I’m supposed to be writing a book. It’s been at least four years now that I have had this story – or, testimony – to tell and have neglected to. I know that I MUST pinpoint what is holding me back from writing my book. Not that I haven’t done anything; I’ve been writing notes and paragraphs, ideas and memories. I even have an outline that lays out the topics I want to write about. I’m trying to pinpoint why I do not follow through and just write it. I think part of it is, just the thought of putting all those pieces together is kind of overwhelming. I think I must get discouraged by the feeling of overwhelm. It’s a lot of work! I’m good at writing down my thoughts but putting it all together remains elusive. Sometimes a stroke of ambition will hit me and I will take the time to flesh out a part of the story to my satisfaction. But I think it’s the glue to tie together all the different pieces that I get “stuck” on.
The book is to be about surviving what was essentially terminal illness. And it’s really not AT ALL as depressing as it might sound. It is a story of triumph, hope and faith, and lessons learned from having to dig deep into the core of my being for the strength and tenacity to hold on until I reached my breakthrough. My survival is nothing short of miraculous. I was diagnosed with stage 4B hodgkin’s lymphoma after having a pre-existing autoimmune disease called scleroderma, which was already slowly destroying my body and my life. So I was living (“living” is generous) with two illnesses that each had a high likelihood of fatality.
I learned a lot going through that experience. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about people. Going through all that, I learned a lot about life itself, who I am and what I stand for. It’s made me more bold, brave and confident in who I am, what I want and what I will not stand for. I am no longer let insecurities about what people think of me limit me. And boundaries. It also taught me a lot about the importance of establishing clear boundaries, unapologetically. I stick up for myself.
The ultimate goal for writing this book (I already have the title) is to encourage somebody else to keep pushing through even when it seems there is no way out; to allow someone else to see how they might pull themselves out of seemingly insurmountable odds. I was ensconced in darkness but I was able to have joy and hope, which would seem antithetical. Five mantras for my life came to me through that experience. My mental toughness was also a valuable realization about myself.
It could be a really good book! If only I would WRITE IT. But I sit down to write and I get easily distracted by other things. I allow other things to distract me. And I’m getting annoyed with myself because at this point I don’t really have an excuse like I did before – I was really sick and could hardly sit up straight for an extended period of time or stay awake against crushing fatigue. Persistent mental fog is a common complaint among people living with autoimmune illnesses like scleroderma. Those things are not much of a problem now.
Then there’s the issue of distance. The blessing is that hindsight comes with better vision – as they say, “hindsight is 20/20.” I see things differently now. I see more and understand a little bit more day by day. But also, as time progresses we and our circumstances change. The curse is that we don’t stay the same, so my perspective changes constantly. My emotional connection to that experience is nowhere near as strong as it used to be. I worry that some of the emotional resonance could be lost because of this.
So pinpoint number one is that I really have to get disciplined: that’s my big problem, clearly. I assume that one of the reasons why I get distracted is because of the way I work. I don’t have a set schedule. It’s sort of up in the air. I’m in logistics so I often have to get up and go with short notice. That makes it hard to be consistent and grounded since I have to be ready to literally move throughout the day.
The nature of my “day job” (I am self-employed) suits my personality because I have a wandering mind – which is pinpoint number two. My mind is always “on” and as a result I don’t have a regular sleep pattern either, which is pinpoint number three! As I write this it is 3:24 AM and I am supposed to wake up around 6. I am trying meditation to help center and calm my mind. Pretty sure I need to do it more than once a day. When I do need to sleep I manage to do it, but only because my body makes me. That pretty much means I am completely exhausted. I’ve always been an insomniac.
Completing this book will mean something more to me than simply the satisfaction of the achievement and even helping someone who reads it. The process of completing it will help me to grow because it requires that I overcome these issues that I know I have and want to get a handle on. If you don’t control life life will control you, like the tail wagging the dog.
This is my big challenge for the rest of the year. I want this week of July 22, 2018 to be really focused on completing one chapter. I probably have it done already; I probably have more than one chapter, considering all the pieces. My short-term goal is to publish an ebook, to get a feel for the response to content and make some money too.
What are some things that you have been procrastinating on, haven’t made the time for, or simply not in the right situation to get done?