Been having a hard time blogging lately. As is often the case, it is because I'm having an easier time writing my fiction, and a harder time with my moods. One form of writing normally falls to the wayside when I'm moody. But, I figured it was time to make sure people know I haven't fallen off the face of the planet.
I've been doing a few things for my health, as a writer. As most of you who write or read or compute all day know, it can be easy to fall into inactivity when you're on a roll. That's certainly been a life struggle for me. I really love outdoors, but it's hard to love to be rained on, and I live in a supremely rainy state/county. It's an acquired taste. However, I think I've found some peace with getting outdoors and being active in between my long periods of inactivity. I've even found peace with the cooling rain upon the sweat of my skin.
As many of you know, I'm bi-polar and unmedicated. I have nothing against medicating mental illnesses; I think it's an awesome idea that saves lives. I just have not found anything that makes my life easier in pill form, yet. This isn't a blog about medicating verses not medicating. This s a blog about fighting the unhealthy urges that my sometimes extreme moods engender, while also meeting my goals.
So, even though no one asked me for it, I would like to share with you the things I've been doing to be less...well, wacky.
1. Not posting as much on my personal Facebook page. I figured out most of what I posted was geared towards receiving some sort of accolade about how I looked, what I wore, what I said, etc. Sure, some of it was also cute pictures of my kids for my mom and dad. But not most of it.
It's a difficult balance between over-posting and not posting at all. I've decided that not everything I'm doing is that interesting, nor does it need someone else's approval, so I don't post about it. I still have to maintain my author pages, which is something I'm continually working on, but mostly people just want to see cute gifs/memes, geek stuff, and notification of new books on that page, so I give the people what they want and move on.
2. Working out. Yes, daily. I've decided that I was getting too heavy when it hurt to walk up a hill I used to jog up. It happens. Winter is cold and I don't want to lose my outer layer. I'm not vain enough to care about make-up, size or hair, but I don't like to think of continuing on a downward spiral and becoming too heavy to function or to maintain good health. I was becoming depressed more often, in pain more often and more irritable. When my moods get that bad (or significantly worse than my 'normal'), it's time to get back to physical activity.
So, I bet myself I'd lose weight (again, not because I think skinny is healthy, but because MY SIZE is unhealthy for me). I am doing healthywager at a slow pace. If I lose the weight, I win money. If I don't, I lose money. I'm not a team competitor, but when I say I'm going to do something, I hold myself to it. I'm already doing well on my goal, but it started slowing down, which leads to number 3.
3. I'm running. I've said before that I can't maintain a run. I'm very tall and heavy even when I'm thin. I don't have a good build for it, and my joints kind of hate it. But I started to read a pretty great marathon training book, by runner Hal Higdon, and I love it. He's the kind of runner I can get behind. He's not holding anyone to dangerous or "elite" runner status and simply wants anyone who wants to run to be able to do it--hopefully without injury.
As an avid reader, it helps to have inspiration that comes from a book. And he is inspiring; not because he's a super athlete (which he is, really), but because he's so approachable. He wants everyone to maintain their own goal, not his. To meet doable standards and to be careful and have fun doing it. I highly recommend Hal's book to any runners, but especially to novice runners wanting to do more.
For anyone interested in the half-marathon novice plan I've been doing (which I love), here it is: Hal Higdon Novice Training Program.
And here's the thing: taking advice from a knowledgeable source has helped me be a better runner, and I feel great when I'm doing it. More importantly, AFTERWARDS, I feel stellar in my head. Too tired to be manic, too rushed to be depressed. It's really been helping me even out. Which is why number 4 is so important, more important than the rest of these things:
4. I MAKE MYSELF DO THINGS I DON'T WANT TO DO. Anyone whose ever been truly depressed knows how hard it is to even shower or get out of bed. I intimately know this. I had a day like that last week. My body and mind rioted. The thought of getting out of bed made me feel physically sick. But I did it. I got out. I packed my gym clothing. I made my kid's lunches. I went to work, low energy and fake smile. And I went running at the allotted time. After my run, I didn't have to fake a smile. I felt good. I made a day that could have been abysmal bearable. I was very proud of myself. I even wrote a chapter I was supposed to write for my new book with Alesha Escobar (The Immortals Book 1, picture below).
The last year has been me forcing myself to do things that are good for me that I don't want to do--getting a job, maintaining a job and a positive attitude no matter what my head tells me to do, forcing myself to be present with my family, cooking when I just want to give up, writing when I set deadlines.
I found out something great about myself: I'm tough as nails. I CAN do most of the things my illness tells me I can't. That's a powerful feeling. I've failed, of course, but, mostly, I've won.
I didn't want to keep up with my blog this week, but I did that, too. And it wasn't for necessarily because I have people lined up to read it. It was because it was on my "to do" list, which I'm rephrasing as my "can do" list, as corny as that shit is.
Blog done. Check.
H.M.'s Coming Soon Releases:
H.M. Jones is a purveyor of whimsy and nonsense. She's comfortable in herself, even in her madness. She writes sci-fi and fantasy for the most part, with dashes of poetry and the reluctant blog. She has a Twitter page. She has a Facebook. She is surrounded by kids, a man who puts up with her, chickens, a dog, and a cat.
She also runs Madame Geek Publications, responsible for the Adela Darken graphic novels, and the forthcoming Al Ravien's Night. Check them out. She doesn't suck at writing.
H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.