After concluding I wasn't a gardener, hiding away in the shade, watching the birds and slugs decimate all my plants and seedlings, forcing myself to face the noonday sun and battle with my son (sorry I meant encourage) when all I really wanted to do was sleep, I started this new writing/thinking blog instead. No idea why it still says gardening blog on the main page, but maybe one day I will discover the answer.
I suffer from Fibromyalgia and was diagnosed over ten years ago when doctors' had given up with all other tests and decided that I had this condition. To be fair, I had been walking twelve mile walks, taken over my elder son's swimming lessons and started salsa dancing all in the same month. My body was screaming at me in pain so I went to see an osteopath as I figured that if I could get my body realigned then all my pains would disappear.
I was so wrong. Every time they manipulated my body, I cried out in pain. I was working at the time in a Care Home for the elderly, and I would go into their rooms to chat with them - I was the one that fell asleep! They were able to walk faster with their zimmer frames along the corridors while I struggled to take each step to get from one end of the home to the other. I changed my car to an automatic because my leg wouldn't move to change gears and I often forgot where I was driving to and would have to stop and think to remember how to get back to my house. It was a scary time thinking of all the possibilities that could be wrong with me so it was a relief to get the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. The problem being that so many people see it as a psychological illness and not a physical condition. It is invisible most of the time and very few medical experts acknowledge its existence.
Over time, the only way to deal with was to pace myself and my energy levels. I knew that if I did too much one day, I needed to relax and take it easier for the next day or to recover. In fact, I'd got so used to pacing, doing what I needed to, it took me totally by surprise that once we went into lockdown for the Corona Virus, I was back to where I was ten years ago. The pain is unbearable most days, I can't sleep at night but struggle to stay away during the day. My memory is shot and I struggle to find simple words in a conversation.
Because we weren't allowed to exercise for more than 10 minutes outside the home for the first few weeks. It never occurred to me the detrimental effect if would have on me as I was happy to stay inside, desperate to keep my son calm so we did as little as possible. Gradually, the more stressful the house became, the less I was able to sleep, then my ankles started swelling. Now we're able to go for longer walks, I struggle to complete longer than a than three mile walk. I cannot function for the rest of the day and my whole body screams and cries out in pain. Even doing the weekly shopping is a challenge now, because of following the directional arrows so I have to walk twice as far along aisles that I don't even want to walk down and once home it takes me most of the day to put the shopping away as it is too painful to stand on my ankles.
Anyway, what has this got to with this blog? During the past ten years, I realised that writing is something that I can do at my own pace. I enjoy creating ideas, worlds and characters and I can escape into a different place. So far, I haven't managed to get anything published but I live in hope that one day I will fulfill that dream. I always said in my head that I will published by the time I'm 50, so without giving my age away - I need to get on with it sharpish!
In the meantime, I will write this blog, continue writing my novels and picture books and review other writers on Owlbert's Books. Today, I have also started writing on Twitter as as weekly update #TTTOTTT and also in Trunky Tales an incomplete novel which I'd started about four years ago. I figured that if my writing was in circulation then people would either like it or hate it. The publishing world is a hard industry to enter and it seems that without people willing to read your books and to demonstrate that you have loyal readers then there is less chance of agents and publishers accepting your books. So begins the building of my platform. At the moment, it's a bit wobbly but in time, I hope to have a strong foundation of loyal friends and followers who want to support me and read my words. I just need them to sign up to my blog first ... hmm.