Well, this is not an interesting post really. Just a Whoo-hoo! I finished something. And how I almost didn't. A while back, I was looking at retirement from the Army. I was suffering what I thought was a mild and temporary depressive episode. I had two books published, plus a bunch of short stories. I had just written a book titled Three Worlds Nations: Two Boys (or was it Barefaced?) and entered it in the ABNA. Got to the 2nd or 3rd round too. I don't remember now. I don't remember a whole lot anymore. Around that time is when my memory really started to go.
I found food tasted like cardboard. The world was boring and pointless and grey. It felt as if there was no future, and not much past. I began to lose all motivation. I showed up late to work roughly four days a week. I appeared at PT formation one morning in hiking shoes. Another day I had a head full of bobby pins. These may seem little things to you. I promise you, they are not little in the Army. I guess I was "lucky". At the time, I was in a unit where much was tolerated and we were respected as older NCOs that had already proven ourselves. Nobody cared so long as the work got done. And anyway, I was a "short timer", looking at retirement, no point in spending too much time or energy discipling me when I wouldn't be there much longer anyway, right? I was getting therapy, once every two weeks. So I limped along to retirement.
I planned to send that story off for publication at a traditional publisher. I even got some positive feedback and recommendation for some minor edits before acceptance. My dream was going to come true. See that period there? That one after what should have been a joyous exclamation? Yeah. That was the "depression". I couldn't be assed to do the rewrites. I couldn't motivate myself to send it back for review. I couldn't take the time to follow up on the inquiries. I hadn't written a short story in months. The longer stories languished in a few short notes on my computer. I went from writing two novel length books a year, even while working, to not even a few shorts no matter how much time I had to work on it. Retirement came and went.
And then, one day, after months of no pay and doing nothing about it, I drove to Tucson with my son for a last visit with a VA doctor before I could start receiving a pension. And that's when this wonderful person noticed something odd. A quick blood test, a follow up x-ray, and I had a brand new diagnoses, hypothyroidism. And it had gone on a long time. Did you know hypothyroidism isn't just about getting fat? I didn't. I had no idea that sometimes the only symptoms are mental confusion, memory loss, and depression.
So, nearly two years later, I am on three medications, starting a new exercise and diet regime, and trying to pick up the pieces. I thought I'd never write again, but last month I managed to knock out two little joking books of "magic", Use of Divining / Dousing Rods - Complete Explanation of the Method and Magik of Finding Things and Fortune Telling and White Spell Casting With Runes Or Any Other Objects (Smashwords is awesome. They make it so easy, even I could manage the technology.) So I dug out the only book I had almost ready to publish and gave it a dust off. I finally made all those recommended changes. And you know what? It is better for them. I'm not ready for the big time, guys, and that's the truth. Not yet. Now, I don't know if ever I will be. But I'm back in the game. And that's huge. (Or as Bernie Sanders would say, Hyuuge.)
After all this, what I just want to say is, please don't be discouraged if you find yourself in a funk. Please, please get your thyroid checked, especially if you are having any of these symptoms:
- Feeling cold when other people do not or Feeling hot when other people do not
- Muscle weakness
- Weight gain, even though you are not eating more food or Weight loss, even if you eat the same or more food
- Joint or muscle pain
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Feeling very tired
- Pale, dry skin
- Dry, thinning hair
- Slow heart rate or Rapid or irregular heartbeat or pounding of your heart
- Less sweating than usual or Increased sweating
- A puffy face
- A hoarse voice
- More than usual menstrual bleeding or Fewer and lighter menstrual periods than normal
- Eating more than usual
- Feeling nervous or anxious
- Feeling irritable
- Trouble sleeping
- Trembling in your hands and fingers
- Muscle weakness
- Diarrhea or more bowel movements than normal
- Changes in your eyes that can include bulging of the eyes, redness, or irritation (List and more information available from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/thyroid-disease.html)
And please buy my book, Three Worlds Nations: Monsters and Slaves, available only on Amazon.com.