something I want to keep doing, and honestly? I can stay in bed and write.
So, that’s where happiness is and isn’t something we earn comes from with me. Happiness is something you can work towards, by achieving goals, and it’s the type I’m cussed on right now I guess, but you can also stumble into it too.

Especially if your balance is anything like mine right now.

This week is a big one for me – I’ve got books to announce, projects to signpost and more, so don’t be surprised if there’s more posts than usual appearing, and if you’ve got questions about the dietary stuff, hold them? I’m writing that up next 😉

Broken, busted, depressed #mondayblogs – Losing hope, briefly

Broken, busted, depressed #mondayblogs – Losing hope, briefly

I’m in a bit of an odd, vulnerable place right not.
And it’s been going on for about three months. Because I literally started writing this post in June of this year. And stopped.

Everything.

Broken, busted…

I don’t know how to put into words how hard the last few months have been, if I’m honest. It’s been a rollercoaster of trying to work out what to do and how to do it, and if I’m entirely honest, it’s been painful and unpleasant and just not fun.
A lot of it too has to do with stuff not really in my control. I am disabled and care for someone disabled, and the last few years have seen that ‘commitment’ as it were, rise and rise. The more time I put into getting better, it seems the more time I need.

In June, things really started to slip. I wasn’t in a fully regular routine and with summer just around the corner, all my grand plans for getting help and getting stuff done(TM) were shattered when various things happened.
Fast forward three months, last week, and everything just… collapsed in a spectacular fashion.

There is a light at the end of that tunnel

This week, we’ve had a house full of sick people – my beloved caught Covid (he dodged it, somehow when we had it, but we think we picked it up at Alton Towers as a few days after our day there, he was so ill that, completely unlike him, he took to bed for most of the day from Saturday till this morning. He’s much better now, to my intense relief), and we’re slowly sliding back into a routine of sorts. But on Tuesday, after he’d thought about stuff I’d been saying I guess, he told me that he wants me to just focus on writing for a bit. To stop trying to fight against ‘the tide’ because though I was trying something big and bold, the public encouragement was there, but in private, more people wanted ‘a free slot if everyone else was paying’ than the people actually choosing to engage with the plans themselves. Months of work on designing a coaching project aside, the discouragement I felt – and if I’m honest still feel – became so palpable, that I … I spiraled completely.

My beloved to the rescue…!

Tuesday night, I’d had a rough day (plague house, shingles break out for me, cold-sores starting, the works), and I went up to bed and I said to him ‘I can’t do it’ and he said ‘k. Tell me what’s in your way?’ And I told him. About how people want to do it but don’t seem to be signing up, about how it feels like the wrong time to be asking people to commit to coaching in this environment, how most of all, it’s not easy to teach people mindfulness, abundance and accountability when I’m not a reflection of it myself. He went very quiet and said.

“I think it’s because you’re not writing. How about you stop and do that for a bit.”
I told him that the business wouldn’t survive if I didn’t get this to work, and he said “We’ll make it work. Trust me.”
And that was it.

I’m not saying it’s not going to be painful, but, he’s right. I wished for a way to afford to write again, and it’s not the one I’d have chosen, but I am grateful that he’s willing to back me until I’ve got that bit of my life square again.

It’s still taken a couple of days to write this. I’m still dealing with a shame spiral I CANNOT fathom, because I feel like, once again, I’m letting people down. But at the same time, I’m actually willing to look at my laptop again. I’m sad because I won’t get to earn my Remarkable the way I wanted to, but…I don’t need one to write.
There’s a lightness of heart to go with the ‘oh, I don’t like this’ failure feeling.

So….yeah…that’s been my last three months. What about you guys?

(actually, one notable exception. Ludosport. I’ll talk about that next blog post).

Made of stone, heart of glass #Mondayblogs

Made of stone, heart of glass #Mondayblogs

21 years ago today, I was in intensive care. Concious, and actually, in good shape, just waiting for a transfusion. My daughter – who is also 21 today – had been delivered an hour or two before – and they’d nicked her placenta, and that created quite a serious bleed for me. I apparently lost over a litre of blood.
Probably a good thing I was distracted with the baby girl I’d just had, huh?

21 years on though, I have a beautiful daughter, an amazing son, a good life. A great one in fact. But I still struggling sometimes. and lately, it’s been one of those periods of painful growth.

I’ve got a heart of glass

It’s often said in fact, I’m ‘soft’. I’ll give in easily when people ask me for things, though it’s very much a CPTSD/people pleasing thing. It is in fact why they’ve asked me to write a book about it. People pleasing is a major problem with people with most mental health issues, IMO, but I guess one of the issues I have with people pleasing is when you don’t keep doing it, others turn you into the bully, the villain. In my experience, instead of being thanked for supporting people as far as I have, I’m the ‘bad guy’ because they feel they can’t do what they want to do, but don’t want to acknowledge that they’re getting the help.
And after a while, it leaves you feeling like saying no will leave you with a heart in shards, when they get upset about it and ‘fight back’.

The thing is, I’ve also got a really thick skin too – for criticism at least of my professional work. It’s an odd thing to think about, I guess, but it’s important to bear in mind that people like me – that work with other creatives, and support them as best they can – that give to the community – when they’re criticized for not continuing to do so because their boundaries are really difficult to work with and ensure that things are…stable, safe. And when referring to safe with boundaries, it’s something really important. Because honestly? We don’t handle boundaries well when we people please. And for me at least, it means my heart ‘breaks’ but bounces back of my thick skin, so the only person that really gets hurt…in my experience anyway…is me.

And that’s completely at odds with my ‘gratitude attitude’ (I’ll explain why I hate that one later) and trying to be happy and settled and….good.
I wonder if anyone has any thoughts (kind ones please, I’ve got enough wounds right now, mostly self-inflicted.
Right now, it’s holding course, it’s remembering that this is hard to deal with, that it’s NOT ME if I really need to fix my boundaries.

New stuff…a new design, backlist announcements and more! #mondayblogs

New stuff…a new design, backlist announcements and more! #mondayblogs

Firstly, I’ve redesigned my blog. I’d love to hear what people think of it, and if you’d like to see anything.
I’ll be connecting up more of my blogs as time goes on, but for the time being, and I’d love it if you sign up to my newsletter.

I’m also delighted to announce that on Friday, I’ll be relaunching Glass Block!

When Big Brother fell out of popularity in the early part of the 21st century it was replaced with ever more ‘realistic’ reality TV shows, till the need for this was replaced with a need for fantasy. In an attempt to resurrect the old format some die-hard fans filmed themselves locked in with a recently released murderer. The person to get out got the money from the stream sales at the end. Needless to say, they were slaughtered.

Word of this spread on the internet and a ‘sanctioned’ version by the UCPS (United Coalition of Prison Services) was established. Brought in from Darkness, one of the cities providing most of the prisoners, most of which he’d been responsible for collaring, Elliot Peters is forced into a nightmare world where the walls are made of glass and people vote as to whether you survive.

Glass BLock by D Kai Wilson-Viola

Glass Block is the start of a series of sci-fi books. Check back on Friday and I’ll share the link!

And coming up next….

There’s more on the horizon for me, but for now, I’m really happy with my site and my book!
How’s everyone else doing?

C is for #Covid #atoz2022 #mondayblogs #ukpolitics

C is for #Covid #atoz2022 #mondayblogs #ukpolitics

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Blogging From AtoZ 2022

Like many millions of people, I’ve now had at least* one confirmed CV19 infection. Irony, as the UK released all restrictions and we learn to ‘live with Covid’, two of us caught it.
And while it was mild, I’m still tired, I’m still recovering, and I once again remember why my doctors are cautious of me, and I can’t even think or wonder how others might be coping with this, or not. And I’m just thankful for vaccines.

I’m actually thankful for a lot of stuff, which I want to talk about before I go after the government. Which I will be.
I am thankful for the support I’ve had, the care given for vaccines, the fact that my GP has been kind, caring and working with me as best they can. I’ve never had an issue with our local surgery, and because they know us, they know when I ask for something, there’s a good reason for it. I’m also thankful though, that we’ve been able to follow all of the guidance to ensure that we actually didn’t get sick until year 2. Given everything that happened with Titanboi and his extra kidney (which ended, as in, the stent came out, the morning we went into a sixteen week lockdown in March of 2022), we’ve been lucky, and safe for the whole time. A lot of the time, that has been down to the choices we’ve tried to make, following guidelines, but, we’ve had so much that we can do that others might not have had the luxury of, and that’s important to be clear on. A lot of why we’ve been ‘ok’ is because we’ve had the opportunities that let us protect ourselves and our community.

We did also lock down, entirely, for the week and a half @artenapan and I were testing positive for. She had a terrible cough, and was tired (and still both are), and headaches, while I had all that, and a temperature of 39.8(C) for more than a couple of days. That temperature was the worst for me, and I had a BAD chest infection, so was given steroids and antibiotics. Artenapan spent the first ten minutes of us suspecting that she needed serious help because she had a ten minute coughing fit. Those ten minutes, I have to be honest, were the most scary ten minutes with her, ever. But we got her to stop coughing, we tested, and our LFTs were out in record time. In her case, 2 minutes. And, we then did what we could to protect everyone around us. We cancelled my son’s visit for Mother’s day (which we had this weekend in the end), and for the week we were both sick, it was kinda miserable in the house. We are, however, recovering. We are lucky.

This may not be the popular opinion but…

I don’t go political very often, though I am an outspoken about a lot on my own profile, and I’ll go on the record and say that the NHS rock. They’re doing a job they are not funded for, and that’s the government’s fault. And at every turn, the government – especially the current Tory cabinet, who I’ve lost track of through various reshuffles where they play musical chairs – are just insanely inept, and at every turn, demonstrate why politicians SHOULD come from the communities they serve.

My partner and I both feel that if an MP wants to judge someone’s life, they should experience it. Let’s see them live on the average wage, especially with our current energy price hikes. Let’s see them live on what people are earning at their poorest. Let’s see them deal with children that need special needs and work through their SEN meetings, and social service support. Let’s see them get the mental health support they need after ten plus years of cuts (and again, the NHS are heroes for giving us the support we get. I am NOT going after them, despite some of the issues I’ve had with them. I’ve had issues, yes but, Dr C and M, my last psych nurse, were actually my friends by the end of it. I still write to them twice a year. They gave me … not the life I had, but the best life I can have now back. I’ll talk more about that when I get to P for Psychosis, but… one of the things we’ve talked about is that if the government stopped defunding critical services, and expecting us to be ok with that.
It’s not ok.

Full circle in one sentence

No thanks to the government, thank you to the NHS, who got me through a bout of Covid. Yes, we’ve managed to be the lucky family – so far – who lives with covid – but through no thanks of our local MP. He doesn’t speak for us, elected for us though he is. And the whole government? With the deaths and other issues that have happened since Brexit, and Covid (though some of it was unavoidable), they should be ashamed. They aren’t. But they should be.

I did also want to add…

I’ve mentioned the fuel crisis in the UK. Our energy price caps jumped by 50% now and it’s predicted it’ll happen again in October. We, as a family are still lucky, and safe, but I know many people that are not. Our government has done less than nothing to prevent the week of stress all of us have been through. And to be clear, we’ve been stressed and we know we’ll manage. It’ll be more money we pay out for our utilities, but we can do that. But we know families that are living in fuel poverty, and the insipid response, alongside the absolute clusterf*ck that was trying to get our meter readings in before the prices jumped, was absolutely insane. In my case, I was awake every two hours, and kept trying. Started at 11am on the 31st. Finally got my meter readings submitted at 4am the next day. I can only imagine what people living on the poverty line already are feeling, and the last thing we need, after two years of isolation, is to hit next winter, and be dealing with illnesses based on poor heating, and other problems related to poverty, let alone the mutations we are probably going to hit from Covid, the overstretched NHS, and the exhausted staff…many of whom may be just as affected by fuel poverty (no, I’m not kidding). So…this was C for covid, but it’s also C for ‘Can we vote them out and press charges?’.

*I say at least once because we don’t know if we’ve had it before now.

The Covidcoaster – a week of ill #Mondayblogs #rungirlrun #kaiatus #Bloggingfromatoz

The Covidcoaster – a week of ill #Mondayblogs #rungirlrun #kaiatus #Bloggingfromatoz

Last Monday, I posted about how myself and my youngest tested positive for CV19. Monday/Tuesday, I started getting really sick. Monday, I’d been quite cheerful – after all, Artenapan, my daughter, had had three days of a cough and little else. That’s not how it played out for me (spoiler, it’s REALLY not how it played out for me).
The net result of last week was a week spent either in bed, sleeping, in a cool bath, or generally feeling like I was being slowly boiling alive. I mean it’s been great for story ideas (that make zero sense now that I’m thinking through them, but they worked when I was awake at three in the morning, staring at the roof), but it’s also been less than brilliant looking at what I’ve wanted to do over the last few months.

And heading towards #Kaiatus too…

The plan was that by this time now, we’d have several books out, I’d be tending towards various more announcements, but the truth is, I’ve struggled, a lot. I don’t have excuses, it’s just how it’s been the last few…it’s just how it is.
I’m planning on changing that as we move forward, but I’ve decided to go with the flow. We were going to offer a bundle for the rest of the year with various books, but I’ve got to be honest, I’m not sure I want to promise that. I’d like to say we’re doing something to move forward, but…I can’t say what we’re doing till we do it.
I’m working on my pages, I’m working on projects, I’m working on my happiness. I’m working on my writing. I’m working on myself mostly. But I’ll be moving forward as I can. We’ve got so much back end work to do but it’ll be ok once we get there. But I can’t say when it’ll be. I’m just pulling myself up for now and hoping that we’ll eventually just make everything click. 🙂
And then there’s Camp Nanowrimo too!

On the 1st, I’ll be starting the A to Z, and I’m hoping that I keep improving, but I’ve been so tired and sore and it’s just…. hard to think about what I’m doing moving forward, until I’m moving. But the thing is, I am moving. So, we’ll see.
I’m hoping too, to unveil a new look here, but that’s been delayed because I was sick.

Anyone else taking part in the A to Z? What are you doing?