Stretch Marks and Silver Linings
Stretch Marks and Silver Linings
By Kristy Nicolle
It’s been a long five weeks since I last wrote on my current WIP project or published anything on my blog. To be honest, I have been burned out, and everything I was writing I hated.
The last three years have been insane for me, culminating in nothing short of 1,500,000 words published and a handful of brand new and equally terrifying diagnoses. It’s been a lot, and I can’t deny that my mental state has thoroughly suffered, to the point where only one month ago I couldn’t bear to look at Indigo Dusk, the current book I’m working on.
When I consider it all, it’s no wonder I’ve been so depressed and anxious, with authors pumping out books left right and centre, and me trying to keep up while battling Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I suffered pretty badly with externalising my self-worth, and this ultimately left me feeling like nothing I did was good enough. That even on my best days, success with my conditions and the hand of cards I’ve been dealt is nothing short of impossible.
So, I took some time, reset, read some amazing books, and honestly just let my brain recover from the utter trauma that is publishing eleven books in only 36 months.
I’m back, with a new mindset, a new release schedule that allows me to release novels with more time to manage my health and the marketing that comes with, as well as being able to actually slot some semblance of a life outside of work in there too. I have a new laptop- why is a bit of a bittersweet, but I’ll get to that in a minute, and I can honestly say I haven’t felt so put together since walking across the stage of Lincoln Cathedral at my graduation.
I have a new set of wheels, one thing which I’ve been thoroughly terrified of succumbing to ever since my diagnosis, and the process of shopping for, and procuring, a new wheelchair wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. My new chair is Infiniverse galaxy blue with all terrain suspension, air pocketed cushioning, and can be self-propelled if I feel like making a run for it from Mark.
I’ve been and seen the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh in person, which reminded me that no mental, nor physical ailment should ever stop you from doing what you love, success and monetary gain be damned. I mean Vincent Van Gogh painted for only ten years, most of which he spent in an asylum, and his work is undeniably some of the most vibrant, beautiful, and intriguing in this world.
Something else which happened, that has really put things into perspective for me, was that my first ever vacation abroad with Mark had to be cancelled at the last minute due to legal problems with our car rental and the fact Mark only passed his test a year ago.
I was devastated at first, but after we talked as a couple, and I spoke with Leeah my bestie (Shout out to yo fine star-spangled ass girl!) I reframed my thinking.
I’ve been waiting for this trip to Ireland for over a year, and maybe even longer than that as myself and Mark have been waiting for our first couple’s vacation since we got together. So, with one month left on that hopeful little countdown app on my home screen, we had to cancel everything. This freed up all the money we had been saving for the trip and allowed me to purchase the new laptop I so desperately need, with enough left over for Mark to take me to Bath for my birthday. I could have been in a shit mood for a week, and quite easily fallen back into depression, but I didn’t. Instead, I took the blow for what it was. A message from the universe that I need to get back to work, and that I’m being gifted the tools to do so.
This mindset change, and not the laptop itself, is what led me to be sitting at my brand new (Stain-resistant I might add- and thank God for that because I spill coffee A LOT) keyboard, typing out this message to the readers I’ve stepped back from in order to pull myself back together.
I am ready to start writing again, and though healing is a real process that will never take only five weeks, I really believe I’ve finally managed to take one step closer to accepting my diagnosis, and to relax when it comes to the unknown. I have faith again, not in God, because I have never been one to follow Him, but instead in The Universe, and in myself.
It’s funny, because when I’ve look down at my body, for the longest time it’s been covered in bright red stretch marks, what looks like tears, rips in the very fabric of who I am.
It is now though, that when I look down at myself, I see that they’re starting to turn silver. Silver like the linings and grace I have found amongst the dark clouds of pain and fear, which I carry with me as bravery, empathy, patience, and stamina.
Kristy Nicolle x