It’s been a while. I hope I can remember how this works. Let’s see, shall we?
For the good readers who enjoyed my stories, I am not a great writer to follow. I absolutely shouldn’t say that, but it is true. Many people want to see what happens next in the world of Doctor Blessing, others are waiting for the unfinishable Carsun. I’m pretty sure patience has worn thin and those lovely people have long since abandoned hope and scattered, to follow productive writers who churn out new works regularly.
As I type this, I feel like I’m hunched over a radio in some post-apocalyptic movie, broadcasting a message, hoping that someone, anyone, will hear it and know that I am still alive. But maybe everyone’s gone.
I don’t know why I had to have a brain that doesn’t pump out all the chemicals it’s supposed to. All I know is that a job I loved a few years back, took a turn under new leadership. Work I had been proud of became a corrosive shackle – locked in place and burning deeper with every second. And everything since that point has been loss.
Any creative momentum I had gathered up plummeted in the exhaustion of running around with two young children in the house. Exhaustion and fear, as the youngest gave his mum and I a real fright when he was only 3 weeks old. I don’t want to share the specifics, but it’s enough to say we thought we were going to lose him. Thank God we didn’t, of course (and he’s a healthy, happy, tough little boy who is very much bonded onto me, from time we spent together in the hospital together).
I got involved with another company, providing training again, and actually became a director in it, but very quickly, it became clear that all was not as it seemed in this other organisation and before very long I packed it in and went freelance. The problem was, my heart was no longer in the training work. Something fundamentally changed in me in the dying days of the job that turned corrosive, and it put me off that line of work forever.
With one of my brothers, I formed a company selling geeky merchandise, and we built it from a market stall up to a good little comic shop. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough money going around and we found ourselves constantly trying to plug holes in cash flow and desperately trying to hold the business together. Along the way, I had to sink my beloved Dark Chapter Press, which felt like chopping a hand off. I’d been so excited about Dark Chapter Press and was pleased to bring some friends into the company. I hoped I would be able to reward their hard work handsomely, but in the end it all proved to be too much. I had bitten off more than I could chew, the pressure became unbearable and even the slightest knocks seemed to leave horrific bruises on my psyche.
This whole mess cost me dearly. And I don’t just mean financially (but I don’t dare try to put a definitive figure on all this). The heaviest toll was when I lost my family, and had to leave the home I had made for the boys with their mum. Being away from those little guys inflicted upon me the kind of blinding pain that often saw me holding myself, eyes streaming while my mouth hung open, fixed in a silent scream. I saw them as often as I could, and still do. Earlier this year, I managed to get a flat with two bedrooms and they enjoy staying over every other weekend, and we have a great time together.
Maybe one day I’ll detail some of the darkest moments of the endless war I wage against the tide of depression that breaks against my mind every day. Maybe one day I’ll share with you the times the illness made me think that failure could be infectious, and perhaps the boys should not be exposed to it – that my living is a danger to their future. But today I’ll share with you that no matter how bad things have been, I’ve managed to mine deep down into reserves of willpower I didn’t know I possessed. And I’m glad I discovered them.
I have so much to be thankful for, so much to look forward to, and so much still to fight for.
And some stories I still have to tell. I’ve been working on one a lot lately. I might share it with you, hopefully before very much more time passes.
I hope someone out there finds this. It’s terrible out there. But I am still here. Trying desperately to reach you.