November 15, 2022 · 6:55 pm
As I’ve mentioned here before, I had covid in September. Totally knocked me for six, and my hubby too. In fact hubby is still suffering.
We were talking last night and he said how quickly I got back on my feet from it. And after about three days of being out of it, I was doing things around the house and generally managing things. But that’s not to say I was well. I wasn’t. But things needed doing, he couldn’t do them, so someone had to. And I can also say I was a bit resentful at the time because really all I wanted to do was sleep.
But heres the thing. I was able to do the keep going thing because, like a lot of women, I am used to running on empty.
Just because I don’t want to do things, don’t feel like doing them, don’t feel well, I know I still have to get things done. So I do.
This isn’t a superwoman thing, it’s an everywoman thing. It’s kind of the opposite of man-flu.
Am by the way, still not entirely up to full strength, I get tired very easily and don’t want to get up in the morning. But it’ll pass. And if it doesn’t, then I’ll just carry on functioning anyway.
November 11, 2022 · 7:00 pm
I had a call from my doctor this morning, the results of an ultrasound I had last week. I’ve known for a while that I have a condition called fibroids. These are fibrous growths in the womb. Theses are not cancerous, and they are not in themselves dangerous. However, they can cause problems.
For me, those problems include a lot of menstrual pain and very, very heavy periods. Those periods are so heavy, they also have a negative effect on my ability to remain iron in my blood. I’ve been anemic, with low iron for many years now, and it doesn’t easily improve. And when I say pain, I mean that even prescribed painkillers do little more than take the edge of, they certainly don’t kill the pain. It’s extremely unpleasant for me, curtailing my ability to so much as stand upright, let alone actually do anything. It’s that bad it actually impinges on my family too.
The last time I had a scan, in 2016, I was told there were a few small fibroids, the largest was 5cm long. Because they aren’t dangerous, I was told I could have a hysterectomy or id I could put up with the pain and bleeding, it would all be fine once I got through menopause. Only it’s now 2022 and I’m not getting any of the obvious signs of menopause. The call from the doctor today told me I now have multiple fibroids that are so large they have merged. My womb is now about 20 cm. That’s roughly equivalent to being 4 to 5 months pregnant. Which would explain my rounded figure.
The nature and size of these growths now mean that my only options are full hysterectomy or put up. I have to say, for many years, I have not been in the right frame of mind to have a hysterectomy, but now, the pain and trouble of menstruating have changed my mind. I still don’t want to go through such an operation. I realise it’s a routine operation, but it’s still a major operation. I have however, reached a stage where I accept that there simply isn’t another option for me.
So here’s hoping that I get to speak to a consultant soon, and that I can get the operation I need soon-ish, the doctor did say she was trying to get me seen as a priority, but after covid the waiting lists have grown longer. I don’t know what the true situation is now, but I did hear that the waiting lists are 2 to 3 years. I hope it won’t take that long. I do feel for the people that are on that waiting list, because there is nothing worse for a woman than gynecological problems that aren’t being seen too.
August 6, 2022 · 5:25 pm
I realised the other day that I’ve not blogged for a while discussing mental health. There are two reasons for this. The first is simply that I have been busy, as my last post says. The second thing is that, honestly, my mental health has been really good. I’ve had to work at it, and it’s taking time. But I’m in a good place.
It’s odd how when our mental health is good, we don’t notice it. But after the Harrogate festival I’ve seen a fair number of attendees say they have, unfortunately, contracted covid. These people have my sympathy, because my understanding is that covid’s not nice.
Oddly, no one in my household has contracted covid at any point since its first arrival in the country. We have gone through the usual testing processes, especially as my husband and daughter worked throughout the pandemic. I did too, but was working from home.
We tend to put this good health down to good luck.
I’m also aware that poor mental health can have a serious and negative effect on the immune system. I’m not suggesting that those who picked up covid are suffering poor mental health, some might be, some might not, I have no evidence either way. I’m saying that my physical health is currently good. I’m a woman of a certain age, so there are issues, but nothing major. Given what I have been through the last few years, I am glad to say that for the last few months, probably a year now, my mental health has been good. I’m very grateful for this.
I love doing what I do now.
I love writing. I love editing. I’m grateful for the opportunity to read books I might not otherwise see, and I hope that I help other authors. And even though it’s a lot of work, I love helping organise the Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival.
This blog is really to say that we should all celebrate the small stuff and acknowledge the good. Cheering the good is much better than bemoaning the bad. It’s good to have good mental health, and I appreciate being in that fortunate position.
July 24, 2021 · 3:55 pm
Today I am feeling down as all heck on my writing. Actually been feeling like this of a couple of weeks now. Feel like I’m wasting my time and effort to keep writing. This is a not better thought.
Here’s the better thought. I’m not suicidal.
A year to 18 months ago, feeling like this would have lead to almost constant thoughts of suicide. Now it doesn’t. This doens’t mean I don’t think about killing myself ever, but it’s mostly in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and I’m feeling bad, and generally I can acknowledge the thought and remind myself that suicide is not the answer. I may finally have learnt that I can face these bad feelings for what they are. Feelings.
And what are feelings? Mostly temporary.
Yes I feel bad in the here and now. But at some point that is going to change. I’m not sure when, but it will change. I feel bad about my writing today. Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll love it again. That’s what living with depression means. You live with it, every day. Even the bad ones.
Right well, that’s me done, going to move along and try to find an activity that makes my feelings change.
July 12, 2021 · 9:40 am
I’m not a great fan of wearing makeup, generally I can’t be bothered, generally I don’t leave the house, so I don’t need to. However, my skin is a bit dry and so I wanted to get a tinted moisturiser. Because I am whiter than white and rarely go out, I always have to select the lightest shades on offer, and that is usually called Ivory.
So I brought an ivory tinted moisturiser.
When I used it, it kind of looked like I’d put on a mud mask. It was noticeably darker than my skin.
I mentioned this to my hubby and daughter, and my daughter it said that was no surprise it didn’t match my skin, I don’t need ivory – I need ghost. She pointed out that she’s as pale as I am and that’s so pale we look like ghosts. Thankfully, the actual conversation was a lot more amusing than I can write it.
Then hubby chips in, says I need to go further. Where we ended up was imaging a whole new range of makeup.
Never mind Ivory, because you’re worth it.
Try Cadaver, because you look dead.
May 4, 2021 · 5:42 pm
Yesterday I talked about the nerve wracking experience of submitting to a competition – which by the way I did a few minutes ago. Normally for me nerve wracking means nail biting – literally. I bite my nails.
Or more correctly – I used to bite my nails.
I have no idea at what point I finally stopped biting my nails, but I do seem to have, I have ten actual nails now. Nails that extend beyond the nail bed. See:
Still got ugly hands, but the nails look great. I’m using OPI Nail Envy to help, just in case anyone was wondering.
Now I am not here as a beauty blogger, there are plenty of them around, so I’m not going there.
I’m writing this becuase of what it indicates.
I’ve been biting my nails all my life. I bite for bordom, stress, nervousness, when I’m happy, when I’m sad, basically, any time for any reason. And now I’ve stopped. I can’t tell you when, just that I did, but this is what calm and contentment can do for you.
I’m happy with it. And hopefully I can keep that up because right now it’s not only the one competition entry that I’m nervous about, but an agent submission that I’m waiting to hear about. Keep your fingers crossed for success on all fronts (and your nails unbitten too).
April 4, 2021 · 6:39 pm
Sleep is something that often eludes me. I consider myself lucky if I get a full six hours a night. But not this weekend.
I had my covid jab on Friday, Friday I was okay, felt like I’d been kicked in the arm because it was so painful, but I wasn’t ill, until Saturday. Saturday I was just wiped out. I got up late, couldn’t concentrate, only managed to read half a chapter of the book I’m reading. In the end I went to bed early – half six in the evening early.
Never have I ever felt so wiped out.
This morning I got up late, I decided I had to go and get a bit of work done in the garden. I spent an hour and a half pottering (pulling out ivy and bagging it up) and then I was exhausted. So I came in, put the roast on, then had to sit down for an hour.
As I write this, it is half seven and I’m pretty much ready to go to bed and sleep another fifteen hours. But I’ve stuff to do, so I’d best get on.
April 1, 2021 · 6:23 pm
Just to let you now, after my little grumble yesterday, my mood is on the up today. Part of the reason for this is without a doubt, just the erratic alteration of hormones. That said. Other things had a definite uplifting affect.
This first may seem like a odd thing to feel good about, but it brightened my day. I work in the conservatory and it’s usually very cold, but I went in to start work around 08:30. What was lovely, what pleased me was that I didn’t actually have to put the heater on. Small thing, but not having to spend on heating is a good thing to my mind.
Once I settled into work, I saw that at far-too-early-o’clock I had received a message asking if I was free for an editing commission later in the year – I am, and getting work always pleases me. If you’re looking for a structural edit this year, contact me for a quote (see gailbwilliams.co.uk).
Later this morning, I saw a friend had posted a very nice note about my writing, my books both in crime and steampunk. Added to that, other people, most of whom I don’t know, piled in with other compliments on my writing. Apparently, I’m still a little over sensitive today, as those touching thoughts brought tears to my eyes.
Then, I made a phone call to a local gardener. I wasn’t expecting much as we’ve recently had trouble getting tradesmen to the house. However, not only did he turn up when he said he would, he gave us a good price and he started the job straight away. Not only that – he finished it!
I also managed to get a load of tidying up done, which is always good for my mental health.
So this just goes to show that no matter how dark one day might feel, there’ll be light in tomorrow.
Filed under crime, Natural Health, steampunk, Uncategorized
Tagged as crime writing, editing work, friends, heating, mental health, on the up, quote, steampunk, structural editing, tidying
March 31, 2021 · 3:52 pm
Since going self-employed I’ve been generally very happy and upbeat. The last couple of days have changed that.
Before I was published, I was being told how I wasn’t good enough to get published. Now I’m published, I keep hearing how I’m not good enough to sell. That I’m not “in the genre”.
Usually when I hear that sort of thing, I try to stick two fingers up and move on. But I’m struggling to do that at the moment.
I’m feeling like a failure. I know I’m not a best seller, I don’t go easy on my readers, so I don’t get great sales, but I know that, I don’t need some trite, arrogant prima donna rubbing it in. Added to this is the fact that I haven’t heard from the agent I submitted to six weeks ago, so that feels like a rejection. I’ve just finished a novel that I don’t know what to do with – or indeed if it’s worth doing anything with. My editing commissions have dried up, and I failed an assignment on the correspondence course I’m doing. So I’m in a funk.
Oh and just to add insult to injury – I’m back to being anaemic and the iron tablets are upsetting my digestion.
Little wonder I’m feeling down really. Of course, this too will pass.
Filed under Natural Health, Uncategorized
Tagged as anaemia, editing, failure, feel like a failure, Iron tablets, pass, prima donna, selling, this too shall pass, writing
January 18, 2021 · 2:20 pm
Today is Blue Monday, the third Monday of January is the glummest day of the year due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, dark days, gloomy weather and the arrival of the dreaded credit-card bills. I suspect that those trying to follow Dry January or Veganuary aren’t helping themselves to a certain extent, self-denial often makes one feel worst. Though alcohol is a depressant, so should be avoided, and I like steak too much to comment on Veganuary.
However, we can all try to make this a less depressing day. Thinking about or doing stuff for others often helps, and though you can’t exactly go round and have a cuppa with your neighbour, you might be able to call them and check they’re okay, have a chat, make sure they aren’t feeling too alone, and in the process ensure that you aren’t feeling too alone either.
Mental health affects us all, I openly admit to suffering depression, it makes life hard sometimes, and I know how lucky I am to have a loving and supportive family. The things that make me feel better, are, usually, simply, and freely, conversations. I like hearing good news from others. If the others don’t have good news, then I’ll listen to that and sympathise, or help if I’m in a position to, even join in the slag-fest if that’s where the conversation goes. I’ll encourage where I can. I’ll use a shoulder when all I can do is cry.
The point I suppose is even when we are blue, we don’t have to paint the town red, we just have to share a moment with the people around us. A wave across the street. A note on social media. A chat on the phone or a message/text. So reach out, you are not alone, please don’t be lonely.