Monday Memoir: The Darkness Begins (Part One)

 

I thought living with a hearing disability would be difficult enough.

I was wrong.

Photo Credit: Pixabay Free Images

By the time I was twenty, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with my life.  So I pursued a degree in Physical Education with the hopes of going on to earn a masters in Exercise Science.  I wanted to work with college and professional athletes.   Being an athlete myself, I competed in cross-country, softball, as well as soccer.  Sports became my passion, and I’d wanted to make it my life.  Around this time I learned (finally) how to drive, and attained my driver’s license.

I was ready for the world.  To pursue my dreams at full speed.

Then, everything changed.

At first to me, it seemed pretty minor.  Getting around in the dark was growing more difficult.  I kept bumping into things (and people).  Stairs became more of a challenge.  Okay, so I needed glasses.  No big deal, right?

Wrong, again.

I went to see an ophthalmologist and was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa; a degenerative retinal disease which could result in complete blindness.

Being devastated was probably an understatement.

The next month my parents took me to Boston to see a RP specialist, Dr. Elliot Berson, at the Eye and Ear Infirmary.  He put me through several intensive tests over the course of two days, and confirmed that I did indeed have Usher’s Syndrome type II which meant that my deteriorating eyesight and hearing loss went together.

Lovely.

My dreams…my career aspirations…

I felt so distraught I gave up on them all.

I did, though, finish college and earned a Bachelor in Physical Education, but that was the extent of it.  I never went on.  Never moved forward.  I allowed my disabilities to destroy my confidence.   I’d withdrew within myself, and allowed everything else to vanish.

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#IWSG A Rainy Day For This Writer

Click on the image to access this group’s official page

 

This month’s question: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

 

Photo Credit: Alexander Tayson

 

I’m experiencing this weather phenomenon right now.  If you look out my window, you’ll see the partially bare ground laced with dirty snow.   The air is frigid as the arctic breeze sweep through the barren trees that pepper our farmstead.

It’s April, but winter is sticking around.

I’ve been cooped up indoors for months.  I leave the house only once a week for grocery shopping, and that’s it.

No fresh air.  No real exercise (the treadmill only goes so far).

Depression is settling in heavy, and affecting my writing life.

With several projects lined up to be worked on, all I’ve done is watch medical dramas on Hulu.

I feel the dark clouds billowing over my head as I ignore the jabbering of characters in my mind.   Rain comes in form of tears as the frustration (with myself) grows.

I must find a way to jump-start my writing.

Writing is my sun.  My fresh air.

But right now, the storm clouds are winning.

Bottomline, the problem is I’m a writer with very little outside contact (other than family members).  No one to spur me on with a pep talk or encouragement.  Being a shut-in (self imposed), there is no one to blame for my predicament other than myself.

Granted, I can’t just hop in a car and drive because of my blindness.

However…

There is this lovely thing called technology that allows one to keep connected with people from all walks of life.  This for me has been a blessing.

So, instead of wallowing in self-pity, I’m here, blogging, and in essence, writing which is all the kick in the pants I need for the clouds to roll back, and allow the sun to peek through.

 


 

My Own Battle With Mental Illness

Doll Hospital is an art and literature print journal on mental health

Just a little blurb this week about an essay I have published with the current issue of Doll Hospital Journal.

In the essay,  In Search of Hope, I recount my struggles through various losses and disabilities that brought me close to suicide as well as my battle with anxiety and depression.   Mental illness also runs in my family.

What helped me through all these?

Writing, and the love for my family.

For those of you struggling with mental illness, just know that you’re not alone, and to never give up!

*To read this digital issue, click on the Doll Hospital’s image on top and this will take you to the site to download the item.  It will ask for $5.00 but this is only a suggested donation amount. 

Writing and Mental Health

mental health

* Journal of Life-“A piece of fiction from Carrie Ann Golden; written as journal entries of a young lady struggling with mental illness/family.” –GFT Press

I wrote a short fiction for GFT Press which was published late last week.  I took various experiences from my past, and wrote them into this particular story of a young woman.  It doesn’t work for everyone, but writing can be used as a therapeutic tool while working through life challenges.

What about you?  Has writing helped you through various dark and troubling times in your life?

Journey as a writer and a blogger

For the past few weeks, I’ve been contemplating on which road to take as a writer.   I posted a poll a short time ago to see how many readers are bloggers/writers.  The results?

Majority of my readers are both.

Interesting.

Many are trying to be bloggers while writing their stories.  So, the next question in my mind is…

Since we’re moonlighting as both bloggers and writers, what do we truly consider ourselves to be then-

A writer?

Or, a blogger?

Can we truly be both?

Personally, I’m finding it difficult to devout my time and energy to be both.  I’m starting to wonder how do I want others to perceive me to be-a writer or a blogger.  Which one holds more value for me?  More importance?

Yes, blogging helps you gain more readers and followers; but, is that my ultimate goal?

Bottom line, what I truly desire is to create stories.  I want to scare my readers.  Make them cringe, or cry.  I want my readers to  care as much for the characters as I do.   I haven’t been doing that.  Not for a long, long time.   It’s starting to make me feel depressed.  Moody.  I can’t focus on anything.  All I want to do is daydream.

Yet, I enjoy blogging, and meeting new readers as well as other writers.  I enjoy sharing my thoughts and ideas with the creative world.

Where does that leave me though?

Must contemplate some more.

 

Another Writing Poll (In light of Robin Williams’ recent passing)

I think Robin Williams’ recent passing hit most of the people in the creative world quite hard.  On a personal level, it made me examine certain things in my own life in a more serious manner. Hence, this was one of the questions that kept coming to my mind.