I blew by 12K last night, hitting my 2000 word target for the day. I’m back on track.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my health this month and how it affects my writing.
You really do have to take care of yourself…
It seems like a no-brainer for someone, anyone to say “You need to take care of yourself.” It’s especially hypocritical of me to tell anyone else to do this since I’m notorious for not doing it.
I’m diabetic. I’m overweight. I have high blood pressure and a whole slew of other minor issues. Most are avoidable with completely reasonable easy to do impossible things to follow that I’ve spent a long time both trying and not-trying to do while completely failing.
I eat too much. I eat my emotions (and I have a LOT of emotions). It’d be great if eating my emotions meant I was craving a salad or some *sigh* yummy (I wish) fresh veggies…but no. I eat chips, pasta and pizza mostly, with the occasional binge of chinese take-out and a shit load of sushi (and not the healthy kind. I mean kamikazes, lots of tempura and soy sauce etc…)
So I know I’m not your guru in this area (nor any other either).
I also know I’m not alone out there. We’ve all got problems and we’ve all got issues dealing with them. Some deal better than others, but I’m really not alone in doing stupid things that really don’t help.
I’ve been struggling for a very long time with excessive fatigue, very high blood glucose readings, meds that make me put on weight as a side effect, stress and general frustration that I can barely stay awake most days. Muscle and joint pain just add a little extra oomph to my day.
For a little while now, I’ve been working on small things like cutting back on junk food, eating more vegetables and decreasing my portion sizes to normal. I’m trying on a personal level to really cut back on stress. Sometimes that means ignoring or dismissing drama. It’s not easy to let go sometimes, but I’m learning.
I haven’t worked up to being able to work out just yet. Let’s just say that waking up tired and in pain doesn’t really give you that “rah-rah-rah” feeling that gets you out the door and to the gym (and I’m a gym rat at heart.)
It’s also not conducive to writing. Not at all.
I’ve hit pay dirt this month though. Just before NaNoWriMo started, my doctor switched some meds around and found something to replace some prescriptions that weren’t covered but worked amazingly (that I can’t afford), with some that I can afford,are covered, and work almost as amazingly.
I’m seeing the difference two weeks in.
Weight is down. I’ve got more energy and slightly less pain. The fact that I’m already writing is a huge boost to my morale right now too. It’s making it a lot easier to do what I need to do. To keep focused on getting healthy because finally, I’m starting to feel it.
It’s super hard to play the long game with our bodies. I can’t spend my whole life denying myself of the things I love, but I can be a lot better if I see the payoff and for once I’m seeing it.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is this: Take it from a part time idiot who is learning this lesson almost too late, take care of yourself.
If you feel better physically, it can help you do the mental things that need doing for you to put words down on paper. You can’t write 2000 words a day if your body is shutting down within an hour of waking up and it takes every ounce of energy you have to get through the day.
See your doctor, take your meds and take the baby steps you can take if you can’t take the big ones. That’s important too. Don’t try to do it all in one day. Pick one or two things, get those things down and then move on.
I didn’t mention mental illness here because I don’t feel I have the experience to say anything real about that, but I’m going to assume the advice is somewhat the same. If you need to seek help, seek it. If you need to take your meds, take them religiously. If you need to talk to a friend, talk to them (or if one is lacking, come find me).
We need to take care of ourselves to be able to put the best words down that we can. That whole ‘tortured soul’ writer trope needs to go away.
I’m rambling on about this as much for me as for anyone else. I know maybe a month or a year from now, I might need to read this again. I figured here was as good a place as any to put this down.
I hear you, brother!