It is with a heavy heart that I take pen in hand to address a few lines to you. The past few years have been very rough on me physically. I live in constant pain and my life consists of surgeries, complications, more surgeries, and more complications. I am constantly shuttling off from one doctor’s appointment to the next, or at least that is how it seems. I’m 43 but now look like I’m 65 from the strain. Truthfully, this has been a long time coming and I’ve had a draft of this post typed up for several months now as I waited to see if things would improve. They didn’t.
Once upon a time, writing was my escape. It is how I managed to mentally distract myself from all that was going on. This is no longer the case. The outside world has intruded to the point that I no longer have the focus required to do it. In a way, that’s probably a blessing in disguise. I poured everything I had into Molly’s Song, but sales have been disappointing, and it has not been nearly as well received as I thought and hoped it would. With my health deteriorating more with each passing month and the number of good days I have in a month being in the single digits, I do not want to spend it standing in front of my computer typing words that no one will read anyway.
The pandemic masked how bad off I truly am. Going back to work in person this semester, I was immediately able to see the difference in my physical condition between the start of the pandemic and now. And this was before the three surgeries I had in the past six months. Naturally, that has only made it worse. When I get home at the end of the day, I am so utterly exhausted that I have a hard time getting out of the car without help and all I can manage to do is sit in bed and stare at the television without even being able to comprehend what it is that I am watching. I can’t even read anymore because I can’t focus long enough to get through one page.
For years now, I’ve tried to hide my true condition. I got really good at faking it so that I could go to work and smile and joke with people like nothing was wrong, when truthfully all I wanted to do was scream from the pain. That takes a toll on you over time. Eventually, you’ll reach the point where I find myself now, where you have to admit that you can no longer control your health problems and that they have taken over your life. And there’s nothing to be done about it. There’s no “fix” and no “cure” for my injuries and the conditions they have caused me, so none of this is going away. It isn’t simply a matter of waiting it out or getting treatment and then magically getting better again. That’s not going to happen.
Admittedly, I suppose I had a somewhat aborted writing career. However, I think two novels to my credit isn’t bad. I will always have that. I’ve met some wonderful people through my writing whom I hope to stay in touch with even though I have officially put the proverbial typewriter away. Please understand that I absolutely would keep writing if I were physically able. This is more of a question of me not being able to write rather than not wanting to. I imagine I will always want to, just like I wish every single day that I had not gotten hurt to begin with and could still be on an engine company responding to calls.
Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’ll be spending as much time as I can with my wife and my cats. There are some less physically/mentally taxing hobbies I have that I can focus on. I regret that I won’t be able to write my epic Russian Revolution novel and dedicate it to my Mashka. But I know she’ll understand. And, of course, I feel bad that I won’t be able to finish Molly’s story. She deserves far better than I gave her and I hope she’ll forgive me.
The website will still be around for a while. I may do a final year in review post on New Year’s Eve if I feel up to it.
I thank all of you who have followed me on this journey through writing and publishing two books. Thank you for reading my posts and the books themselves. No matter where life may take you in the future, I hope you have the time of your life.
And remember, friends, take care of yourselves. And each other.