When First World Problems Become Personal:
I have been MIA since June. Most people probably had no clue I was even offline. It’s strange how easy it is to disappear from cyberspace. I have had an interesting couple of months, and figured I would use a Sunday Spotlight post to share my experiences.
So, in early June I had something bad happen to me. In the big scheme of things it’s really not a big deal, I am okay, but at the time it seemed pretty awful. My experiences left me with ample time to think, and for me that’s downright dangerous.
I was attacked by a dog and my hands were bitten quite badly. I had to go the the emergency room, and several weeks, and fractured bones later, I am finally back online. More than the pain, the psychological trauma was what caught me off guard. I guess I am pretty lucky, I have made it almost half a century without facing too much pain or trauma in my life. So, a small dose was a good reminder about how fortunate I really am. It was also a good lesson in how healing invisible wounds can sometimes take longer (and need more care) than the visible ones.
Not being able to use my hands was very frustrating. The little things like brushing my teeth and hair, putting on jewelry, and cooking made me want to scream. Then I thought about people who have horrible burns, or other injuries to their hands and need months to recover. That put some things into perspective. I will be fine, and I don’t think I will have any sizable scars in a few weeks. It made me realize how easy it is to take good health for granted. But even more than my physical discomfort, I learned a bit about what my brain does when it has to cope with a painful and frustrating situation.
Not being able to drive a car was very annoying, but not being able to hold my iPad or Kindle, and not being able to “turn the pages” of an e-book was a downright bummer. My son told me I was suffering from a “First World Problem.” In reality, I didn’t really feel like reading during the first couple of weeks anyway- that was a sure sign of the apocalypse. Finally, I was able to take some of the bandages off of my fingers from my left hand – so the touch screen was good to go. Really that sounds so lame when I think about it. There are a lot of people who are suffering from real, serious health issues, and I am whining about a “First World” problem.
But the truth of it was I was more screwed up inside than I wanted to admit. I realized I couldn’t focus on what I was reading. Sure I had time to read, and plenty of unread books on my Kindle, but I had absolutely no desire to read. WHAT?!? How can that be? My love of reading is well known. My hubby actually said, “I noticed that you haven’t been reading lately, are you sure you’re okay?”
That was classic because he usually grumbles that I am reading way too much. He was worried about me. I found no joy in reading. But the bigger picture was I really wasn’t finding much joy in anything.
Another couple of weeks went by and I wasn’t using my laptop. I just didn’t feel like going online. I didn’t feel like doing anything much at all. I had no interest in my usual interests. My recovery had taken a left turn, and I had an infection that needed to be dealt with, and surgery looming for my damaged fingers. Even though I was in minimal pain at this point, I also had no feeling in three of my fingers, and I was still having weird nightmares. Geez, I felt like such a baby! It’s not like I was beaten, or fought in combat, or did anything really significant. It was kind of embarrassing to admit I was messed up more on the inside than I was on the outside.
The lesson here is that people react and handle things in very different ways, and it’s not always obvious. I have survived some serious heartbreak in my life and handled it pretty well, but let a 40 pound dog bite my hands and I am a hot mess.
I was finally able to read a bit before I went to bed at night (one of my dearest pleasures in life) although I couldn’t read anything new. That was weird. I have over 300 something unread titles I could just pick one and dive in, right? Wrong. I tried to start five different books and gave up a few paragraphs in – I just was not able to focus. Trying to get to know new characters and new stories was impossible.
After some searching I found something I could enjoy. Thank you Lynn Hagen and Siren Publishing! I read all of the Brac Pack books, then the Brac Village Books, and finally went through the entire Midnight Matings series. It’s true – I had read all of them before, but that is what kept my interest and got my mind off of my weird funk. So, now I have to say I owe Lynn Hagen, Stormy Glenn, Joyee Flynn and Gabrielle Evans for their part in my recovery. Therapy by gay paranormal romance stories.
A few days ago I finally read a new book! The first new book I have read in two months. It was the 6th book in the Chronicles of Ylandre, In Fine Form. If you are a fan of Eressë’s books then I highly recommend it. (If you are a fan of m/m fantasy books and have never read her works then you have to start on book one.)
I didn’t even know that the book was out – now that in itself is a statement. I had read the last four books in the series the moment they were released. I am a HUGE fan of these stories. The fact that I didn’t even know it had been released was a testament to my withdrawal from life. I was stunned I had fallen so out of the loop! How could one of my most beloved authors release a new story without me even being aware of it? Getting back on track and rejoining the groups and activities that are so enjoyable to me was something I needed to do – even if I had to force myself. I needed to write some reviews, I needed to write something…so this is where I started.
Have you ever suffered from a “First World Problem” or more seriously, needed some time to heal on the inside? Have you had a better summer than I did? Or perhaps you are just super happy that I am back on line – lol. Leave me a comment below and I will kick down a $10 Omni Bucks Certificate from All Romance to one lucky winner.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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