Monday, May 23, 2016

Rebirth After Catastrophe


Last year I was on an all-time high. My book was selling. My new job was fantastic. I was one third of the way through Virus Within (the sequel to Birth of a Vixen). I was living the dream. Then reality hit, or rather fantasy crossed that thin line into reality.

It was late May when I was driving home with my 17 year old daughter from the store. The sun was high as big fluffy clouds wafted across it in the pale blue sky. Birds chirped. Flowers bloomed. Laughter filled the car. Until the large aircraft carrier barreled down towards us, guns firing; it cut through the beauty and came to destroy us.

I stopped the car. Watched for casualties, seeing as we were okay. All the other drivers were fine. They were driving on as if nothing was happening. I couldn’t believe it. Were they blind? Were they ignorant to the fact all of our lives were at risk? My daughter looked at me with the same questionable expression I had in mind.

That was the first of many hallucinations. Which led to the first of many CT scans and MRI tests. Then came the seizures and flashbacks and triggers and sepsis and eventually the inability to walk. Rehabilitation was nice. (Although when I tell people I was in rehab their first thought isn’t relearning how to walking or make a bed.) 

The eventual diagnosis: PTSD with psychosomatic or psychogenetic seizures (PNES). Which means my seizures won’t show up in a test, but they’re connected to my PTSD. (I will not get into my trauma in this post. I am working very hard every day to get even this far.)

Now, what does this have to do with my books? Everything.

I survived the worst life dished out to me. Not once, but twice. Once by an outsider and then by myself as a serious wake-up call. I am no longer work a day job. I write. I paint. I take care of my family and me. That is it. The words are stronger. They mean more than before this happened. I’m pickier. I’m branching out of ebooks. I have a better work ethic now that my feet are grounded. But I also know that if I stumble it is not the end of the world.

Be kind to yourself. Do what makes you happy. You never know when that plane will come for you.

Thank you.

3 comments:

  1. I am so sorry to hear this. But it is good to have you back, Colleen. Stay strong.

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    1. Thank you, Paula. It is nice to be back. I've missed the clack of the keyboard, you, and the writing committee.

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