Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be the hero

How do you handle the guilt of having to put your writing on hold when you really want to move forward with it?

In my recent posts I have discussed how important it is for me to have positive writing goals that are rewarded and that, sometimes, the rewards are the accomplishment that comes with achieving those targets I have set.

But what about the other side of the coin? What happens when, as it is now, something occurs that prevents me from attempting to meet those goals I have set for myself?

What happens when the result is an overwhelming tirade of self-inflicted guilt?

I feel guilty because I know I want to finish editing my novel, writing up Cecelia’s story and creating new pieces, but I am physically struggling with my health thanks to an illness that is doing some pretty serious fighting back. As a result, I have two new conditions that now plague me which I have never before encountered in my life: hay fever and migraine. These are on top of all my existing M.E symptoms that make themselves known when I neglect to listen well enough and rest accordingly.

Therefore, writing is on hold. Again. Those ambitious targets I set are already slipping away even though I only set them last week. Thus, the inevitable feelings of sorrow and regret and guilt appear. So how to handle them?

Acceptance
The only way I will get back on track is if I can admit that I need the rest now in order to be able to put the work in later. If I start pushing too hard the quality of work will be poor and my writing will suffer alongside my health. Put bluntly: I won’t get any better. I will be stuck here, in this quagmire of *bleh* for a long period, if not increasing the risk of sliding further into illness. And, in the long-term, my guilt won’t go away either.

But if I accept that I need rest and allow myself the time to do so, the sooner I will be able to get back on the horse – so to speak. Once recovered I’ll be able to focus, persevere with the tasks at hand and not feel guilty that I am only putting in a half-rate effort.

I used to be a trooper (like Kristen Lamb – whom I can only admire for pushing through adversity in her situation). But, unfortunately, thanks to far too many instances of ignoring my body’s repeated attempts to get me to rest in the past, I now have a disability I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And sometimes, that calls not for heroic struggles or admirable acts, but simply for rest and relaxation.

It doesn’t make for such an interesting blog post – but right now, It’s all I’ve got. Maybe next week, I’ll have more to give.

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