8 September 2012

Small Changes; Small Steps; New Life

Those small changes are catching up with me. I don’t know how it happened, but I’m a different person, with a different outlook and future. I guess a lot of small changes add up to a big change over time. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I see this time – the now - as significant. I tweeted a quote by Andy Rooney recently - “I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while climbing it”. I must not forget to enjoy this stage of my journey, while I am climbing.

I’m no longer standing on a platform in hell, waiting for my train to arrive and take me where I want to go. I know that train will never come, and I am making my own way. I’m no longer spending Christmas 2011 housebound and hardly able to walk, with even my thinking impaired by illness. I stood up, put one unsteady foot in front of the other, increasing the distance I could walk gradually, and broke through the barriers keeping me inside. I’m not pretending it was easy. There was a time I was attempting to walk out on my street and a passer-by thought I was trying to stalk a cat that was in front of me; I was so slow, and my steps were so hesitant and short. Bless her; she was mortified when I had to explain I couldn’t really walk properly – and I felt bad for telling her.

I was not “pacing” myself, which is a therapy often served out to sufferers of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was in the early stages of implementing Reverse Therapy, and conquering my fears. I wanted to do so many things, but to do them I had to be able to walk. Starting the process of getting to my goals, according to Reverse Therapy, should lessen my symptoms. I thought it was far-fetched at the time, but I was desperate. It worked.

I did not notice the progress as it happened; but it did happen. I look back to then from now, I can see the distance I have travelled, and I am astonished. There are things in life trying to pull me back to the way I was then, but I am fighting them. I am fighting them as the person I am now – stronger from my experience, and knowing it is possible to be well, not merely hoping for a miracle.

I’ve been working towards other goals too. I look back to where I was in 2010 when I started my blog. How naive I was to writing styles, how isolated I was from other writers because of my health. I posted only once to this blog during 2011, promising a re-vitalised site on the way – and then nothing; the illness took over. Or did it? I look back and I suspect not entirely. Although fogged, and not working to anything like capacity, my brain was still there. I observed, I learned, and I processed. I had an extreme experience, which makes me appreciate the smallest things now. It slowed me down, made me look at the world around me and re-evaluate. It made me a better person, and potentially a better writer.

I’m now an active member of a writing group, and am physically meeting and befriending my peers. I have taken in texts and courses about writing well, and I have a blog with momentum. I’m making connections and friends via social networks linked to my writing. I’m getting feedback. I’m looking into freelance writing which would be a dream come true – my peers tell me my writing is good enough to pitch. My peers have done it themselves, and they are now my unintended mentors. I hope they are right, but I’m not expecting success over-night, or for it to be easy. I’ve learned never to “expect” anything.

I’ve made this happen, one very small change at a time. I’ll probably have to take more steps than most on my journey, but all my steps are in the right direction, and they have brought me here. Had I taken no steps, I would still be housebound, and struggling to walk. Small steps work.

I’m looking forward now, not back. I’m on an exciting journey – so why would I want to look back?

I’m hoping to inspire others to make things happen for them on this blog, and I will be providing some tips in the future to help you along the way. In the meantime I’d love to hear about your experiences – your journeys. No matter how insignificant you may think them – remember - it is the small steps that count.

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White Poppy said...

Yup, it's the small changes that lead up to complete change. You know what is incredible? Everyone has some sort of "problem" that leads them in the wrong way, or in the wrong state of thought. This problem evolves and disguises any hope that remained. And then, you're blinded, because you're so drastically unsure of how you are going to solves that problem... or even IF you can find a resolution that your recovery takes even longer than necessary. Even when in doubt, focus on getting better, not HOW you're going to get better, that part comes naturally.

Haha, I am still reading you! Told you so! I wanted to ask you if you would like to do a post swap? You know I admire you, so it would be an honour! Like I email you a post that I have written for your Blog and it's title, and you do the same? I'd love to do that! Like, guest blogging, right? I think that is what it is called. I read the entries you posted after, you are magnificent my friend!

Anonymous said...

Hi there :) Found you via the York Writers website. I used to attend meetings a couple of years ago, and am thinking of attending again. You say you're interested in Historical Fiction, which is the same as me. I'm a member of the Historical Novel Society for example. Anyway, I shall have to turn up at a York Writers meeting at some point, as I still have their Novel Cup which I won for the first three chapters of The Last of the Romans, set in 5th century Britain ... :) They haven't run that comp since, otherwise I would've made sure I returned the cup before now! Hope to meet you at some point :) Best wishes, Tegels, http://tegels.livejournal.com/

C. S. Wimsey said...

Thanks so much for your comments.

White Poppy - I love that you like my work :-) I'll contact you via BB and see what we can do.

Tegels - I would really love to see you at York Writers. It would be wonderful to have another advocate for historic fiction. The group is getting quite strong now I feel.

Scarlett Rains said...

Bravo! It takes courage to continue to strive for balance when life pulls the rug from beneath you. I wish you all the best on your journey.