Memoir, Mental health

Behind the Writer

I’m sitting here in my office with the pellet stove roaring away. It’s comfortably warm in this room, but inside me is a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. You see, I’m not just a writer. First and foremost I am a child of God and I suffer from PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. Why am I telling you this? Because I am going to be making blog posts about mental illness that will relate to my upcoming book about my journey through mental illness. And because I’m not afraid to admit that I have a mental illness.

Sometimes, I think that having a mental illness can make us more creative individuals because we look for creative ways to work out the pain that is deep inside. So deep it stays well hidden until we are alone and then we can contain it no longer.

Open the flood gates. Our emotions either come out as a trickle or a roar whether through tears, or through creative means. Or both.

So now you know more about me. But you’ll learn even more as I go along. 😉

A Daughter's Reflection

A DAUGHTER’S REFLECTION – REWRITE

Today is a good day for writing, I think. I am working on a memoir I started in my late teens but never fully developed because I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted to go with it.

A Daughter’s Reflection is my account, as a teenager, of having a mother who was ill with cancer, and having to take care of her for several months both day and night. The book consists of several journal entries. I don’t think I had ever kept a journal until that year. I know, I know. A teenage girl without a journal. Strange, right? I just had never thought of writing until that year when so much was happening and becoming overwhelming I needed a someone to talk to when no one else was around and a place to vet everything. A notebook became that place and God was that person I talked to.

This book will serve to relate my story as a teenager going through grief, depression, anxiety, and a sense of loss, not just in losing a loved one, but not knowing where I stood in the world, you know, where I belonged. In my story you will see changes of the teenager I was while caring for my mother, then through depression, anxiety and loss of self, and then through finding myself in Christ.

I have written a new preface and reorganized the chapters. I have to go through them for some editing. After that, I will need to determine the last chapter or two of the book. I am hoping to have this book out by summer time. I am aiming before that. I will keep everyone updated as I go along. God bless.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 25 of August Camp NaNo – Late Evening

 

It has been a busy day around home today…planting eight pink lady apple trees all grown from seed, watering them, tending the vegetable garden, cooking dinner, having a bath, then Bible study with my husband and father in law and so on. It was a great day with beautiful warm weather with a refreshing breath of wind. What an awesome day God has given us here and now, after having a glass of Sangria for the first time, I am feeling relaxed, all be it a little sleepy, but I am finally able to sit down and work on my story again.

How far I will get depends on my ability to keep my eyelids open. lol. That should be job in itself. But I will belt out some words no matter what. Don’t think I’d be able to sleep well knowing I didn’t at least write SOMETHING today…er…this evening.

So I will go for now and continue working on chapter three. I made a great dent in the chapter last night so I hope to make a bigger dent in it tonight. Curious to see how far I will go.

**God, please help me with this endevour and to succeed at my goal, Amen.**

Here goes!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 25 of Camp NaNo – Early Morning

 

It’s just after 1:40AM when I’m writing this. I have been working on my book for a couple of hours, trying not to be distracted by other things. It’s VERY hard to do some times. When I started writing I had, 26,892 words and at quitting time I had 29,376 for a total of 2,484 words written this time. Now I just need to update the Camp NaNo site with my new word count.

I am working on chapter three right now and I so wanted to finish it tonight…er….this morning, however, when the screen starts to get fuzzy even though you’re wearing your glasses and your stomach starts to get upset and you can’t stop yawning, I’m guessing those are VERY good indicators it’s time to stop pushing myself into the feeling sick territory and go to bed.

I need to get my mind of depression and find something happy to think about before bed. Hope I can do that, but I have a feeling after my head hits the pillow I’ll be out.

I feel great after my accomplishment and getting further in this book and I pray all you other NaNoers are making progress as well. If not, don’t give up. Writing isn’t always an easy thing to do. I had a hard time starting earlier on the 24th but by late that evening everything just began to flow. Strange how that happens. You just never know when the time is going to be right for your those words to fly from your brain to the keyboard.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Never give up hope…at least not so early in the fight.” ~ Rayden, Mortal Kombat Annihilation

Miss watching that movie! Sorry. I had better get to bed before I start rambling some more. Night all and many blessing for another day! 🙂

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 24 for August Camp NaNo 2012

 

It’s after 10PM on the east coast and I have the opportunity to work on my memoir about depression, what caused it, and how I came out of it with God‘s help.

The desire to write, to tell my story is there, but also lingering within me is fear. Fear of going back to those places that caused such pain and sadness. It is hard to write about one’s experiences in relation to hard times especially losing not only one loved one, but several. I sit here with a need to tell my story believing what I say may help someone out there, but also that writing it out may be therapy for me, and praise to God who helped me through that valley to the mountain top so to speak.

But how to get through those moments that make you want to cry…or just push the book off somewhere else and find something else to work on. Just because I don’t feel depressed, doesn’t mean that the pain of losing someone is gone. It’s still there and I believe that is what is causing me to struggle on with this book. I believe that God puts struggles in our path for a reason and that is to help us grow to become stronger for whatever purpose He may have for us. Since I believe this, and since I believe that with God I have nothing to fear, I must practice what I believe and press on.

So currently, my book stands at 26,892 words. I will now end this post and work more on my book and write another post before I hit the sack and let you all know how I have done. But first, a little prayer to God to help me with this journey.

Back later!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNo Day #23

 

Here I am on the 23rd of Camp NaNo. It’s just after midnight here on the east coast of the U.S. My mind things of the story I should be writing, but my stomach is yelling it’s monstrous voice to feed it, and my eyes and mind are screaming “Let me sleep, PLEASE!” Oh, what to do  in moments like these, knowing you must press on to meet that deadline? Knowing the next chapter you are about to write is going to be hard, but knowing it will lead to a published work someday that will prayerfully help at least one person in the world.

My desire and my heart want to continue on, but I am afraid I must call it a night. Get a snack to quiet the beast in my gut and close my eyes to end the constant straining to keep them open and rest my mind so that tomorrow…or should I say later today…I’ll be able to do more writing and make more progress on my book than before.

Ah, sleep is a friend and I know I must relinquish to it. But it is hard when the words come and with them feelings and dialogue…all plays in the sleeping mind, waiting, wanting, yearning to be written for other eyes to see. By I must quiet the mind with prayer and let God take over my sleepy body and ease me into a restful sleep.

Camp NaNo day #23 continues….much later today. 🙂 Night all!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

21st Day of August Camp NaNo

 

I haven’t done ANY writing on my book today. Spent about four hours working on my cooking and catering course through the Stratford Career Institute while my 3 yr old daughter did her “school work” on abcmouse.com. We just signed her up today and started her on the preschool level. I gave her several chances to take a break but she loved it so much she didn’t want to quit! lol. So I just finished my school work and took my second exam and got a 95! Yea!

But anyway, back to my Camp NaNo story. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it is about my story on depression and how I got through it…however, I have  an idea for another book has been really working in my head. I keep trying to push it away. I’ll have to save it for the November NaNo.

So tonight, while my husband works on writing a computer program for me, I’ll be working beside him on my Camp NaNo story for this month. Only have a little over 26,000 words. Not sure if I’ll make the goal, but I’m dang well gonna try. Thing is writing about depression and things that cause it is hard. Brings back some emotions so I’ll have to do a little at a time and then have a “happier” break before bed like watching some comedy or something

Well, the dinner bell is ringing folks so I best go and get the hubby and daughter some dinner and get myself some while I’m at it. Then we’ll tend the garden, get the daughter to bed and then it is writing time!!! Or…that’s that plan..but we all know plans can change, don’t we? lol

See later my friends. I will be back later tonight with another report on my progress. Cheers!

~Janis~

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

August Camp NaNo Day 17

 

Okay, so today is day 17 of the August 2012 Camp NaNo. I have made some good headway on my book. I hope to work more on it tonight. I’m currently listening to the podcast Books on the Nightstand and it is so inspiring me to write. I also like to listen to the Creative Penn Podcast. I get both of these through iTunes and listen to them on my ipod nano or through iTunes. It depends on where I am writing either on the computer or with pen and paper.

So far my book has an epigraph, dedication, and at least two chapters. I hope to add to that tonight as long as my 3yr old goes to bed okay. She is a night owl so it’s hard. But, I really believe this book on my experience with depression and anxiety attacks and how I got through the bulk of it to that Mountain Top, and trying each day, to maintain where I am, will really help others. It’s not easy to write, I must say. Some times I just want to stop writing because emotions are just going crazy. This all started with death of my mother about 13 years ago, so even though time as gone by, the pain never completely goes away. There is always a little that lingers. A lot of this book so far is my journal entries I kept the four months I was caring for my mother. I have them down, but will have to go through them for spelling errors, etc. Not really looking forward to that, but I know it needs to be done.

Please, pray for me on writing this book. It is hard to do to to bring back some of this stuff. But even if one person benefits, it was all worth it.

~Janis~

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

August Camp NaNo

 

Geeze, here it is in the middle of August 2012 and I just realized it is another Camp NaNo month. Ugh! Some time to realize it!  I do have a story in mind and I’ll begin writing, but I think I may be a little late to meet the deadline of 50,000 by the end of the month. However, God works wonders and with Him there is no telling what can happen, so….I am just going to plug along with what is sitting in my brain waiting to get out, and see what happens. Very interested and excited to see what happens! You never know with God leading your life where you’re going to be taken next, so here goes all my fellow campers. Best of luck to you and may God bless you on your writing endeavors!

 

Janis

http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/jimonroe/novels/a-daughter-s-reflection