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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book: Breakthrough

Let's recap, shall we?

Dad's passing in November threw everything out of kilter, particularly writing the book.  Not just out of being in grief and recovering from losing my last remaining parent, but also because of everything that comes with a death in regard to paperwork, his estate, and so forth.  So the project I've been working on since last May, my book about having bipolar disorder, had to be put on the back burner.

In January I felt okay enough to continue working on it.  And I did.  At least for a little while.  A few more chapters were completed.

Then in February, everything slammed to a halt.

I had reached a place in conveying the narrative where my mind could not, would not, proceed any further.  It had hit a solid wall and nothing I did could break it down.  It was my memories, very painful memories, that I could not approach much less attack.

It was all of the memories of the very worst kind of person that mental illness made of me.  For twenty-some chapters it had been building to this wretched culmination, and I lacked any heart to take one step further.

The core of it was a considerable amount of material, correspondence really, from the past several years.  You could call it a kind of file.  And I couldn't open that file, though I needed contents of it to go forward with my writing.  It was a crucial amount of raw source material about myself.  I needed it for my research.  But I also see now that I needed it for my own personal understanding.

Last month helped immensely.  First the trip I made to visit family in Florida.  And then the week which my dear friend Melody spent here.  It had been Melody's idea in March that I really could go into "the file"... but also that I shouldn't be alone when I did so.  Her presence here bolstered my resolve open "the file" and see what was inside of it.  Nothing that I hadn't seen before, but it was just as painful now as it was during the time that the correspondences were accumulating.

I couldn't have done that research without a good friend being nearby who could give me encouragement and support when I needed it.

That was the end of April.  The trip to Florida renewed my cheerful spirit.  Melody's visit gave me strength to barrel through that blockade in my mind.  But something was still missing and I couldn't figure out what.  So it was that I've gone all of this month without writing anything for the book.

My narrative was still ground to a halt and I didn't know how to make it move.

Until late last night.

I finally cracked it.  The critical next chapter.  It came in a moment, the breakthrough that I had been looking for.

I spent the next few hours writing.  In the wee hours of the morning, the first draft had been completed.  And then I hurtled on to the beginning of the next chapter.

It was like a wave had been building up all of these months, finally come crashing ashore.  And when it receded, there it was: the vision of how to keep going.  How to move forward.  Three months, my efforts and frustrations were leading to this.  There were times when I genuinely wondered if I should give up this project.

Maybe it was God whispering something to me last night.  I want to think it's like that.

Writing the book is back on track.  I've broken through the wall, have overcome that torment and fear.  Doing that changed me, maybe made me a better person.  Made me stronger.

I know what to do now.