Well, I finally had to make that horrible decision to quit my job. You all know how much I loved working at the library, but my health issues were overwhelming and I finally realized that it would be best for me to step back and take care of myself. That was in October and what followed was a few months of shock and depression. I have never been unemployed before so I felt like a failure, in some ways. I learned that working at the library had become a way to define myself and my worth. So quitting meant that I would not only be unemployed but that I would also be without a part of myself.
Although it has been difficult and I wish things could be different, I know it was the right decision. I’m not sure if or when I’ll ever feel “right” again or who I am without the library. As I’ve written in the past, yet again I’m forced to accept a “new normal.” I hope time and rest help me figure out what exactly that is.
If you follow my posts about writing, you’ve probably noticed I haven’t published anything in a couple of years. I haven’t been writing much. That’s another piece of myself that I feel I’ve sort of lost — but not forever. It’s as though that storytelling desire within me has gone dormant. I still force myself to write but I get tired easily or I become unsure of what stories I want to tell. Frustrating, but I’m okay with that for now.
However, I recently decided that maybe I should try a different type of writing and get others involved. A few friends and I have started a new blog called And Then I Got Sick. I hope you follow and share with friends and family who are also struggling with chronic illnesses. Here’s what I can tell you right now:
And then I Got Sick is a realistic look at how we deal – or don’t deal – with the chronic and/or invisible illnesses that have impacted our lives. Too many women (and men) are made to feel guilty if we don’t face our illnesses with boundless wells of hope, positivity, and inspiration porn. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a positive outlook on life and being productive about your health, the expectation that a woman should overcome her illness with grace and courage isn’t always reasonable or fair. Many of us are still trying to manage the basics, deciding if we want our illnesses to be part of our identity or separate from who we are or want to be. Through essays, stories, videos, art, and, of course, humor, we’ll try to balance the positive with the negative. It’s our hope that women with chronic illnesses can come here and learn that they don’t have to feel alone, ashamed, or judged because some days are harder than others.
Publication will begin Summer 2015.
*Currently not open to submissions.
I’m still using this blog for my personal writing updates so don’t forget about me!