The Tortoise is a Writer, Too.

I’ll be honest. I have written hardly anything of note in the past month. A mere whisper of words added to my book manuscript about the Old Norse world. A scattering of blog musings. An article outline or two. Meager showing for a writer.

I have to remind myself that I am a tortoise. Sometimes I crawl, ever so slowly, towards my goal. A word here or there. A thought or phrase scribbled down before it can be lost to fibrofog’s mysterious timeless bog. That’s really all I can do, slog forward, one heavy mud-sucked foot at a time.

I am so frustrated. I begin to doubt my fire, my intelligence, my writing ability. What kind of writer barely touches her manuscript for an entire month?! I thrash into the lonely pre-dawn hours to shadows that mock my fibro-induced insomnia. I want to use the torturous tossing and turning productively, but my brain is trapped and dull. I am a tired out-dated computer, circa 2000, that everyone has forgotten in the corner, transfixed by the newest, fastest, shiniest model.

Yes, I am a tortoise. A very frustrated tortoise.

But still I plod, ever forward. I refuse to give up, to let fibromyalgia steal my intelligence. It’s still there, wavering just out of reach behind a dense wall. If I summon every ounce of energy, sometimes I break through, ink a few more thoughts, before I collapse exhausted. I retreat to recharge and attempt the assault once more.

Maybe this month will be different. Maybe the fog and exhaustion will suddenly clear and I will fall over from the shock of my feet suddenly footloose and fancy-free. My mind will leap and bound; my fingers fly unhinged across the keyboard; my dusty manuscript growing and my blog healthy once more.

I cannot predict the whims of fibromyalgia. But I can keep going.

I grasp one thought as I battle through each day. I am the tortoise. I am a writer. And I WILL write.

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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