(Today’s blog post is part of a continuing series of personal stories about living with Trigeminal Neuralgia, the most painful medical condition known to man.)
Note: No sponges were harmed in the taking of that photograph. And no, that’s not me.
You and I? We’re sponges. Every living creature is in their own way. (And of course sea sponges really are sponges.) From the moment we’re born we absorb everything around us. We use our five senses. We use the memory bank that takes up a portion of our brains. We use the curiosity that takes up another portion. And the logic. Then, when necessary, we concatenate all of those receptors into a cohesive thought. Or a new idea. Or an emotion.
And each of us is creative. Oh, I know some of you might say, “Nuh huh. Not me.” But you are. There are things we do every day because of TN that are creative. The way we shield our faces, or put on make-up, or shower (or talk, or eat, or…) The way we share about our condition on social media. And things not related to TN like putting zucchini in brownies so your kids eat veggies. Or fashioning a cup holder for your car out of a wire coat hanger. Okay, I totally made those things up, but you get the gist. But what we need to come up with those ideas or strategies is inspiration, whether it comes to us like a bright light bulb or in the case of TN, like a giant frying pan to the face.
I write but I’m not a writer. Not really. If the grammar police were to be perusing my blog I’d get a life sentence (unintentional pun there, but a good one). I write as if I was having a conversation in a bar. I write the way I speak. And I break a lot of writer-type rules. But lately I’ve found myself all wrung out. Living with this condition has really limited the opportunity for inspiration. I’m not just talking about my blog, but other writing I do as well. And come on, how much can I really write about TN? I think I milked that cow dry a long time ago.
It’s hard though. I’m not talking about milking a cow, that’s just a metaphor. I mean the lack of new inspiration. I spend long hours where I could be writing doing other things. I reorganize a lot, which I suppose is sort of creative. I stare of into space – so, so not creative. I’ll get the glimmer of an idea but it will trail off. Or I may think of a character but not have the wherewithal to figure out the story. The meds contribute to that fogginess, I’m sure, but so does the stagnation; the feeling that I’m standing at the side of the road watching the cars zip by. I’m on the road, yet I’m not a part of the traffic. And I ain’t going nowhere.
I’m hoping that come spring I’ll get some of my creative mojo back. That like the tulips that burst forth from the ground, I will find the story that goes with that character, or be able to follow that idea to see where it takes me. And I truly hope that all of you who are kind of in the winter doldrums find that same energy this spring, regardless of how you use it. But for now, I guess I’ll have to settle for using my lack of creativity for the creativity I need to write a blog post about creativity.
Sally, this so aptly describes where I am right now with my own writing: the ideas and insights that seem so clear but become muddled when I try to write them out; the lack of energy, or in my case, the discipline to do the work of piecing them into a cohesive whole; the frittering away of hour upon hour, mostly reading other people’s words instead of working on my own. I wish I could write as effortlessly as you seem to do and still convey my thoughts so eloquently. Yet it’s comforting to know I’m not alone in this. Thanks, as always for your honesty. And the grammar police have got nothing on you! Your tone is flawless, real and heartfelt.
Kristen, I’m not sure if I relied and if not, please accept my apologies. I have such a problem with discipline myself. I realized that having all the time on the world is NOT good for me. I hope you’ve found your momentum these past weeks. Thank you so much for the compliments. I greatly appreciate your message.