Sunday Bookends: A somewhat rough week, missing when Christian fiction was good, and the ongoing battle with depression

Welcome to Sunday Bookends where I ramble about what I’ve been reading, doing, watching, writing and listening to.

What I/we’ve been Reading

This week I started Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle by Ann B. Ross and I’m really enjoying it.

I’m also looking forward to reading Call Me A Cab by Donald Westlake.

I’m actually looking forward to reading anything that isn’t Christian fiction right now, as awful as that sounds, but I need a break from the new Christian fiction – yes, the stuff like mine – that is fairly cheesy and very watered down.

I was in the library of my parent’s church this week while Little Miss was at Awana and I was looking at books by Bodie and Brock Thoene, books that were about real issues, real people and not fluff. They were great and there aren’t a lot of Christian fiction writers like them out there now. Don’t get me wrong. I like fluff books too. I write fluff. I’m just in a really bad place when it comes to Christian fiction right now, especially how a lot of the new stuff seems to have the same template and be the same story but with different characters.

Little Miss and I are reading some Paddington again this week. I guess she needed some comfort reading and I did as well.

The Boy is slogging through Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.

He hates it. I’m hoping to find him a better classic book to read before the school year ends.

What’s Been Occurring

This week presented some challenging moments for me. Those moments left me deeply hurt, worried, sad and finally in a pretty deep depression. There are a couple people that were a part of one of these moments who think I am in a deep depression because they said my writing wasn’t good, but that isn’t actually the issue. The issue this week was once again being disappointed in the behavior of people who profess to be Christians. Or I should say, that was my issue until I worked toward changing my way of thinking.

Christians are not perfect, merely forgiven. No Christian is going to do everything right all the time. The Christians who hurt me this week did not do so spitefully, they did so carelessly. Had they listened to me over the last few weeks, maybe they would have known how I have been slipping deeper and deeper into depression, all while trying to pretend I am not.

I have been doing an awful lot of pretending lately. I have pretended I am okay, I have pretended I’m not worried about myself or my family. I have pretended I want to have a career in writing novels. I have pretended I’m good enough to write novels. I have pretended that it doesn’t hurt when people I grew up with and used to be close friends no longer speak to me.

The next paragraph is not in an attempt to whine or sound like my life is so hard, but to explain a bit of what I have been pretending. Also, please read this with the little bit of humor I wrote it in and not as dark as it sounds. 😉 I have been pretending that my hair is not falling out in clumps and that isn’t freaking me out (my family knows I am freaking out, but I’ve tried not to mention it too much to anyone else). I have been pretending that my smell and taste is back to normal after Covid. It is not and there are some days I can’t even eat because everything is disgusting and has the “Covid smell and taste.” I have been pretending that I don’t feel like I’d rather stay in bed all day long than face another day of unknown health oddities. I have been pretending that I can keep pretending, shoving it all in so no one can see it to keep people from looking at me like most doctors do – like I am a sad, anxiety-ridden loser who needs to be on as many pills as possible and then hidden away.

I don’t have a lot to look forward to each day, other than my children and some days even that is a challenge. My 7-year old doesn’t want to do her school work many days so sometimes we both end up crying. My 15-year old is amazing but he’s trying to figure out life as he transitions into being a teen and marches toward adulthood so sometimes his dad and I screw up trying to communicate with him and then we all end up in tears. (I know we will figure this out but some days I just feel like I’m really bad at the mom thing.)

Then we came to the end of my week when I went to a new doctor for my thyroid and my blood pressure was sky high, my weight was the highest it has ever been in my entire life, and the doctor told me I have to try a new medicine that could make me feel even worse than I do now or I can face a myriad of health issues that will slowly kill me.  I’m already sick on the thyroid medicine I take now so I have no idea what to expect from this new stuff.

Hmmm…can’t figure out why the blood pressure was so high after the weird situation with the writing group that happened about the same time I found out there was a very good possibility my elderly parents had not only been exposed to Covid, but now had it. (We now I’m know that they do indeed have it.)

The entire time I was at the appointment I kept worrying they would try to admit me. I was almost out the door when the nurse wanted to take my blood pressure again before I left. She did so while my arm was in the air and I was on the verge of a full blown panic attack as I flashed back to my time in the hospital when I briefly thought I might die on a ventilator (I did not think this for the majority of my stay, thank God). Needless to say my blood pressure was still high. I seriously don’t even think the woman knew how to take a proper reading.

Once at home, I took the bp meds that have been making me dizzy, watched some TV with the hubby and the bp dropped more than 30 points. In fact, it dropped even before the medicine kicked in. I guess because I was out of the stressful situation.

So, last week was hard. I don’t know what this week holds but I do hope it is something a little better. Right now I am not going to pretend that I am optimistic that it will be better. Writing the truth feels good. I am not optimistic. I have hope, but not optimism. I am not trying to fake it until I make it anymore and it feels good to be honest about my current emotions instead of trying to pretend that “I’m fine and I know things will be fine.”

Bull crap. I don’t know that at all and I am not fine.

Walking away from a writing group that I loved, but that was stressing me out (not their fault other than that awful experience of my work being shredded in front of a bunch of strangers), finally admitting that I was trying too hard to be something I am not, was completely freeing. I will, however, miss the wonderful ladies who were a part of the group.

I like writing my stories, no matter how stupid they are or how they don’t follow the strict rules of writing. I will probably continue to share them on my blog, but maybe nowhere else. I don’t even know yet. I will offer books for sale for friends and family to access but I probably won’t push their advertising much in the future. I was writing for fun not for acclaim and when that fun started to be stomped out of me, it was time to step back to what once made me happy – just sharing my ramblings on here and with friends and family.

What We watched/are Watching

Now on to happier things. Last week we watched more Brokenwood, some Mystery Science Theater (Manos, The Hand of Fate. It was absolutely horrific, which if you know anything about MST3K is actually a good thing. More opportunity for quips and laughs.), more Night Court, and I watched some old All Creatures Great and Small but then decided I really don’t like the actor who plays James Herriot in the old. He made James Herriot into a kind of uptight jerk without a Scottish accent. He’s much sweeter and less huffy in the new series, which is what I would imagine the real James Herriot (James Wight) was actually like.

What I’m Writing

Honestly, not a whole lot right now. Maybe someday again. I did share a Randomly Thinking on the blog last week and a book review.

What I’m Listening To

There has been a need for uplifting music this week so there has been some Elevation Worship and Matthew West going on.

Now it’s your turn

What have you been reading, watching, doing, or listening to? Let me know in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: A somewhat rough week, missing when Christian fiction was good, and the ongoing battle with depression

  1. Oh gosh, I have so many things to say to you that I wish I knew you in person so we could have a long face-to-face chat. Buy I’ll address only a couple of things here: I had a milder case of that dreaded C virus than you and my hair is falling out too! And it distresses me. But obviously, that’s not the biggest anxiety-causing thing for you right now. I’m praying for you, your family, and for your parents’ recovery. Next, you’re NOT a bad mom or a bad writer. We all feel like that often. Not true, just horrible whispers the evil one plants in our ears. Now the subject of blood pressure — those readings taken at doctor’s offices are not accurate. Stress, anxiety, worry, all kinds of things cause it to get high. Mine was normal before I went to my last doctor appointment, but was sky high there, and normal again after I came home. Life is just hard sometimes, but we know the Life-Giver will help us cope and that’s what I pray for you.


    • Thank you for this. I’m trying to stay calm about the hair thing and it’s slowed down a little but in January I cut my hair short and now it’s getting even shorter and thinner! I know my doctor would say this is because my thyroid is messed up but I never lost hair like this even when my thyroid was in worse shape than now. Luckily, my son has a lot of beanies he wears when his hair gets out of control so maybe I can just borrow one of them if it all falls out. *wink*

      The writing thing — yeah — that is a little bit of a conundrum for me. It is a joy for me but I need to improve so I need to submit work for critique which can make it less of a joy. There is a whole situation here that I can’t really explain well on a blog response. Maybe I’ll message you on MeWe sometime and try to explain it. It was all a bit odd but also involved some misunderstandings on both sides.

      As for bp…it’s a bit high at home sometimes too but the more I check it, the worse it gets so now I’m just getting confused. The medicine they put me on makes me dizzy and feel odd but…no one wants to listen to me about that or that it isn’t as high at home. Blah. Doctors.


  2. I’ve been praying for you so much, especially after your time with covid. I am not bouncing back fully from my January bout with it either. I keep getting RA flares, & not getting over them. These autoimmune conditions we deal with are sure not simple! I am one of those who are blessed by your stories, so I hope that God brings you encouragement to know that. 🙏 sending you hugs and love this week.

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    • Thank you, Bettie. Yes, I think trying to recover from something like Covid is harder with autoimmune issues. My parents are dealing with right now and I hope my mom isn’t left with lingering effects after it because of her fibromyalgia. They are not easy, no. I’ll be praying for you to keep healing and recovering.

      Thank you for the encouragement about my writing. I’m going to try to keep going in one way or another.

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