writer elise

I'm Elise. I write. Because I must.


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Overwhelmed

Y’all I am overwhelmed. In a big way. Which totally explains why I’ve been ignoring this blog and all my lovely followers. If I still have any. Y’all are still there right? I’m pretending everyone just shouted yes.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. I’ve got too much on my plate these days. Which I think it totally normal in this world. I can only speak for myself though so I’m saying it isn’t normal. I don’t like feeling like I’m drowning in life. But I do. And it sucks.

I’ve got a to do list that would choke a horse. My dad is facing heart surgery in a month so I’m trying to be a rock for him and my mom. I’m trying to be supportive for various friends as they struggle with life stuff. On top of that I’ve got new duties at work, volunteer work with both my church and The Arthritis Foundation, one book to market, a second book (out August 1st!) to prepare to market, a third book to write, a newbie writer to mentor, animals to take care of, a house to prep for sale (hopefully in a year but I’m starting now), and… well the list just goes on from there.

I know I’m overdoing it. I know I’m right at the edge of my own limits and that if something doesn’t change or get crossed off my list I’m going to break.

I am empty.

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I’ve seriously got nothing left to give anyone else.

So I’m going to start being selfish. I’m going to save myself. Friends will need to learn to prop themselves up without my cheerleading. Okay, I’ll still be there for them but I’m going to start turning off my phone each evening and saving that time for myself. I’m going to go through my monster to-do list and turn everything I can over to someone else. I’m also going to look at author marketing services and see about hiring someone to handle book promotion for me. My sales have been terrible so clearly my efforts aren’t working.

I’m going to watch more sunsets with my animals.

I’m going to have more dinners with my friends.

I’m going to write more and Facebook less.

I’m going to take better care of me.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed too I encourage you to do the same. Simplify. I’ve already starting working on this and it really helps. I don’t miss the things I’ve let go of. Instead I feel more free and more me.

Hugs, love, and blessings to each and every one of you.

~Elise


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2016 RA Blog Week – Final Day

Happy Friday world! We made it through the week. And, because it’s been RA Blog Week, we’ve learned and raised some awareness. Together, myself and the other bloggers have spent the week making this invisible illness a bit more visible. That’s a great thing.

I’m picking another wildcard today so that I can pass on some advice to all of y’all. I hope that my experiences walking through life with Rheumatoid Arthritis will help someone out there.

Thing #1: Don’t look back. Well, at least not for too long. Don’t dwell on the life you had before RA came to live with you. Look back at the happy moments. But don’t compare that life to the new one you’re living. Focusing on your pre RA life, especially on that pain free body you once had, is toxic. Accept your new normal.

Thing #2: Redefine normal every chance you get. An RA life is a rollercoaster. RA changes your body almost daily. You might become a human barometer like I have. Any weather change and my body sends out warning signals in the form of pain. That’s my normal. My normal used to be weakness and exhaustion. Before then it was pretending to not be sick. With RA you get the opportunity (yes, you read that right) to redefine normal over and over.

Thing #3: Find a support group. Maybe a face to face group that meets at a local church. Maybe a group of random strangers on Facebook. Maybe a network of bloggers. The point is, find people who are living an RA life too. Only people walking this walk can really understand what you go through every day. That level of understanding is vital.

I could go on and one but I won’t. Instead, I’m going to close up RA Blog Week with a second topic. The other folks who have been blogging this week with me. Our fearless leader (hi Rick!) has put together a great list of links to everyone’s blog. You can see it here. I highly recommend checking out the other blogs. You never know, one of my fellow bloggers might be writing something that will touch your heart.

I hope you all have had a great week. It’s been a blessing to spend it writing about RA. It has given this writer a much needed boost to her tired creativity.

Have a blessed weekend y’all.

~Elise

PS. I have a book coming out! (Yay!) Restoration Road will be released in October. If you want to know more about it, click here. And keep watching my blog for more information on when and where you can get your own copy.


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2016 RA Blog Week – Day 4

Happy Friday Eve everyone. We’re almost done with this week. For those of you with stressful day jobs (like me) that’s a good thing. I will be sad to see the end of this week though. I’ve enjoyed sharing the week with all the other folks participating in #RABlog week. They’re a great group.

Today’s topic is one of the wildcard topics. Coping with depression. The big D. That dirty liar that haunts us all.

I’ve been walking with Rheumatoid Arthritis for over half my life so that means I’ve been walking with depression all that time too. It just goes hand in hand with a chronic illness. Especially a life altering chronic illness with near constant pain.

Everyone handles depression differently. Some find that medications work well to stop that downward spiral. Others go with therapy of some sort. Some stick to support groups. There are tons of ways to handle it. And each person has to find out what works for them. I’m going to talk about what works for me. (Please note, if you’re having thoughts of self harm, get help now. Right now. What I’m about to talk about is more for dealing with low grade depression.)

I have tried therapy. I’m deeply introverted so it wasn’t really something that worked for me. Of course I was also a kid when I tried. I think that it would be different if I went back now. I’ve never tried anti-depressants. I work as an artist, technical writer, and fiction writer. I need my brain to not be foggy so I’ve always steered clear of those.

What works for me is redirection.

When depression starts whispering all those negative, why bother kind of thoughts I redirect myself. I go for a walk with my dog. I start a new knitting project. I learn a new skill. I go in my workshop and start building things. I go to dinner with my friends. I volunteer with my church. I listen to happy music and read funny books.

I redirect myself before I can get sucked into that pit of depression. That means that I have to be very self aware and watch for the signs that I’m starting a downward spiral. Thankfully, I have some wonderful people in my world that know the signs too. They are always handy to help me redirect things.

I’ll admit, sometimes I let myself wallow sometimes. I think it’s okay to just disconnect from life and check out. But I never unpack and live there. I just visit. That’s the real trick there. You can’t let it suck you in and keep you in the dark pit. You’ve got to learn what will help you climb out.¬†And focus on that instead of the darkness.

Redirect. As much as you have to.

~Elise

PS. I have a book coming out! (Yay!) Restoration Road will be released in October. If you want to know more about it, click here. And keep watching my blog for more information on when and where you can get your own copy.