ROW80, Round 2 Check-In #12 – 15 – May 22, 2019

 

Hi.

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while, but I’m still here, though I haven’t been as loud as I usually am.

I haven’t made a ROW80 Check-In post in about two weeks.

First off, yes, I’m still writing, though not as much as I would like to.

Nearly two weeks ago, I had another “incident” with my blood sugar levels. It happened during my work shift. I began to feel dizzy and flushed about an hour into my shift, and though I pushed through it for a couple of hours, I finally had to ask to go to First Aid, as I was worried I was on the verge of passing out.

At the First Aid station, they checked my sugar and found that it was dangerously high again, so they sent me home from work.

That kind of ended up being the catalyst for the rest of that week.

My struggles with my health have gotten me really down lately, I just can’t seem to get a handle on them no matter what I do. I’m trying to eat healthily, I exercise and stay active, and I take my meds regularly.

Yes, I do know there are a few bad habits I need to let go of that also affect my sugar, but I am working on that.

I’m beginning to suspect that there may be a whole other reason for my high sugar spikes.

The night that my latest incident occurred I was really stressed over an event I had to host the following evening. Some of the people I would have to interact with at that event were good friends of mine but our relationships have been rather stressed lately, and I wasn’t looking forward to that.

The event went well, and there wasn’t any of the drama I had feared, but I had still been really anxious about the whole thing.

I hate constantly having to feel like I’m walking on eggshells, having to guard what I have to say for fear of setting someone off. That really puts me on edge.

So, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that like just about everyone else I know nowadays, I have anxiety issues.

I’ve always thought I handle stress and anxiety very well. Sure, I have my moments, but I tend to work through them and am always able to deal with whatever is bothering me.

I’ve never felt that my anxiety was debilitating in any way, and have never felt the need to seek any type of help for it.

I still think I handle stress and anxiety very well, at least on a psychological level. Now, though, it seems that physically, I can’t deal with it as well as I used to.

Stress and anxiety raise blood glucose levels, for reasons I really don’t understand. So, it seems that, though I can mentally cope with the stress and anxiety that I have to deal with, I can’t manage them well enough to keep them from affecting me physically.

Having to spend 8 hours a day at my job doing assembly line work, with nothing to do with my mind but think doesn’t help matters. You can tend to fixate on things, over-think things when your body can work independently from your brain for an extended amount of time.

I’m considering asking my doctor the next time I have an appointment if perhaps I should try some very mild anti-anxiety meds, just to take the edge off enough that I can keep my sugar from spiking.

That’s a really tough decision for me. I know that I shouldn’t feel this way, but it somehow feels like a failing that I have to ask for help with something like this.
It’s also incredibly scary. I don’t want to take any meds that I fear might fundamentally alter the person that I think I am.

When I’m really stressed out, when life just gets weird and I need some time to process, I build things.

Three years ago, when I finally had some time to deal with my dad’s death, I spent several weeks building a replica Tardis in my back yard. Everyone thought it was funny, just a flight of whimsy, but it was a project I could focus on, that had no real use other than to provide me an excuse to zen out, shut out the world and focus on something I did have total control over.

I’ve been building a greenhouse lately. It’s a project I’ve wanted to do for a while, kind of a tribute to my dad, for reasons I’ll get into later, but it’s kind of been the same type of thing for me. Something I can focus on and control, distract myself with and tune out the rest of the world.

So that’s where I’ve been lately.

I’m still writing and still maintaining. I haven’t fallen into a black hole of depression or shut myself away in a blanket fort. I’ve been keeping up with all of my responsibilities, going to work, paying the bills, mowing the lawn.

I’ve just needed a little while to process some shit, and to come to terms with the fact that I may need to ask for a little help with something I just can’t seem to get under control.

Besides that, my last two weeks haven’t been very bad.

As I said, the event I had mentioned went reasonably well, without any of the drama I was fearing. The rest of that weekend was spent doing yard work and visiting my mom for Mother’s Day.

Last Tuesday I attended another writer’s meeting. I didn’t submit anything this time around but did offer what critique I could to those that did.

I had another two events back to back later in the week that I was responsible for (let’s just say that this group I organize events for is something similar to a Medieval Re-enactment group), and though I was again anxious about both of them, I managed my anxiety well enough that I didn’t have any issues like the week before. Both events went well, with no drama to speak of.

Some old friends I hadn’t seen in a while and kind of lost touch with showed up at one of the events. It was great to see them, as I had missed them both.

This past weekend was a long one for us up here in Canada, Victoria Day weekend, which is a 4-day long weekend for me. It’s meant to celebrate Queen Victoria because she was the Monarch that technically signed Canada’s existence into law and made us into a country. It’s celebrated with fireworks and lots of drinking.

I spent most of it working outside, getting the pool open and working on the greenhouse.

As far as the writing has gone, it’s been mostly in fits and starts. I have to admit I haven’t been writing every day, but more days than not.

The climax is moving ahead slowly, mostly because there is so much going on in the story at that point that I have to keep jumping back and forth between scenes. I’m really hoping to finish the climax within the next couple of weeks and tying the whole thing up by mid-June.

The manuscript is now way too long, nearly the equivalent of two whole novels, but I’m trying not to worry too much about that. It’s going to take a lot of editing to get it down to something of a more manageable length, but as I’ve mentioned before, this is meant to be a learning experience more than an attempt at writing a publishable novel.

I’ve written about another 5000 words since my last blog post.

The word count is now at 192,663.

I’m considering submitting another section of the story for critique at next week’s writer’s meeting, but that would mean doing some editing in the interim. We’ll see if I have the time.

The only other thing of note is that this weekend I’ll be going to Movement, an Electronic Music Festival in downtown Detroit, with a good friend. I went last year and had a blast, so I’m looking forward to it.

So, on to this Check-In’s Goal Breakdown…

Goal #1 – Get Healthy

Other than this latest “incident”, I’ve been doing my best to stay on track with my health goals. I’m still keeping up with my exercise routine, and trying to stay as active as I can.

The “healthy” diet is still on track as well, and I’m starting to take some tentative steps in eliminating a certain vice that I really should have gotten rid of a long time ago.

I am really considering seeking some help with my anxiety, though, to see if that can help get my glucose better under control.

Goal #2 – Finish My First Draft

Since my last Check-In, I’ve written about another 5000 words. My health issues and my obsession with building my greenhouse did derail me some, but I’ve still managed to write more days than not.

The word count for the draft so far sits at 192,663.

Goal #3 – Write At Least Three Articles/Essays

As before, I’m saving this goal for when I finish the first draft.

At this point, I think it’s better to just plow through and finish this project before I start any others.

Goal #4 – Start Editing

I haven’t done any more editing on the draft since I submitted it for critique at my writing group. I’m going to try and get back to my commitment not to edit it anymore until the draft is finished unless I decide to submit another piece for critique.

If I do decide to submit another piece for critique at my writing group, though, I will have to do some editing to polish up my submission.

Goal #5 – Read at least Two Books

I’m still reading Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty, a sequel to his Sherlock Holmes tale The House of Silk, though I haven’t read much more of it since my last Check-In.

I’m about 105 pages in so far, and I am really enjoying it.

Goal #6 – Read/Watch One Article/Video on Writing Every Day

This one I’ve been pretty lax on.  It’s taken a back seat during my whole greenhouse obsession.  I’ve only watched/read a few vlogs and blogs related to writing since the last Check-In. They’re listed below…

9 Tips for Writing Better Dialogue – Vivien Reis

10 Tips for Writing Dialogue: Formatting and Punctuation – Jenna Moreci

What Is Irony and Why Do so Many People Get It Wrong? – Kyle A. Massa

How to write a NOVEL – Shadiversity

The 7 Critical Elements Of A Great BookAmanda Patterson

 

Well, that’s it for me this Check-In.  I’m hoping to get myself back on track for the rest of this Round.  Hope you’re all well.

 
#ROW80

One thought on “ROW80, Round 2 Check-In #12 – 15 – May 22, 2019

  1. I’ve been down the anxiety medication road and quite frankly, the only thing that was satisfyingly effective for the kind of stressful occurrences you describe were beta-blockers.
    My physician started prescribing them so that I felt more composed at oral exams. Later, I also found them useful for new workplaces, speaking in public, etc
    What I liked was also just taking them when I needed to. No possible addiction there.
    And as it basically just slow down your metabolism, no strange mood swings or personality alterations.

    I don’t know if you can use them with diabetes though, but maybe that’s something to explore with the doctor.

    Good job writing! If the novel gets too long and stays that way after editing, how about dividing it into a short series of 2 or 3 novels?

    Liked by 1 person

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