I Will Not Apologize
2019 started off beyond busy but in productive ways. Two of my books are being released this year: Trust, a contemporary fiction set for publication on February 19, 2019. My novel, The Gatekeeper’s Notebook, a psychological suspense, either this summer or fall. Ironically, the two stories could not be more different. Their characters couldn’t be anymore polarizing. As the writer, creating these two pieces of work, sometimes simultaneously, became nerve-wracking. Jumping from head-to-head, character-to-character…sometimes from kind to evil…generosity of spirit to self-absorbed and narcissistic, from loyal and compassionate to insanely jealous, sneaky, and manipulative. There were times I’d finish writing for the day, nursing a pounding headache.
Can’t imagine why…
They say writing is an isolating and lonely craft and, in some ways, this can be true. However, when knee-deep in the process, surrounded by a host of characters, it can also become too crowded––as in, shut-up and get out of my head already. That’s the time when I indulge in the art of quiet. Pulling myself away from extraneous human noise and demands. I don’t necessarily shut down as much as I shut-off. I practice absorbing stillness. Not necessarily in a meditative form, although it could be argued that what I do is exactly like that. But for me, the process is akin to existing in my space without expectation. Does that make any sense?
This is only January with so much year left to write, create, and learn. I’m open to it all. Conversely, what I’m not open or welcoming to––is cruelty. Drama. Pettiness. The entire scope of reactionary, draining behaviors that offer nothing but pilfer the peace right from the soul. Those I can do without. As a favor to myself, I’ll take a pass.
Self-care is not a spectator sport. It requires a commitment to oneself to do whatever is necessary to sustain, nourish, and feed the heart and body. It is the multi-layers of dressings used to prevent the inevitable hemorrhaging when the heart is dismissed, ignored, broken, or worse––provoked. Self-care is also the sealant for when the mind decides to play games, feeding false perceptions to the already deeply suffering.
Self-care is a personal responsibility we have to ourselves no matter what anyone else tries to sell you. It is your right, despite what demands others may decide to drop or try to extract from you. And when in the process of healing, remember this: you don’t owe anybody an excuse, justification or a defense––even though it will most certainly be commanded, demanded, even ordered. And while interpersonal connections, employment, and quality of life may be severely impacted by the self-care process, it is imperative––in the safety of your space––to remove the social mask of normalcy and calm and allow the real authentic you to emerge and ask for help.
There’s nothing inherently romantic about melancholy or fleeting feelings of sadness. Being forced to wade through a seemingly endless battle to appear calm and happy for the comfort of others is draining.
Impossible to sustain.
Marching through the darkness and maneuvering around the maze of uncertainty is daunting, frightening.
Many don’t make it out unscathed.
And yet…they appear to everyone else around them as confident, competent, proficient …
Everything is always just fine.
But it isn’t, is it?
So as the days and nights continue to unfold, and the demands of life increase, snatch time out for yourself to recoup.
Do what you need to protect your heart, your mind, your body, your soul.
Do not apologize.
Accept that difficult days ahead but greet them armed with a tenacity of spirit towards self-care.
It’s yours for the taking.