I am feeling better now. I just needed to take the blog offline for a day - I just needed to reset. I have reset. A series of events appeared to come on all at once, and I kind of unraveled from the stress - my mom's death week this week, which for some reason this year seems more intense than others, a shift in how and how much my recent book was being reviewed, which I didn't anticipate, and didn't have time to really think about and adjust to, yes, my period. More than anything I think being judged so harshly really took me back to a lot of things in my childhood, which triggered intense panic and feelings of self-loathing and loneliness. I realize I am going to have to develop better coping mechanisms in order to be a published writer. But for the time being I feel I have readjusted, refocused, calibrated, and feel clearer now. I always, eventually, heal myself, it was just easier to do it in private. I am not going to apologize for breaking down a bit - it happened. It can be dangerous though, this freaking out in public, because others' reactions can exacerbate or magnify things, and I felt like I was adding guilt or shame to everything else, or that it was my role to assure people I was okay (not that I'm not grateful for your concern-I am). I am okay. I had a rough few days.
I'm not sure how much I am going to post or how I am going to post in the future. But the blog is back up for now. I've taken down some of the recent posts, not because I am disavowing them, but because I feel they were potentially misinterpreted or interpreted differently than my original intention. That seems to happen, though, being a writer. I am still glad, I think, to be a writer. I will still continue to write. I will probably have to seriously reexamine whether I read any reviews or commentary online. There is something about seeing your worth only in how others perceive you that is essentially unhealthy, essentially against the work of the writer, alone in the room, who has to summon up intense ego and self-confidence in order to believe that what they write is worth reading, that absolute audacity. This is a work in progress.
I am reading at Flyleaf Books tonight in Chapel Hill. I am looking forward to that mostly because I will see a few new friends afterwards, we will have them over to the house, this feels normal and very much needed. I am going to get a pedicure now, if I can pry myself away from the soporific of a sleeping darling Genet, which I probably won't, and will go without sandals despite the 80 degree weather in order to nap with the puppy.