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!

NaNoWriMo Prep

It’s almost November first…which means – it’s almost National Novel Writing Month!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, presents a challenge to novelists everywhere – write an entire 50,000 word book, in thirty days.

It’s not a challenge for the feint of heart. It takes guts, gumption and lots and lots of coffee. I personally tend to hole up the entire week before just mapping out all of the things I need to do.

Which leads me to this blog. I have a quick list of things to think about for NaNoWriMo prep and a free word-count printable for everyone to use when the festivities actually kick off!

NaNoWriMo Prep List

1. Map out your book. This may seem like a no-brainer, but my first year I didn’t have my entire book mapped out. I started writing organically thinking I would be able to just power through an entire book in one month without an end goal for the story in mind. I had pie in the sky hopes. It’s so important to know what you’re going to be writing, in as much detail as possible, so that you have a clear plan going in.

2. Have a word count tracker. This was another area I learned a big lesson in. Somedays I can sit down and hammer out 5,000 words and not think twice about it. Other days I sit down and can barely put two words together. Having a daily word count tracker not only shows you where you should be each day – but with a little bit of math, it lets you know where, if you need to, add more words to hit your personal goals.

3. Be prepared to commit. NaNoWriMo sounds really exciting, and honestly sometimes it even sounds simple…but 50,000 words in one month is no minor achievement. It takes time and you have to be willing to put the effort into writing every day. That means sometimes, staying up a little later after the kids go to bed or scheduling an hour a day to sit down and really focus on writing to hit your word count.

4. Make YOUR plan. I can sit here and talk all day long about what I do, but at the end of the day, these are just my experiences and things I have learned. Think about how you write, when you’re most productive, what you want to achieve – and make your own individualized plans that work for you.

5. Have fun. Don’t take it all too seriously. I truly enjoy doing NaNoWriMo. It taught me so much about writing and also about myself as a writer. Sometimes you don’t make your word count. We all have lives and things that come up, so cut yourself some slack! The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy writing your story…because remember, the editing process comes next, heh.

So remember when I mentioned on point number two to have a word count tracker? There are a TON of them out there, and you can find them and download them all day long. I made mine for this year, and thought that I would share it with you!

NaNoWriMo Word Count PDF.

I usually print mine out and hang it where I’m going to see it every. single. day.

We are so close, lovelies! I really cannot wait for November!

Happy Writing!

BlogSignature

Acceptance

I wish I could say that I was finally at a place where I was comfortable with my body the way it is now, but I’m not. Some days I feel sexy in my own skin and other days I feel like a busted can of biscuits. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m okay with that battle though, because it reminds me that I’m human.

I have always struggled with body image and weight, even at my thinnest I wasn’t in the mindset of acceptance. I still saw myself needing to be smaller. So to be in a mindset where I am actively working towards change and acceptance of myself, regardless of a number on a scale or a size tag in a pair of jeans, feels great.

I won’t even try to lie though, it is not easy. Food is a comfort…plus it’s usually freaking delicious. In fact, I can’t remember a family gathering where we didn’t have copious amounts of the yummy stuff just lying around. So food equates to happiness for me. I love food. And I used to love the idea of being thin, and being able to wear whatever I wanted. But I am moving past that notion.

I haven’t reached the point where I’m entirely comfortable throwing on a bikini, yet. But I made a decision to give a hypothetical (and sometimes literal) middle finger to those who tell me I don’t look like I should. That includes my own little demon on my shoulder.

So for now, I work hard. I bust my ass. Not to be thin, but to be healthy. I want my boys to see that it’s ok for women to have curves, to eat, to exercise and to enjoy the occasional lazy day eating take-out Mexican food.

I want them to understand that ALL humans are beautiful creatures. I want them to know that society puts unattainable goals out there – not just for women, but for men as well. I want them to look at themselves in the mirror and to accept whatever they see…and to do that, I have to start doing it myself.