Well, I’ve done it, I’ve finished my book, and you know what? I hate it. I’ve had the biggest emotional turnaround over it and I’m not sure I know why. For three-quarters of the writing, I was loving the experience, and I didn’t think it was going too badly. Then this last 25,000 words have been murder and have needed to be wrenched out against formidable resistance. This must have something to do with the fact I’ve been writing about the past five years of my life and the chronic fatigue that has brought about such big changes. I’ve never had to sum it up before, and although I still feel I made the right decisions (I couldn’t still be teaching full time now, that would be worse), and although I know I chose all sorts of good things, like spaciousness, and time with my family, and less pressure on myself, I suppose I have had to think about all that I have given up or simply lost. I assumed it would be cathartic, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Writing about chronic fatigue has put me into that chronic fatigue space, which is rarely an advantage. The other evening I told Mister Litlove that it was fortunate the book only existed virtually or else I’d be tempted to burn it. And he said, hang on in there, you’ll get over it. There may have been eye rolling when I was looking in the other direction.
And so I have been plagued with symptoms again, in particular an aching hip which is annoying me as a) it makes me feel about a hundred years old and b) I’ve never had joint or muscular pain before now so it’s freaking me out. Yes, I have been to see my doctor, who packed me off for a load of blood tests. The nurse looked at me with a worried expression when I went in and asked whether people had had trouble in the past getting blood out of me. I said no, and wondered whether to turn around and leave, because I do so like medical professionals to be ebulliently confident before they start sticking the needles in. But all went well and I have several days now for my active imagination to come up with all sorts of unpleasant diseases I could be suffering from, although internet searching suggests that hormone imbalance, notably problems with cortisol (the chronic fatigue hormone par excellence), might well have a part to play.
So anyway, I do apologise for the rather whiny tone of the post, but I’m feeling a bit emotionally battered here. It’s been a very strange month, what with my poor cat dying, and the book being finished and all sorts of emotional stresses and surprises cropping up. But then I thought of all my blogging friends, and you always lift my spirits. I’ve obviously been on my own too much, fretting and worrying and churning up the past. How pleasant to get back to a bit of book chat and to put these other cares behind me. I’ve got lots of books to talk about, as well, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lee Child’s Gone Tomorrow, Lucie Whitehouse’s The Bed I Made, Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch, Rosy Thornton’s Tapestry of Love. I haven’t exactly come up with a new way to talk about books, as I had hoped I would, but I guess I can fall back on the old one. As I’m a bit under the weather, I won’t be posting at my full speed, but I do intend to be back here next week to air the old Reading Room. Do hope to see you then.