I’ve been undertaking a summer school unit for my Masters, partly to keep going and partly as an experiment. Brisbane, without air conditioning, is not the place to undertake summer study. Unless, I really need to, no more summer school. It’s now done and I’m in a state of bliss with three weeks of no “have to study” state of mind.
A blog post by one friend and a reminder of a challenge another is doing combined with, dare I say, an epiphany sees this post push itself through and ahead of some other posts about my love of the letters that make up words.
The return to study has been both a challenge and an inspiration for me. This post about overcoming obstacles by Nicole Cody (go, read it, I’ll wait) hit me hard as I too have had to fumble and make my way through a fog for so long, I can’t remember a time in my life not having it. I do know by the middle of 2013, I was at a point of losing my ability to read. What used to take me a week to read was taking over a month and each time it was a struggle. I suspect if my stubbornness wasn’t so strong I’d have given up entirely. Slowly, I have reclaimed my brain use and the relief is great but so is a self-doubt and mistrust of its return. Will it stay? When will I lose it again? Can I trust it will be here for me?
As I regained a sense of clarity of thought, I commenced my studies, just one at a time, a dipping my toe in, “in case my brain goes away again”. I’m now three subjects in and I’m shocked by my marks. Not how bad, but how good. I keep pinching myself, thinking the bubble will burst. But, with three subjects done, I am admitting to myself, perhaps, just perhaps my brain really is back and is actually working again.
Also coming back are creative words, even sentences. Which build to paragraphs and I hope to full stories. I’ve missed writing. I’ve been frustrated and despondent and many times at a loss as to how to overcome it. There are words stuck in my head but they’ve been lost for some time. This is where another friend’s challenge has come into it. For the past six months, Peter Ball has been writing every day using a number chart to mark off his achievements. I know many who use variations of this, for writing or other tasks. Even I’ve used it in the past when on a (usually academic) deadline. I’m travelling again tomorrow, but only for a few days, and on my return I’m setting myself up to undertake this. As he says, even a sentence can count. I have to tell myself it is okay to not keep going when I have my bad week of health, but if I can manage even that, I’ll be pleased.
Thank goodness for friends who help shine lights on the path.