But the other day, after many hours in front of the computer, I got up and I couldn’t walk. I tried to take a step forward and I actually fell down. It was a couple of moments before I could get all joints working enough to move. And then the same weekend, I missed a lecture on balancing work and life because I was well, you know, working.
Living with fibromyalgia, my health should come first. But lately, writing has come first—before my relationships with friends, before my relationship with my husband, before my relationship with my knees. Every rejection letter has become a harbinger to ensuing workaholism, a call to work even harder to get that next acceptance letter. When my husband realized I had a writing class scheduled the night of our anniversary, he told me with a sigh, “It’s okay, we can celebrate our anniversary next week.” It took me a couple of days and a couple of pains to realize this was another example of how writing had taken over my life.
I’ve always struggled with balance. When I read through earlier blog posts, I note that fibromyalgia was a long time coming. My second year teaching I was suffering from pains and ignoring them because I had to get the work done, I had to be super teacher, I could never settle with just being sufficient. And I guess we’re back at it again. Only a workaholic like me, for instance, would stop working part-time to work on her health and then find herself mired by writing assignments full-time. As if it wasn’t enough to sign a contract to write my first book, I had to try to start a freelance writing career as well.
So while I’ve finally accepted that I am working, I do have a “real job” as a writer, I don’t like what it’s doing to the rest of my life. Meanwhile, I’m on a self-imposed mini-vacation watching “Heroes”, reading “New Moon” and rolling my eyes over “Gossip Girl” munching on Corn Pops I’m no longer supposed to eat anymore. Hopefully by taking a step back and surveying the damage, I’ll be able to figure out how to attain balance. But I don’t know, look at me, I can’t even help myself right now, I have to write about it.