Wednesday, 30 September 2015

“I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.”

Sylvia Plath

I think I love Autumn again. I didn't for a while, after Dad died in October. But I love making decadent Autumn perfumes and I love the pink sky early in the morning as I walk to the bus stop. I love the clean, crisp air and the brilliant golden leaves, and those days when it's still warm enough that you don't need a coat, but you definitely need a big, cosy hoodie. I love curling up in my adorable cottage with a cup of apple crumble tea in the evenings. I love the squirrel that terrorises the birds in our garden by jumping on them as they strut around the path.

I don't love my body. It's started betraying me when the weather turns colder. I've had an excellent writing year, after two years in the wilderness. Up until the end of August, I was writing 1k a day nearly every day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but always something. Almost as soon as September hit, however, my right arm started hurting.

It's probably coincidence, but I remember having a really bad flare-up in November last year as well. I really don't want to lose the momentum I've had going all year, and I really don't want sleepless nights, stress headaches, neck-ache, appetite loss, and all the other things that happen when this Issue presents itself. Because it impacts the two most important things in my life - writing and perfume-making - and if I can't do those things, I get depressed (not a word I use lightly). And frankly, when I'm in pain, I'm a moody bitch, and Kyle and my co-workers don't always deserve that.

So I went to the doctor yesterday, ready to beg for heavy-duty painkillers. I'd had two physiotherapy sessions earlier in the year which were worse than useless (I was going to tell you all about it, but then I got angry at the woman all over again, and that seemed unproductive), and I was pretty much ready to fight my GP if she suggested more. Just give me the fucking drugs! I would scream. I know you have them!*

But she didn't give me the fucking drugs. She did give me yet another physical assessment (I've had more doctors yank my arms around in the past ten years than I've had cups of tea) and decided that my problem might not be down to bad posture (fuck you, physiotherapist!), but that some of the symptoms fitted rotator cuff syndrome.

Okay. That's a new diagnosis for me! Apparently lots of pro athletes get it? Anyway, I have a new set of exercises and the go-ahead to use anti-inflammatories at will, with her promise that if nothing changes, we'll keep trying. I don't know where this leaves me writing-wise for the rest of the year. If I'm lucky, this will be a brief flare-up and I can get back on track. Or I can decide to write regardless of the pain and hope that the exercises do make a difference. I do know I can't stop doing the creative things I love, which is why I keep going back to the GP, year after year, even though I know, realistically, there's nothing new to try except different exercises.

One way or another, if it takes me the rest of the year, I will finish and submit Oath Breaker. Everything else is up in the air, but at least it's beautiful Autumn air.

* I don't know what drugs, I just assume she has a secret stash of super-effective painkillers she's hiding from me for no good reason.

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