Coping With Lyme Disease

I’ve been falling behind on everything. Tired, frustrated, and trying to fight through it all without overdoing it and making myself more sick. This is a stupid disease, and I intend to beat it.

I spent about 4 weeks suffering in the woods from lack of motivation, painful muscles, etc. I’m not sure which came first, the lyme disease or the dehydration and malnutrition, but it’s easy to see how lyme could have affected my motivation toward the rest.

Training myself to balance homestead living with a writing career is quite possibly the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. On either front, time and dedication is required, and both are definitely full-time jobs. There’s no way to subsist without electricity and running water if you don’t put time and energy into working every day, even for the small things. Similarly, writing requires a clear head, a motivated mindset, and a lot of time editing, refining, searching for clients, and trying to get your words in front of readers. I thought after succeeding while working in the oilfield that this would be easier.

Well, here I am. I’m back in air-conditioned living and away from my property, which I hate. But unfortunately, this draining illness would leave me pretty much worthless out there anyway. I want to finish my pole barn, but without energy it’s kind of hard to dig and drop treated 4x4s into place. Running a chainsaw with a dizzy spell is right out of the question. I so badly want to keep making progress on the property, but lately I have a hard time just sitting down to write and work on my freelancing projects.

Trying to sit up for too long is draining.

A New Strategy

I think that anyone who regularly sets and evaluates goals in their life realizes the necessity in knowing how to pivot. Things aren’t always going to go the way you planned, and in my experience, nothing ever goes according to plan. Readjustment is just a fact of life, and this is one of those times when I need to adjust.

For that reason, I won’t be living out at the property for more than about a week at a time for a bit. And the first order of business when I get back will be getting my license and residence transferred, so that will likely only be for a few days. The upside is that not as much bootstrapping will be required, but I won’t be able to implement animals like farm cats and goats until things are more “move-in ready.” It sucks, but it’s something that I’m going to have to deal with for the moment, at least until I start feeling better. In a lot of ways I feel like an astronaut, testing how long I can last in my remote living conditions at a time before I have to shuttle back for a rest.

The smoking and coffee are probably here to stay, but I’m working on substitutions. When I write, I feel more compelled to smoke and drink coffee. I can’t stand the smoke lately, and the toxic sludge that Barnes ‘N Noble calls coffee probably isn’t worth the cup it’s poured in, much less the 2-3 dollar price tag.

Both of these habits are diuretic, which means the immediate solution is to drastically increase the amount of water I drink, and keep a close eye on my salt balance. I’m realizing now that most people are actually dehydrated, even when they feel fine. We could all use a little more water, and not just when we’re thirsty.

My smoking is worst when I’m in a car or working on a writing project. So I’m trying to substitute chewing on cinnamon sticks for actually smoking, especially during these peak times. The more cigarettes I can eliminate during the day, the easier it should be to kick the habit eventually. I need to break my mental connection between concentration and smoke breaks, and it’s not going to be easy, but I’m committed to it.

The Hardest Thing About Lyme Disease

I HATE lying down! Being tired during the day is probably the most annoying symptom I could ever hope to deal with. I want to stay productive so that I can finish my writing projects and work on my stories. This silly bacteria seems to have some kind of power over my motivation that I’ve never felt before, and I have a feeling from reading other accounts that this isn’t something that’s going to go away after the antibiotics run their course.

To combat this, I know of only one solution that’s worked for me in the past when I’m feeling down and out, and that’s short fiction. So I’m going to try to up my flash fiction output. Even when I’m tired, a short piece of prose is easier to manage than a book, and I know that it’s something I can do. Even if the stories don’t turn out great, the act of playing with a few hundred words and shaping them into a plot has been therapeutic for me in the past, and I see it as my medicine to help me through these hurdles. I also plan to spend some more time reading short fiction on a regular basis, so if you have some free stories for me that I can read in half an hour, let me know about them.

Would you guys like me to start posting flash stories here on writefarmlive?

An Apology

I didn’t get my Thursday post in this week, and last week’s post wasn’t much of a writer help blog. I’m sorry for that. In the couple of years that I’ve been running this site, I have never missed a Thursday post, and I feel bad about it. I want to continue being a muse, because I like inspiring and helping other writers, but it’s hard coming up with topics when your brain is fried from stupid curly bacteria making you sleepy.

I’m going to try harder, and if I can queue up some blog posts this week, so if there’s something specific you want me to talk about, please send me questions or ideas for topics. You can email them to spottedgeckgo@gmail.com or drop them in a comment on any page on this website.

Stone’s Shadow

I suppose I’ll end this on a good note. My monster book just entered the next phase of the writing process, and I’ve sent off my first query letter to a pretty high-profile agent. We’ll see if she likes the first chapter or not. I’m super excited about this story and seeking representation because I don’t seem to be developing a knack for promotion, and I need some help. I’ve already decided that if nobody picks it up after a reasonable amount of time, then I’ll self-publish it, but I’m trying to give this story every chance to succeed. I might do another read-thru, as I found a stupid hyperlink pasted into my text in chapter one, but the story is complete and ready for prime time. Hopefully that means that I can return to the Viral novel soon enough, and put that guy on the market to replace the out-of-print novellas that it was spawned from. Then I can start working on my next story, or perhaps revising an old one.

That’s it. I’m trying to stay positive and come up with work-arounds until I can beat back this stupid illness. And if you have any questions about writing stuff, I’m always here for you, so don’t hesitate if there’s something that I can help you with. Have a blessed day, and keep working on finishing that damn book that you’re working on.

 


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Author: spottedgeckgo

Writer. Making my living on my pen, and working to turn a raw chunk of land into a future homestead.

10 thoughts

  1. I’m so sorry to hear this news. My Goodness! No wonder you’ve been feeling rocky. Your stated attitude is a good one for getting through and beyond this. It’ll take time, mostly.
    I can send you a little chunk of what I’m writing. It’s a chapter I’ve been showing some people that seems to stand alone pretty well. Not sure how to go about sending you that but I’ll consult with my IT guy/husband and figure it out.
    If flash writing works for you, go for it man! I’d love to read anything you put here.
    Take extra good care…
    Jeanne

    1. Thanks Jeanne. Most of my writer friends feel comfortable just emailing me, but I understand a lot of people are nervous about plagiarism and such, and I should really be more careful opening work from strangers (cause possible lawsuits if someone thinks I took their idea). Learned that from another writer, but I’m still willing to take a look and give you my thoughts. I have plenty of my own ideas so I don’t know why anyone would steal writing.

      1. I’m enjoying the flash fiction you’ve been posting. The one about brain ‘implants’ scared the bejeepers outta me! It feels way too possible…
        Thank you for the wise advise about sending/not sending my work out via email. I’m pretty protective of it but I would like someone other than a few friends and family to tell me whether or not it’s completely ridiculous. Some days I think it is, some days it seems pretty good. Let me know if you’re still willing and the safest way you know of to get it to you. I’m thinking registered mail?
        Thanks for even considering reading it!
        Jeanne

        1. I check my mail about once or twice per month at the moment. Like I said, email is fine for me. I’m just more conscious of the fact that someone might try to trick me to start a lawsuit from seeing their work, so I delete anything that’s unsolicited. Since we talked about it already and you are looking for feedback I’m happy to have a look. What genre is it.
          I didn’t mean to imply that email is bad, just that there are people out there who send stuff for the express purpose of claiming “so-and-so stole my idea” later down the road. I’m not worried about plagiarism so I don’t mind sending my work to other people. I have lots of witnesses that way for what I wrote and when 😉

          Thanks for the comments about my fiction pieces, and for reading them. Yes, that Social Takeover is an idea I’ve actually been bouncing around for quite a while. That story might end up being a chapter for a novel later on. I’ve started the story, but it’s sitting on the shelf at the moment till I can get excited about it and find time to write it.

    1. Thank you Jeri. As someone dealing with your own struggles and doing such and excellent job, it means a lot. I hope things are looking up a little bit for you and your situation. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

  2. I hope you’re on antibiotics. Lyme can really mess you up for the long jail if not treated … fry your brain. Not surprised your body wants caffeine and smokes as it’s searching for adrenaline to keep going. Please take care of yourself as there is only one of you and no replacement.

    A good tick repellent is lemon eucalyptus essential oil mixed : with pennyroyal and rose geranium. The ticks are an absolute nightmare this year. I’ve already had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from one. Still have no energy but I’m building fence and putting in a kitchen anyway. Gotta eat the elephant…

    1. Thanks Bernie for the tips and concern. I just finished my run of antibiotics yesterday. Still feeling a little bit messed up, some muscle soreness and such, but I think better overall.
      Oh gosh. I’m not sure about RMSF, but it doesn’t sound like fun. I’m not even ready to start on my fence. I did find with the pole barn that even when tired, if I take a lot of breaks, drink lots of water, and go slow, I can get stuff accomplished, no matter how tired. I’ll be going down to sort out this drivers license business soon, now that I’m done with the medicine. The bad part here isn’t so much the ticks, but the bloody heat wave coming through. I might end up in the truck with the AC on at night if it’s too bad.

  3. You certainly have a strong spirit! And through it all, you manage to churn out blog posts.

    I learned the hard way that I need to respect my body’s messages. I was felled by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or what was assumed to be Epstein Barr virus, when I was 30, and couldn’t get out of bed for six months. It took another month to be able to walk around the block. I had burned the candle at both ends and my body forced me to rest. I recovered, thankfully. So, pace yourself. And if writing is healing, then I vote yes for the flash fiction!

    1. Thanks so much. I just try to get up and move around a little each day, hoping to see improvement. Rest in the afternoon, but soon I’ll need to return to my property and get some work done before all of my wood warps in the sun. I plan on taking things very slow for a while with lots of breaks and lots of water, both in my stomach and on my head with the hot temperatures.

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