A personal note...
Dear Friends and especially new Friends,
Since the holidays, you may have sensed slight changes in my posting to the blog and social media and in the content here in the newsletter. As we learned in school, or at least I did, everything usually has a cause and effect. And I'm here today to share with you my personal cause and effect.
For some time prior to the holidays I had spent a great deal of time self-editing and revising my memoir manuscript. I think when I started the edit and revise process I was on my fourth draft. It never occurred to me what it would be like to read my own story, to be me reading over and over again my life. To add to fuel to this fire in mid-November a family issue more or less exploded on us, and the last time my physician and I talked about my reaction on that day he classified it as a PTSD response. This is important to know as I tell you what happened while reading my story.
In reading, revising, and editing my memoir, I began to feel a darkness slowly creeping up on me. Seeping through the walls of darkness was an emotional recipe made from hurt, anger, pain, tears--everything I had felt over a 50-year period in my relationship with my mother. Innocently, I had felt my first couple of drafts were cathartic to a certain level of healing. I was wrong.
Soon, joy had gone out of everything I loved doing. Writing was no longer my daily passtime because I didn't want to touch my memoir, and I felt guilty if I touched anything else written. Music no longer drew me in the way it usually does. Even reading became a bore. I love working with my hands most of the time, knitting and quilting at the top of the list. A knitting project for a new great-nephew (born in October) is still unfinished.
Finally, I began to realize I was struggling with my past hurts again, and depression was building its case against me. An appointment with my physician confirmed my theory. We agreed I would take a break from writing, at least on the memoir.
A second counsellor, my pastor who also has bouts of depression, and I met over coffee. He is fairly new to our congregation so we first talked about likes and dislikes and families. Then I asked him, "What do you do to handle your depression?" He willingly shared his family's history with depression and how he handles his own. Then it was his turn to ask me.
"First, Sherrey, tell me something about this book you're writing." So, I did. When I reached the part about Mama's abuses, one in particular startled him. He asked, "When you say that out loud, how does it make you feel?"
"Really angry! Hurt that she could do that to her children."
"What about when you're reading to edit and revise?"
"Oh, the feelings are the same. It's me reading my childhood one word at a time!"
This man, this lover of Jesus Christ, rock music and sports, and yes, a lover of words looked over at me and gently spoke. "You know I think you're spending too much time reading your own story. The grief you thought you had resolved is dripping back in much like a leaky faucet in the kitchen sink. Finally, if that leak isn't repaired, the drops will etch into the surface of that sink. Your heart is experiencing the same kind of damage. Your idea of closing up your work-in-progress binder and setting it aside for six weeks or more is a good one, at least in my opinion."
And that is what I've done. But there's one more thing I need to do.
My ebook, Healing Benefits of Writing Your Story, contains a misrepresentation. At the time I prepared that small book, I believed every word included in it, especially about the power of the written word to heal. However, after this somewhat dreary and dark season I've been traveling through, I feel I need to revisit that publication and make some adjustments to what I have written there.
As soon as I have done so, you will be among the first to be notified about the new download. I welcome your comments and notes, either by leaving them on the Contact page on my site or by emailing me using the links below.
Until then, keep up your writing!