Saying hello – again!

It’s been almost eighteen months since I first wrote a post entitled ‘Saying Hello’ introducing myself as the author of one novel and four children’s chapter books.

Since then, nothing, except the quiet publication of a second novel, but it has been a hell of an eighteen months.

I hesitated to write this. The easier option would be to brush aside my silence and open up this blog with a review or one of the many great writing articles I have saved from other bloggers since becoming involved in the writing world. But the truth is, the mental illness that has struck the person I have lived, almost the whole of my adult life, with ( and together had two wonderful children) has now become such a huge part of what I am, that I couldn’t honestly proceed without saying something about it.

The problem is not a degenerative condition like Alzheimer’s, but plain, old anxiety and depression. Not so bad? No, in that it gives the family hope that the situation can be improved, reversed even,  and yet, in our case, two and a half years on from the start, this former company director, private pilot and talented photographer is hospitalised, unwilling to talk to family or friends and unable to engage in any meaningful activity; Christmases, birthdays and anniversaries have come and gone.

For the majority of this time I have allowed myself to also be afflicted by this terrible thing in that I have succumbed to hours and hours of reflection, of long nights spent searching on the Internet for advice and new ideas and of just trying to find a way to fix it…

The result has been that, apart from being much more aware of mental health conditions and their effects, I have also learned a couple of very important things:-

  • When the going gets tough, family and friends and what they do, mean so much.
  • I can be there for my husband, when he wants me to be, but I also need to be there for myself.

I need to be a writer who writes, who participates, not someone on the fringes who just wishes she could take part. I have read around forty books this year; there is a mix but many of them are great Independent works by authors who are proving they can do it in style. By contrast I have actually written just six reviews because sitting down to write, anything at all, has seemed like the hardest thing.

Fnally now, I want to channel my energies into creativity again. I want to write those reviews, post to this blog and be connected. And I want to write books.

Of course, there are other things I wish for too but I feel now that maybe  I can compartmentalise my efforts to a certain degree and make time to do those things that make me, me. I can start the long process of marketing and I can set goals.

For all those out there having to deal with similar problems I want you to know that it has taken a long time time but finally now I can see a way. I don’t know what will happen in my private life, I can only wish and hope, love and support but I do know what will happen to my work, I will make it the best that I can.

Thanks so much for reading.

The Palaver Tree

The Palaver Tree

 

Beneathwood

Beneathwood

 

 

 

 

 

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00056]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00056]

 

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64 thoughts on “Saying hello – again!

  1. wendyunsworth Post author

    Thanks so much for your good wishes. It means a lot. It’s by reconnecting with books and writers and my own writing that I am slowly finding my way again.
    Love your blog, by the way, I will be checking in to see what you have been reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        My heart goes out to you – and especially to your husband. Anxiety and depression are much more serious and debilitating that people who have never experienced either can even imagine. Black holes.

        I have come to believe that “acceptance” might be a reach when one can only stand aside watching, hoping, praying. “Refusing to agonize over” is a bit closer for me – but even that looks facile as I see the words come up on my screen.

        In my case, writing helps, so I’m glad to see that you are determined to do more of it. I’m following back in support, eager to read about all those books you have devoured. I hope to find the time to read more in 2017 (books, I mean – I already read a TON online).

        And thanks for dropping in on my blog and intending to do more, btw. in the upcoming year, I’ll see what I can come up with re: supporting someone suffering with anxiety and/or depression.
        xx,
        mgh
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
        – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

        Like

      2. wendyunsworth Post author

        Thank you Madeline for your concern and comment. ‘Refusing to agonise over’ is I think, a very accurate description of what is necessary and I would image, for many, the hardest thing to do. For a long time I could do very little but agonise over until I realised that it had no purpose for either of us. I continue to try to be as supportive as possible and also to educate myself on any new aspects of the problem that I may have missed but the rest of my time is dedicated to a continuation of the life that was so important to us and to ‘keep it safe’ for the future.
        I look forward to checking in on your blog. Many thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: New Followers Friday, a Bit Late – SaylingAway

  3. stephrichmond

    What a wonderfully honest post, well done finding your way through it, depression is debilitating for everyone it touches and I wish you all the strength in the world although it seems you have a lot of that already. Keep writing, keep finding time to do what makes you happy. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Steph. It is connections like these that really mean so much and, although perhaps I am a little biased, the writing community do seem to me to particularly excel at supporting fellow writers. Very good luck with you own writing – I will add The Community to my TBR on Goodreads (It sounds right up my street 😊)

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  4. Jessica Norrie

    I read what you say and much of it resonated. Take very good care of yourself as well as of others, and keep writing! There are so many people rooting for you, and for people like you, even if you feel at times that you’re in a very lonely place.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Thank you very much, Jessica, I very much appreciate your words. Until quite recently in my life, I had no direct experience of mental illness and the widespread devastation it can cause. Loneliness is an issue but I am lucky to have a loving family and friends and I include in amongst those my writing/blogging friends. I also have hope that this situation is not forever and that is a great help too. I love writing and will continue – thanks for connecting I look forward to following your blog and your adventures and wish you very well too.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Thank you, Dayne. You are right, writing can be and is very therapeutic. I do feel better that our ‘story’ is ‘out there’ and, of course I know that many others suffer similarly. Lovely to connect with you. You have a beautiful website and I envy you your drawing skills! I already have a short series of children’s chapter books published but have a new idea for next year. I will be sure to keep following you!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  5. olganm

    Wendy, although not working in the profession at the moment, I’m a psychiatrist and although people might think anxiety and depression is not as serious as other things (because we all feel anxious and depressed, right?), it’s quite different when it reaches the point where it affects your life and you can’t function. I hope your husband gets better (sometimes it can be a very slow process) and yes, don’t forget to look after yourself too. I’ve always found reading books and writing therapeutic, although at times you just can take small steps. A step at a time. Thinking of you, Wendy.

    Liked by 3 people

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  6. wendyunsworth Post author

    So kind of you, Olga. I know that it is difficult for anyone who hasn’t had some experience of this to truly understand what an utterly profound effect it can have. I was the same, though so much is written about depression. After thirty nine years of happy marriage, the lack of communication is, for me, the hardest thing but I am always hopeful and writing and reading are certainly a hugely positive thing for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Stephanie Faris

    How cute are your books? I’m a chapter book author, too. Have you tried Sam-E? I know someone who suffers from depression and it seems to really help once it’s in your system. It’s a natural mood booster. You may already be on the proper meds for it…I know that’s never 100 percent a cure. Sometimes all you can do is just take it one day at a time.

    Stephanie

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    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Hi Stephanie, many thanks for your suggestions and good wishes. It is my husband who is suffering from this terrible illness and yes, he is on medication. You are right, we do just take this problem one day at a time.
      Your books are very cute too, I will,certainly check then out!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. LindaGHill

    Oh, my dear, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I can relate to this. I was going through something very similar five years ago. I started writing again to save my own sanity, and it has. The biggest lesson I learned through it all is, if I didn’t take care of myself, I was useless to everyone. Hard as it is, sometimes YOU have to come first.
    So happy to connect with you, Wendy. I wish you all the best. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Hi Linda, so pleased to connect with you too! I’m sorry that you can relate to my problem so well and hope that things are better for you in that respect now. You are absolutely right. It seemed to me, at one time, to be impossible to do anything except ‘live’ this awful illness and everything else was on hold. It was as debilitating for me, in one way, as it still is for my husband in another. As you say, sooner or later you have to realise that taking care of yourself isn’t selfish but necessary for everyone’s sake. But, I think maybe there is a mental process to go through before you can reach that conclusion.
      Getting back to my writing has been my salvation and the writing community are second to none.
      Hope your own issues are solved soon and I will, of course, be writing a review of your book when I can! Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. wendyunsworth Post author

    I am sorry to hear that you are affected too Cahla; it must be particularly hard for you as it has been there ever since you were old enough to remember. It was very difficult for me to even decide to write something about my husband’s problem and then to find the right words…
    However, every time someone posts a reply I feel grateful for that contact and understanding and it has helped so much. Thanks for your reply and I wish you the very best too. X

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. Cynthia Reyes

    How courageous of you to share this. I feel for your husband, your family and yourself. You’re dealing with a very tough thing. But in reading and writing again, you have given yourself hope. My best wishes for the future.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Cynthia. You are absolutely right, reading and writing mean so much to me and I very much missed being a part of it. I am looking forward to checking into your blog. Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  11. Susan Scott

    Wendy all good wishes for your husband. Depression at its extreme has to be the most debilitating affliction for those in it as well as family and friends. Good that you have the support and are finding ways to take care of yourself, by writing – and that you SEE away.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Thank you Susan. I have come to realise over time that the only way forward is for me to go back to doing the things I love and that are important to me and to be a part of our children’s and grandchildren’s lives again. By doing that I feel that I am not only helping myself but ‘caretaking’ the life we had together and keeping it safe for the future.
      The blogging community has helped so much to feel part of the ‘great writing adventure’ again. Writing is a solitary endeavour,but in some ways, not so much! I look forward to reading your posts. Best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  12. Christine Goodnough

    Wishing you and your husband healthier, happier days ahead. I believe it’s really hard to understand and cope with, but I wish you courage. Hopefully the meds will kick in and bring him back to functional at least. If we can see some change for the better, however small, it’s easier to maintain hope.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and the Follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  13. Cozynookbks

    Thank you for following my blog, and for sharing your story. Anxiety and depression are so prevalent today. It’s so difficult seeing someone you love depressed and feeling powerless to help. Remain hopeful. Wishing all the best for you.

    Like

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  14. BrizzleLass

    I’m very sorry to read things have been so hard. I have Bipolar and the strain this can put on my husband and family when things get bad is extraordinary. You have done absolutely the right thing in remembering to do things for yourself and to make yourself happy. You can’t be there for your husband unless you are there for yourself first. I realise this was written a while ago so I hope there has been some improvement since then. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Hi, how nice of you to comment. It has been a while and things have changed a little, thank you. Some tests are being done and the diagnosis of some underlying condition may be on the cards. It is hard, as you say ( and understand). The blogging community have been wonderful. Lovely to make a connection with you and I wish you and you family well, too.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        One thing to suggest to his doctors: probiotics – and higher than maintenance dosages (many docs aren’t up on the connection between serotonin precursors and the gut biome).

        After a protracted period of antibiotics for another issue, I feel into a DEEP depression that no meds seemed to touch. ONLY once I was informed of the need did things – slowly – begin to turn around. Even today, when my normally positive perspective seems to be missing, it is usually helped with another course of probiotics (maintenance level).
        xx,
        mgh

        Like

  15. Mick Canning

    Wishing you the very best with this, Wendy. Yes, anxiety and depression are very real mental health issues. We have a history of it in part of our family, and I am all too aware of the problems. And yes, you must ensure that you live for yourself, too, otherwise you will not be able to support your husband fully. Good luck!

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    Reply
  16. Sylvia Karingada

    Wendy, thank you so much for the follow. I feel honoured that a writer like you found my words interesting. Sorry to know about the issues your husband is facing. What can I say? Just one thought- many times, the problems we go through refine and strengthen us. They make one learn more about oneself and the world. Please stay strong.
    I suffered a head injury last year which for some months made me a stranger to myself. Outwardly I acted normal; acted well too. Inwardly, it was a totally different story. So yes, can understand a bit.
    Do keep writing. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Sylvia, thank you! I do so appreciate your kind words. You are right, staying strong is all important and I remind myself of that every day. Sorry to hear about your injury, hope you are fully recovered now. You have a lovely blog,I will be sure to visit. It is so nice to make this connection with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  17. restlessjo

    I wish I had read this post before the review. I feel for you. My daughter is married to a man with bipolar. It arrived out of the blue. The sweetest man, it still makes her life extraordinarily difficult at times. I wish your husband a good recovery but you musn’t let go of yourself. I wish you luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Thank you. I know there are many people out there with similar problems. I am lucky that we had many happy years of marriage before this problem came to visit us. I would like to write more about it one day but for now we keep hoping for some sort of ‘breakthrough’. I have learned (mostly) to keep the two halves of my life separate so that I can concentrate on other things too. I do wish your daughter and her husband well.

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  18. watchingthedaisies

    Many thanks for the follow Wendy. On my own journey I have found that taking care of myself is top of the list. I cannot care for others unless I care for myself first and foremost. I learned this the hard way… The blogging community is such a caring and supportive community and I wish you well with your blog.

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    Reply
    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Thank you! I think that maybe this is a lesson that most of us have to learn the hard way. It is natural to want to give and give some more where a loved one is concerned but you are absolutely right, without taking care of yourself you are useless to others. And you are also right about the blogging community. I used to write ‘alone’ but it doesn’t feel that way anymore.
      Looking forward to reading more from your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  19. WL Hawkin

    So sorry to hear that, Wendy. I think you’re right: self care for writers is taking the time to find the words to express what you’re feeling or to walk a path of escape. Spark your creative self, even in those times when you don’t think you can. Blessings ~another Wendy

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  20. In My Cluttered Attic

    Wendy, it sounds like you and your family have been having a real rough go of it. I truly hope things improve and that good health returns to your family. Thank you for taking a peek at my blog and it’s my hope that it helps put a smile on your face when you need it most. In the meantime be strong and hang in there. :O)

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