I Miss Writing

I miss writing. I miss my books, my characters, the worlds I’ve created. We writers are a strange bunch, aren’t we?


I’m the kind of writer who edits and revises as I go—over and over and over again. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to. I’ve heard fellow writers and published authors at writing conferences say not to go back over your work until you completely finish it. But I can’t. My OCD doesn’t allow it. I have to revise as I go along. Sometimes I get sick of my books, my characters, my worlds because of it, and I end up having to take a break. Now, I miss them because they have long been absent. I have long been absent. I have no time. My day starts at 4:00 in the morning and usually ends between 9-9:30 at night when I collapse into bed. I’m going all the time. I miss writing. I miss my creations. I miss having time.

I don’t mean to whine, I don’t mean to complain. I am blessed, so very, very blessed. I’m just overwhelmed and missing the thing that has been such a part of my life for such a long time. I had a panic attack last week, the first one I’d had in quite awhile. Even though I am blessed and doing better, mental illness is still a part of me, too.



I went for a walk this evening on a trail near my house. Even though I was still in the middle of the city, the beauty of the fields and trees, the colors of the setting sun, made me feel as if I were out in the wild, one with nature. It reminded me of how often I used to take walks like this, when I was young—how often I used to spend time out in nature. Making decisions was so much easier back then because there were far fewer decisions to make. And those decisions didn’t hold the weight that they do now.

It was such a beautiful night, cool, crisp, alive. A hawk perched at the top of a tree, surveying the same scene I was drinking in. I couldn’t tell what kind it was because it was too far away, without enough light, and I cursed myself for not bringing my camera with its zoom. I love the way cameras stop a moment in time. As I thought of that, it made me realize what a hard time I often have living in the present—when the past is dragging at my heels like the chains that Marley was forced to wear and with the future constantly looming before me, as hazy scenes, ever-changing, shifting and slithering, and always just out of reach. Sometimes it feels like every decision is do or die, and I die more often than I do, because I can’t shake the past, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to shape the future. So I wish I had a camera that could actually stop time, so I could stop moving, so I could know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. But I don’t; I can’t. I keep moving and hope that I’m doing the right thing. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. And time never stops. It just keeps moving. I keep moving.

The Change of the Seasons

I have long been absent. I’ve been working two jobs since August, on top of being a single mom, and I just haven’t had any time or motivation to write. But I have a little of both right now, and not too long ago a friend told me she missed my posts. It meant the world to me to hear that.

A week or two ago I was looking back through old journals and found this entry from almost six years ago. I know I have written other similar entries because it is still what I feel. Every year.

The change of the seasons is intertwined with my soul. What happens in Nature also happens within me. The gray sky, the morning fog, the jeweled moon at night above the mountains, and the cold air kissing my skin haul in memory, attach it to my mind. It drags behind me through the change and beyond. A wondrous, mysterious time, but also a dark time.

For some reason the past is tied to the change in seasons—at least summer to autumn and autumn to winter. As the seasons change my mind is filled with memories of the past, some good, some bad and some good that feel bad now because of changes that have happened. The memories achingly gnaw at me, often confuse me, sometimes consume me. Perhaps part of it is the seasonal affective disorder that is already beginning. Or maybe I’m just . . . weird. Maybe I’m that last red maple leaf, stubbornly clinging to the tree and what was, yet unable to hold on as winter rips me free, waiting on the frozen ground for what spring and summer inevitably have in store.


Life Inside the Box

I didn’t want to let this much time go by between posts, but life has been insanely busy the last few weeks. I feel like I have no time. All of my time is working or my kids. I’ve been worried about losing myself again the way I did when I had postpartum depression, the way I did in my marriage. I feel like I just found myself again in the last few months. I know who I am, and I like who I am. I just don’t know if I can hold onto it with my busy schedule.

I had this training I had to go to on Friday. It was on the same road that leads to Antelope Island, one of my favorite local spots, one of my local sanctuaries, I suppose you could say. I so desperately wanted to screw the training and just keep driving—out to the island.

Antelope Island1_14.jpg

I have this yearning inside me to escape. I continue to have dreams, even small ones—like driving out to Antelope Island—that seem so far out of reach. Is this life? Living in a box with holes, where you can see the outside, see what you want, but are never able to get out?

I want to do more than survive. I’m just not sure how or if it really is possible.

We Are More Than One Piece

I think I can confidently say that all of us with mental illness have been judged, stereotyped or stigmatized (or all three) based on that one simple fact—we have mental illness. Rather than seeing all of us, people just see that one thing. But we are more than our mental illness. All of us are more.


It’s extremely frustrating to be judged, stereotyped or stigmatized based on one illness, one choice, one mistake, one anything. Who wants to see a single puzzle piece rather than the whole picture? And yet that’s what so many people do. They base their entire opinion of you on the puzzle piece rather than the whole, big, put-together puzzle.

How do we deal with people like that? Do we? Is there anything that can be done? I don’t have the answer, but I sure wish I did.

The Good and the Bad

Last week was amazing. Last week was depressing. That’s life I guess, isn’t it?

The week started out amazing. I went to a concert at this large, outdoor venue Monday night. I was really excited to go because I had never been to a concert there (it’s where a lot of the major concerts are held near where I live), and had heard great things about it. I was also extremely anxious because I was going by myself. I had no idea what traffic would be like, didn’t want to get caught in it because that, in and of itself, would spike my anxiety, wasn’t sure what time to leave. This little thought crept into my brain that maybe I just shouldn’t go, despite the fact that I’d spent way too much money on the ticket. But I fought the thought, and the fear, got in my car and drove.

The closer I got to the concert, the more anxious I became. I felt so alone, with no one there to help or support me, not even anyone to just let loose and have a good time with. However, I made it to the concert without any problems. I got there early enough that there was no traffic to deal with and no crowds to contend with. And wow. Wow! The concert was absolutely amazing! The Cult, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots—bands from my youth, groups I listened to in junior high and high school. I had so much fun! So. Much. Fun! Even being by myself. I went home exhilarated and proud of myself for pushing through my anxiety. I will definitely be going to more concerts there—with or without friends.

The feeling from that night stayed with me until Wednesday. My kids started school that day. My daughter is in her last year of elementary and my son—my baby—is in his first year of being at school all day (kindergarten here is only half-day). While I was able to get them ready for the day and take pictures of them before they left, I didn’t get to actually take them to school like I have every other year because I had to be to work. See, I got a new job (a second one). I was okay while at work, but as soon as I left I started crying. All I could think about was how this was not the way I envisioned my life. This was not how it was supposed to be. I wasn’t supposed to be a single mom working two jobs that wouldn’t allow me to drop my kids off on the first day of school. I was supposed to still be a stay-at-home mom volunteering in my daughter’s class her last year of elementary, helping at all her class parties and going on field trips.

Now, I knew I shouldn’t be feeling so bad or complaining. I knew I should be grateful, but sometimes it’s so hard realizing how far your life has strayed from the path you expected it to be on, from the destination you knew you were going to end up on. I was a stay-at-home mom for ten years, and it’s what I was good at. It’s what I knew I was supposed to do. Transitioning from that to being a single mom working two jobs in the last week was a rough transition. I definitely had some good moments and some good friends who helped encourage me and lift me up, but it was an exhausting week. I feel like I’ll never get enough sleep to not feel tired again.

I wish I could say that I know what my life will look like in ten more years. In one year. Even in a month. But I don’t want to fool myself into thinking it will turn out the way I expect it to when it hasn’t already. I guess, sometimes, you just have to live one day at a time and hope that one day turns out. Hope that when you look back you can be happy for what you’ve done, accomplished and become even if it wasn’t what you expected, even if you end up a million miles from the road you once knew you would be on.

At least I had the concert—to remind me that sometimes I can push through my fears and my anxiety. To remind me that there is fun to be had along the way, and I really do believe that that is incredibly important!

Seeing the Hand of God in My Life


Two weeks ago at church I gave a lesson to my Sunday school class about the importance of keeping a journal. One of the things we discussed they could write in a journal are times they have seen the hand of God in their lives. I challenged them to try to notice, in the upcoming week, a time when they could see the hand of God in their daily lives. I told them we would discuss it in class the next week. Unfortunately I was sick last Sunday, so we talked about it at the beginning of class today. A couple of the boys shared experiences they had. They were little things, but enough to have left an impression. I, too, had noticed little things that week. I think most of the time that is how God manifests Himself in our lives, but sometimes—well, sometimes we need something bigger.

Back in November I wrote about my experience almost taking my own life when I was seventeen. I stood looking out over a cliff at Bryce Canyon National Park and almost jumped. Coming home from that beautiful place was hard. Figuring out how to deal with the aftermath of nearly committing suicide was also a challenge.


A few days after we got home from our trip my older brother, who had recently gotten home from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England, and I got on the freeway to head to the nearest Walmart. The light at the end of the off-ramp turned red as we neared it, so my brother slowed then stopped—we were the first car in line. We chatted while waiting for the light to turn green, then once it did, he turned left—into the left-hand lane! I screamed, “What are you doing?!” He noticed his error, quickly swerved over through the other left lane, a turn lane and finally into the right lane, where we should have been in the first place. “I forgot I wasn’t in England anymore,” he said.

As he continued down the road, and my heart stopped feeling like it was about to explode inside my chest, I realized how amazing it was that we hadn’t hit into any other cars. That area of the city, and especially that very intersection, were always busy and full of traffic. I even looked back and could see a ton of cars. The fact that my brother had been able to quickly move over three lanes without even scratching another car was truly miraculous. It was no coincidence. I felt it burning deep within my soul. This was a message from God telling me that I wasn’t supposed to die yet. I look back on that experience now and still know that His hand intervened. It felt as though angels had been looking over and protecting me.

At the time I didn’t know why He had sent me this message. I didn’t know why it was so important for me to live, just that it was. Even now I couldn’t give you a specific answer. I’m no one important. I hold no influence over a great number of people. It’s not like anything I have done, am doing or will do will make any sort of impact or change in the world. But I have been able to live my life and learn, grow, develop . . . become. I gave birth to two beautiful, amazing, perfect little beings. I brought them into this world, and they are my world. I don’t know if any of that is why God wanted me to know—to know—that my time on this earth wasn’t meant to be finished at that time, but I’m grateful He gave me that witness. I’m grateful for the experience, as I am for so many of my experiences in life that give me the opportunity to learn, to grow, to develop . . . to become.

As a side-note, when we got out of the car at Walmart I told my brother to give me the keys because I was going to drive home. Still a bit shaken up from what had happened himself, he willingly dropped the keys into my hand with no hesitation!