So, did everyone have a good Christmas? :)
I'm sorry, I know I vanished again - blame my stupid body. But as many times as I say that I update regularly on my LiveJournal, just about every day, so please do drop by and say hello there. You no longer have to be invited to join Livejournal so why not get one if you don't have one already? Then you can read my oodles of friends only entries. Not that they're especially exciting, but they might be silly in places :)
I'm pointing big, jabbing arrows to the link so that people stop thinking that I've died or been eaten by a giant gorilla (which isn't actually too far from the truth after what we saw at Euston station on Monday night, but that's another story...) because I do feel bad when people wonder where I've gone - I am still around but just don't have the time or energy that I used to. I wish that I did because I miss writing here. But until such times as my body complies, Livejournal is the home of my ramblings.
But today, on the eve of a new year, I had to return to the place that I've spent so long, so much time and energy on, to write an entry that's been brewing pretty much all year.
Standing here, on the edge of 2004, I'm looking back with amazement at all that's gone on over the last 12 months. I feel like shaking my head in bemusement. I just can't believe how much has changed, or the way that my life has gone lately. One year ago, I was miserable - just as I had been for many, many years. For the last few months I've been happy and complete, and have woken each day with a smile on my face. That's unbelievable. It's unbelievable for the girl who had spent most of her life wishing to be different, to be someone else, or more than that, to be dead.
For so many years I was so deeply unhappy, so depressed, and suicidal. Yet at the time no one noticed and nobody cared. No one could see why I should be so unhappy. Now, I have the elusive happiness that I'd always looked for (although people seem to think I should be miserable because I've not been well for so long and seem hell bent on persuading me to be depressed!) and I feel incredibly blessed. 2003 has been the best year of my life, yet 12 months ago I'd never have believed it would end up that way.
There was a whole sequence that led to it. I can see it as clearly as though it was plotted out on a map before me. It all began back in May sometime when I started going through a lot of old stuff. I suppose it really is true what they say about throwing out your old junk being as cleansing for the soul as for your cupboards. The sort of things I began to turn out were folders that had remained untouched for years which brought back a myriad memories, good and bad. But somehow the bad didn't sting me as much as it had done in the past. It didn't have the power it once had.
It coincided with the approach of that anniversary again, which weighed heavily on my mind. But actually confronting items and papers from that period of time seemed to help. I was facing it, instead of shoving it away in a dark hole. As I started to push past the heaviness of the memory, the darkness that it had brought on me, I started to feel different, as though I was finally being set free. I was able to look at other things that happened that summer without them being eclipsed by that one event as see them in a new light; a happy light. I started to take back other things, like songs that I'd not been able to listen to since.
Finally I took back the most important thing of all. My writing. You know, recently I saw something on TV which reminded me why I got into writing in the first place. There was an episode of Red Dwarf on which had always been one of my favourites - Back to Reality. It was an episode that had entrapped me so deeply in the story that I felt for the whole 30 minutes as though I was right there. There are very rare moments of TV and film like that, where the writing is so good that when the piece ends you almost feel deserted because for as long as it lasted, you were a part of it. I wanted to create something that powerful. I wanted to write something with as much energy. I wanted to cast a spell with words. I don't know if I ever managed it but certainly tried.
I started writing books in the summer of 1996. I stopped in the summer of 1999. In the 3 years between I wrote 92 stories. It was an addiction; an obsession. I couldn't stop writing. When the writer's block hit, I felt deserted by my own characters. I had nowhere to escape to any more. For the four years in between, I would always use the magic word 'almost'. I had almost written 100 books. For four long years it remained at almost. Then while searching through old stuff, I'd discovered all my old story idea notes. The books that I'd jotted down lines I wanted to use or ideas for things to include at a later date.
It inspired me. It woke something up inside me that had been sleeping for all that time. On 1st June this year I picked up a blank book and a biro and started to write my first book since 1999. By evening the following day, I'd finished it. I'd literally written non-stop. I'd written until late at night. I picked up my pen as soon as I woke the next morning and started again. I wrote until I came to the end. And it wasn't a struggle. It wasn't hard. It felt natural. I didn't have to force the words, they forced me. I couldn't stop them coming from my pen. It wasn't me in control any more - my characters were running away with themselves the way they used to. I was in heaven.
Suddenly I realised what my writer's block had been about. I hadn't run out of stories or inspiration. It was Bob that fucking killed my books. In the weeks after I was assaulted, I threw myself into writing so heavily that I lived in my pages. It was the only way to escape what had happened. I had no one to turn to and no other way to deal with it. I wrote and wrote. I hid in my books until, as the year passed, I'd sarted to associate writing with what happened until I couldn't bring myself to write any more. I had to do enough healing before I could take that joy back, and finally, this year, I did just that.
I also let go of a lot of hurt. Throwing away that best friend's necklace was the best decision that I made this year. I don't know why I kept hold of it for so long. Perhaps to remind me how much hurt someone I'd once called my best friend had caused me to stop myself from letting anyone that close to me again. I didn't realise how symbolic leaving that necklace in the middle of Poplar Bridge in London actually was, but as soon as I let go of that my heart opened again in time to welcome into my life the best, closest friendship that I've ever experienced. I found the other half of my soul, and my beautiful LDG ;) You know who you are, sweetheart :)
Our friendship has made me stronger still. It's a vicious circle :) And putting so much hurt and pain behind me has allowed me to open up my heart again to trust people more. In turn, I finally felt able to take Y up on the amazingly generous offer that he'd always held open for me to find female partners. I feel so free now, and true to myself. The two of us have grown even closer in the last few months. Our relationship has gone from strength to strength. I adore the way we are together. I think the two of us were just meant to be together, regardless of distance, sexuality and anything else that was placed in our way.
Since the 1st of June, I have written 23 and a half books, and have well and truly broken that 'almost 100' that I carried on my back for years. Writing has never given me more pleasure. But then again, neither has life. I don't write to escape any more - I write for fun. I have wonderful people in my life who make me feel safe and warm. I love my job - well, both my jobs. On my last trip to the tattooist's I was told that 50% of next year's brochure will be made up of my designs, which I just couldn't believe.
Unfortunately, my body isn't so kind. Right now, I'm back to where I was this time 2 years ago. I have constant pain again, and this time I have Chronic Fatigue to keep it company. But I have people around me who always make me smile, no matter how bad I might be feeling.
Ironically, I think it was my return to fiction that killed this diary. The events that I would write in here have now become fodder for my stories again. If the Spider incident happened now, I'd have it happening to one of my characters as a way of recording it. I think all the time I wasn't writing, I was frustrated and that came out in long entries. I feel sad that I don't have the energy to write here the way that I used to. I wish I had the energy to do both.
There are three people who have made this year so special. My dear Kass, who keeps me laughing all the time and who is one of the loveliest people on this planet. My beautiful Nicole, who I could never say enough about and has completed me. And my wonderful Y who has helped me to grow so strong and whom I love with all my heart. Thank you all so much - and to everyone else who has kept me smiling and laughing all year.
I know this entry is long and sentimental, but I wanted to sum up the year as it has been for me. I wanted to remember the journey I've made over the last few months. And I hope that next year might be even half as good as this has.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all a happy, peaceful and bright new year. :) xxx