Sometimes You Just Gotta Take Those Two Steps Back

on August 5, 2015 Lucy 62 Replies

2244There are times in life when, no matter how hard we fight it, no matter how much me we may want to deny it, we have to take a necessary step (or steps) backward in the hope that we can move forward.  Those of us who suffer from mood disorders know this well and really anyone who battles a chronic illness understands this concepts intimately. A very talented writing pal of mine battles MS and she uses the spoon analogy.  When she runs out of spoons for the day, there’s no going back to the drawer for more, like there are for other people, no borrowing against tomorrow.

She kept writing when her disease took her eyesight, when her mobility became something of the past.  She’s amazing!  But no matter how strong our will, we all have our limits.  She only has so many spoons in her drawer and mine?  Well, the drawer is empty right now.

Word Stress BallThe words I need to write are all tied up in a ball of stress and for whatever reason having deadlines is the final strand that won’t let them out.  I’ve been writing to self defined deadlines since I finished my third manuscript (half a decade before I sold my first book) and that was something like 70 novels ago.  I can’t tell why deadlines are suddenly an anathema to me after so many years of writing to them.  I can tell you that the past 5 years I’ve had some late books and that has stressed me out in ways I can’t describe.  I can’t tell you why the words are locked inside, why I have two half-finished books sitting on my computer and two unfulfilled contracts.  I can tell you that I’m doing everything I can to get better.

Part of getting better, the step I’ve fought so hard taking, for so many reasons, is that I must take a mental health break from my writing.  I have to leave those two books unfinished for a time as I unravel that stress ball inside me and unwrap the strands of anxiety and inner discord from my writing process so that it can once again be something that brings me joy and my readers something of real value.

And do you know what?  I happen to believe that doing this will ultimately lead to me reclaiming something for myself and for my readers.  My passion for my writing, my joy in my writing and my ability to channel emotion, love and the stories of my heart into my writing once I’m able to reconnect to my own heart in a meaningful way because ultimately? I am an optimist.  One who cha-chas through the kitchen with her husband and her grandchildren.

Dear Readers, won’t you take a chance and cha-cha on this journey with me?


62 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Gotta Take Those Two Steps Back”

  1. Judy Flohr says:

    You know I have your back. I too am going through some stress right now and I need to get ahold of it. I hate feeling this was. Love you

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Grief turns into stress, doesn’t it? Life gets out of control without our realizing it because we’re so busy coping with loss. Love ya back!

      1. Judy Flohr says:

        Thanks I hate these feelings. I had them many years ago but I had my parents then. Huge difference without them. I can’t sleep, my nerves are all over the place. Hugs

        1. Lucy Monroe says:

          Finding an understanding therapist can really help. Hugs back!

  2. Laura Van Guilder says:

    Take that step back to recharge. I’m sure you will come back better for doing it. You are an awesome author. I will be praying for you.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you! I believe, more than anything, that prayer gets me through and right now it’s the prayers of others. 😉 Hugs!

  3. JoAn V. says:

    Take as many steps back as you need to recover/regroup. I, like other loyal fans, will be here waiting. Prayers sent.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you! That means so much and prayers are so appreciated. Hugs!

  4. Ann Cameron says:

    ‘Time off’ is essential for everyone. Stress takes its toll, for sure, and cumulative stress wreaks havoc on our mental and physical health. Enjoy that ChaCha. We can wait for your books. Your respite will make them even better.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      You are so right. And I plan to enjoy my cha-cha. 🙂 XOXO

  5. Well said, and so very true. I’ve been struggling for a long time, refusing to concede temporary “defeat” and it’s just made the struggle harder. We have to learn to be as kind and empathetic to our own emotional well-being as we are to those we love, only then can the healing peace begin…. I hope with all my heart that you find your way back to the passion of your words, Lucy, because they are always beautiful and tend inspiring, like you are. I love you, always.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Aww, sweetie, thanks for taking time out to comfort me. Know I’m still praying for you and thinking of you. Love you!

  6. Diane Johnson says:

    Lucy…take care of yourself! We will be here waiting for you when you get back to writing that is what true fans do. Lots of love, hugs, and prayers headed your way!

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      That’s such a blessing to hear. Really. In every way. Thank you! 🙂 Hugs!

  7. Marion Muir says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your problems with your readers. Please take the time for yourself. I am a carer for my husband who has had Parkinson’s Disease for over twenty years now. It took me a long time to come to realise, with some great help and support, that I am important. How I feel matters and I need to take time for myself so that I can carry on. Try and find a little bit of joy each day – all the little bits add up. When you are ready your loyal readers will still be there.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Marion…caring for your husband is in so many ways like sharing his condition with him. I know my husband has shared so much of the challenges of SAD with me. I’m so glad you realize you have to take care of you. Tom is just coming to believe that same truth. 🙂 Hugs and blessings to you!

  8. Take whatever time you need!! I’ll be here waiting for you and in the meantime, I will re-read all your books I have on my shelf, starting with my all time fave, The Greek’s Christmas Baby. 🙂

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      LOL That is a LOVELY thing to hear! Hugs!!

  9. Take all time you need, I be here when you are ready because you are great author.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you! XoXo!

  10. Heather Files says:

    We love you as well as your writing! Taking care of yourself is important. That ball of stress must be unwound. Enjoy your cha-cha, and I’ll join you in spirit! (I will also re-read your fabulous Ruthless Russians and see what I have in my TBR pile) Sending love and healing hugs…

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you! Cha-cha-cha!! ((hugs))

  11. Vicki W says:

    I agree with everyone, take the time to find yourself again, as a devoted fan, we can and will wait for our next adventure through your words.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂 Hugs!

  12. Grace Lamas says:

    In my prayers. Regroup. Heal. Come back stronger.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you! Hugs!

  13. Vicke Williams says:

    I totally agree with you in taking a step back to get to where you want to be…we will all be waiting for those 2 fantastic books to be born.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thanks, Vicke…that is so the hope…that they *can* be fantastic if I take the time to regroup and refresh. 🙂

  14. Tracy Gilpin says:

    As someone who has been in the mental health field for many years, although only in the periphery (I am office worker), the hardest thing you can do is to realize you need to take that step back. So yay to you for making that first difficult step. Like you said, it’s a cha-cha. Take the time you need. Relax, breath, and take care of your self!

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thanks, Tracy. This journey is such a meandering one, but that does make life interesting, doesn’t it? 🙂

  15. Brooke D says:

    Love the words in your books. Love the words you wrote here. I totally agree, your loyal fans want you to take care of you. We will be waiting when you are ready to share your stories with us again.
    God be with you.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you so much. That’s the one thing I’m counting on … His being with me. 🙂

  16. Dawn says:

    Blessings…..when your cup of sustainance is empty,you have nothing to draw on for others…
    . Great decision. …healing prayers

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thanks, Dawn. That was the final conclusion I had to come to. You can’t draw water from an empty well. 🙂

  17. Linda P says:

    You do whatever it takes to survive. I’ll be right here waiting when you get back. You have brought me many hours of enjoyment. I can never thank you enough. Your gift needs to be nurtured and protected, just like a flower. Winter is the time of renewal, of introspection, of protecting the root so you can bring forth new and healthier blooms in the spring.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      How beautifully put! Thank you so much. Hugs!

  18. Fredericka Meiners, alias Ann Macela says:

    Oh, Lucy, What everybody has said. I’ve been down that road in other circumstances, before I started writing fiction. Take some time for yourself and family. Tell people who want you to do their stuff NO and let them do it themselves. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. In fact, it’s necessary, I’m convinced.
    The words are still in you. They’ll wait for you, but they can’t be pushed out until they know it’s okay and that you’re okay.
    Your readers, including me, aren’t going anywhere. And reading your stories again can be a great deal of fun!
    We’re with you. Take care of yourself!

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Ah, Fredericka…you are so dear. Thank you! XOXO

  19. Martha Hawkins says:

    So sorry to hear about your stress. Your health is important. You need to take care of yourself first and foremost. Please keep your fans updated. Get the rest you need to get better. My Mom used to tell us that we needed mental health days. Take as long as you need. Love and prayers coming your way.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      I think your mom was a very wise woman. 🙂 My mom kept telling me to slow down, but I didn’t listen. :-/ I think maybe she was right. I kept thinking it was good to just go, go, go, go…but maybe not so much. 🙂

  20. Hollie Rieth says:

    I am going through a variety of emotional ups and downs lately! Some days are diamonds…some days are stone.
    I will love your writing whenever it comes. Just know that I will be a forever fan. No matter what. <3

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Awww….Hollie…I just want to hug you right now. Thank you! (((hugs)))

  21. Maribeth Curry says:

    Take care of you Lucy. They’ve found that so many chronic illnesses are caused by stress; the 3 times fibro has raised it’s ugly head in my life have all been after times of intense, unmanageable stress! Relieving that stress, resting, eating well, and nurturing yourself are the only way to get back to some semblance of normal, so take all the time you need and if you need to write without a deadline, just do it for fun. There will always be a market for what you write. We love you and the awesome stories you write but right now it’s about your story and getting you well.
    God bless you and big hugs to you gal,
    Love, Maribeth

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thanks so much, Maribeth. Hugs! Here’s hoping the fibro does not rear it’s head again for you. 🙂

  22. Jo Ryan says:

    Thank you for letting us know where you are at. Please take your time and step back. Take care of yourself and when you are ready with all of the love in your heart and your enthusiasm for writing back into play then write for all of us again.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you! That’s just what I need to hear. 🙂

  23. Irene Soutar says:

    You take all the time you need. Sometimes it’s not about what you can do for everyone and anything else out there, sometimes it’s just about breathing, moments with family, downtime and anything that you need. Then when your rested and reenergized, you can move forward and give of yourself once again. We will be here…..take your time. Hugs

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      You are so right! Thank you!

  24. Mary Lawson says:

    Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the roses. Take a deep breath and make you a priority. I feel confident that you will be back stronger than ever.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you! That is truly my hope! 🙂

  25. Caroline Lennek says:

    Lucy, you are wise beyond your years. Good luck and remember the “cha cha” has always been and will remain a classic beautiful, exciting, and timeless dance…cha cha away!

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      LOL I love that! Thank you!

  26. Vee Ferrell says:

    Take the time you need. It’s your body/mind saying you need to take care of you. We’ll still be here waiting when you get back. your words and worlds give us a break from the stress of real life. Wish I could do something like that for you.

  27. Cynthia Powers says:

    So many times the stress we impose upon ourselves is unnecessary. Will the world end because you can’t do something? Of course not! Always take time for yourself. If you have a hobby, use it to take some time to decompress. Like bubble baths? Go ahead and soak your tension away. You can’t force what won’t come. Here’s hoping you feel better, get straightened out, and come back to writing when you’re ready!

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you so much! You are so right that the world is not going to end, not even my world, if I take some time to regroup. Convincing myself of that took some time though.

  28. Jennifer says:

    I have loved your different books over the years and am so sorry to hear of your struggles. I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers–there’s a lot of power there that is the only explanation for how I get through the day-to-day stress that is my life. God bless you
    and keep you in His arms!

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thank you so much! Hugs and blessings!

  29. Cass says:

    As someone who suffers from depression I would recommend “unplugging” from social media, your mobile devices, the Internet…even just for a couple of days. If you can change up your routine in that time and allow yourself some extra freedom (a hotel or cabin on the beach?) – do it! This by no means “fixes” things but being stuck in the same place every day is surprisingly maddening at times, to me at least. Medication is what helps me get out of bed sometimes, but it all adds up. Best wishes.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Thanks! That is something I do. Actual writing hasn’t happened on a device with any sort of wifi connectivity for years. Hugs!

  30. Diane Blaser says:

    Oh Lucy, Ii know exacty how you are doing the cha-cha of life! I have chronic pain 24/7/365 and also have depression and anxiety that makes me want to hide in bed and never leave. My husband does most of the physical chores while I struggle to find the small blessings in my life and as you know it is not easily said or done. I’m sending virtual hugs and ‘atta girls for your daily cha cha and tons of empathy for your challenges. Hang in, take the time you need and give yourself permission to proceed in a way that makes you feel you have some joy in your life again. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Lucy Monroe says:

      Huge hugs and commiserations on your own struggles, Diane. The reason I started this blog is to remind all of us we are not alone.


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