Where Have You Been?!

So, funny story…

I’ve been hella MIA.

I wish I had a really cool reason, like I’ve been traveling the world or tucked away in some hidden Air BNB finishing my novel…but I don’t.

The truth is – I lost my mojo, baby. I lost my motivation, my inspiration and my control all in one swoop. I hadn’t written in months. My life swam by me in a blur. I was drowning within myself, and I was painfully aware of it. I would wake up in the morning and within two hours, be ready to sleep again. I was emotionally exhausted all the time, anxious, on edge, introverted. All things that were just…unlike me.

It’s never easy to sit down and look at yourself in the mirror and ask the question, “What is going on with me?” But I had to. I realized that life is far too short to get sucked so far into yourself that you can’t see beyond the door. So I did.

Backstory-time.

I have willingly chosen not to pursue medication for the majority of my adult anxiety/OCD journey. Mainly because I’m terrified of medicine, but also because I wanted to learn practical coping methods for myself first. Turns out, for the most part – I could, and had been, managing my anxiety and OCD on my own.

Until recently.

For whatever reason, unbeknownst to me, my normal tools weren’t working. Meditation, nope. Yoga, negative. Breathing exercises, nada. The list goes on and on with the things I’ve tried. I was falling into habits that I hadn’t done in years. I caught myself picking at my cuticles until they bled, chewing my lip until I could run my tongue along a visible swollen spot. The tipping point was when I realized I couldn’t pull myself out of my room.

I woke up on the morning of the Equality March – something I had been looking forward to for months. I knew. I knew instantly that it was an off day. My fan was so loud I swore it was a helicopter taking off when I woke up. The sun seemed unyieldingly bright behind closed blinds, even though it was a cloudy morning. My heart raced and my hands trembled when I thought about leaving the house. Fear consumed me. It consumed me to the point that I felt like walls were falling in and I couldn’t breathe.

That day – for the first day in nearly twelve years – I let fear trap me in my own home and in my own body.

I missed the march. I missed standing up for something that I have always fought for.

And I said, ‘enough’.

I talked to my doctor about everything, what I was experiencing, feeling and doing to combat all of it. There were blood tests and sleep analysis questions. Finally, the step I never thought I’d be willing to entertain came up – medication. My doctor was patient and listened and knew that I was afraid and she talked me through it.

I thought back to the march. To what I had missed, to what I could miss in the future – and I got the hell on board with it pretty quickly, and I feel confident about my decision.

I say all of that to say this – It’s okay to need, and ask for, help. 

It’s okay to not have it together all the time. It’s okay to not be okay. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or unable to manage, I promise. You don’t have to suffer in silence or try to fight a battle on your own. There are people, sometimes even total strangers, who support you – no matter what your journey may look like. Promise.

One thing I swore in the beginning was that this blog would be a safe space for all of my readers, and I felt like it would be unfair for me to not use it as mine as well.

So that’s where I have been. I’ve been healing and learning and fighting myself and repairing.

I’ve been feeling more inspired and there’s new content, series and funny stories on the way!

Thank you, lovelies. For being a community and a support system I never knew I needed until I had you!

5 thoughts on “Where Have You Been?!

  1. Maria Bostian says:

    So glad to hear that you took the necessary steps to take care of yourself. You’re so brave for “putting it all out there” sometimes. I admire that!

    I don’t know about you, but I think my writing mojo flew the coop with yours lately. Last week was the first time in weeks I’d done anything remotely close to writing. I promised myself I wouldn’t force it and I’m not going to. When it returns from its vacay, I know that I’m gonna be flooded with creativity, prompts, whimsical characters, etc. Hope yours come back just the same!

    Like

    • Ashley says:

      Maria,
      I’m so thrilled to hear from you! I never thought of brave as a word for myself until recently – so thank you for the kind compliment!

      It must have been a winter/spring thing! Here’s to hoping for a plethora of creative ideas and motivation! Never forget that your stories are beautiful creations! We still read our SIGNED COPY at our house! 🙂 Writer life, am I right?

      Ash

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sebastian McShane says:

    Ashley. It is good to see your writing again. I am a fairly recent follower of your blogs and I enjoy reading them and thank you and appreciate the ways that you share snippets of your life.
    Stay strong and enjoy your life to the fullest. Know that you are an inspiration to your readers and never be afraid to share the dark things that you may be going through or reach out for advice, suggestions, or help, be it here with your readers, with your family, or with medical professionals.
    Thank you for allowing me to share your adventures and be well.

    Like

    • Ashley says:

      Sebastian,
      Welcome! Thank you so very much for the follow and for your incredibly supportive words and for being a member of our community!

      It’s true – enjoying life is so important. I realized how much I missed this part of it! I’m so glad I’m in a place and have a platform to be able to share my journey with others. If I can help even one person, make someone laugh or just say “Yeah, I get that,” then this blog has achieved one of its goals!

      Thank you again for sticking around during the hiatus period! I can’t wait for you to see all the new things on the horizon!

      Ashley

      Like

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