The warning signs are never where I can see them until it's too late.

I knew you wouldn’t believe that my Zumba class debaclemelt-down…miscalculation started a slippery slide into a stormy several weeks of physical and sensory suffering. (Shazam! That sentence had a passel of “s’s”). Time for some tough love in the form of “Plan 2.”

First, I’m sorry about “Plan A,” where I pretend that I’m fine to the outside world. This is easier in cyberspace where you can’t look my blood-shot, dark-circled eyes and know that “fine” is what I’m not. Oh-oh, yes, I’m the great pretender, pretending that I’m doing well. My need is such, I pretend too much. I’m [falling apart] but no one can tell. Oh-oh-oh yes, I’m the great pretender… (Thank you, Platters, for saying what I feel.) I thought my heart would go on; near, far, wherever you are–but I ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, cryin’ all the time. Just ask Phil or Elvis, but you’ll have an easier time reaching Phil–he always has his cell phone near him; Elvis is a bit more elusive.

Where is he going to put a cell phone? I mean, really?

Some of you know I have Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS for short). This manifests in me as:

  1. perpetual dizziness (hence, “dizzylorna” as my email address and my occasional reference to me being the quintessential “dizzy blonde.”)
  2. sleep fracturing (constantly interrupted sleep pattern) and insomnia (just can’t sleep)
  3. sensitive digestive tract (I’ll spare you the details)
  4. migraine headaches (enough said, right?)
  5. problems with focus and concentration, especially in the midst of a lot of visual and auditory stimuli (and by “a lot” I mean music playing while I try to write–even new age la-la music)
  6. joint aches and pains (is my head a joint?)

All of these symptoms are exacerbated by life’s little gift that keeps on giving: stress.

I’ve had CFIDS for over 10 years and I’ve learned to live with the ebb and flow of the symptoms through a variety of techniques:

  1. relying on my blessed physician-prescribed pharmaceuticals to calm my brain down
  2. adhering to an inhumanely strict anti-inflammatory diet in which I eat organic vegetable broth (I chew the broth to make it last longer)
  3. exercise when I feel up to it and when Scrappy needs to sniff around his “hood.”
  4. stress reduction through job-avoidance (retirement)
  5. adopting a Buddhist approach to life
  6. writing silly versions of my life as a form of therapy
  7. therapy as a form of therapy
  8. divorce as a form of therapy (although I didn’t anticipate the divorce or the therapeutic results)
  9. living with a compassionate, loving, patient, generous, sexy man as a form of therapy
  10. honoring my ever-changing self while constantly challenging the boundaries of my limits

*****

Recently, I’ve found myself in a bit of a pickle. Some of my coping techniques to reduce stress are causing me stress. I may have to adjust my diet before my body starts feeding on itself. When I start to feel better, I have a tendency to do crazy things (like trying new exercise classes or taking on a mentally challenging task that exhausts me) and I find myself right back where I started…or worse. I know I have to reign myself in on the good days when all I want to do are things that “normal” people do, like enjoy a social gathering of more than two people. It’s hard. It’s discouraging.

Is anyone else bothered by all that chatting, laughter, and clinking of glasses?

This brings me to another comeuppance I got the other day that set me farther down that slippery slope. I’m submitting at least one short story to the Writer’s Digest Annual Contest. The 3-part series on Pépé, My First Love, needs to be edited down from about 3,500 words to 2,000 words. As I copied and pasted the posts from WordPress to Word and started the editing process, I was aghastappalled…ashamed at the number of mistakes and typos in the three pieces. I spend hours writing, editing and proofing every post before I publish it. Hours (like 6 hours). How could I have missed all those mistakes?

It's a good thing you have pictures in here to distract the readers from the abysmal mistakes in the text. My love is unconditionally tough.

Each post takes so long to write because genius takes time I have a very difficult time typing. Mostly I correct rather than type. Let me show you what I mean. Here is something I will type carefully, but without any editing at all:

Your probably won;t believe that I;m tying this as carefully as i possibly can, but I am. I have to go back and ceheck every work and every punctuantion mark . The I often get stuck on works that I know are the perfect words I want to use but they won’;t come to my brain, so I have to use an suynonym finder. I uded to have a incredible vocabulary. Maybe I still do, it’s just stuck in the wreck that used to me my brian.

See why writing a post takes so long? I have the same issue when commenting on your blogs. All this leads me to “Plan 2.” Here’s what has to change before I take a header off the slope I’m slipping down:

Since I don't have a projector--let alone a bulb--I had to settle for Plan 2.

  1. Cut way back on my posts–2 a week maximum so I have time to work on bringing my memoir manuscript to life (meaning publish-ready).
  2. Cut way back on the number of blogs I visit regularly. I hate to do this, but seeing 75 emails of new posts to read each morning stresses me out beyond belief. I sometimes spend 5 hours getting to a cleared inbox. Then, it just fills back up again. It’s worse than housework.
  3. Settle for hitting the “like” button more and reserving comments for special occasions. I love making comments and reading them on my posts, so this is tough for me. Knowing how much difficulty I have typing and editing, I hope you all understand.

My plan for Lorna’s Voice is simple:

  1. I’ll be Lighting up the Blog-o-Sphere each Thursday
  2. Poking fun at my search terms is too fun to let go, so Divine Ms. L isn’t going anywhere.
  3. I’ll post updates on my life, whether it’s about life as a manuscript writer, Scrappy companion, or just zany things I notice.
  4. And I’ll be visiting some of you, just not as regularly.

If I don’t do this, there won’t be a Plan C, my Come-Back plan, after my book (title to be determine) is publish-ready.

Ooh. I think it's time for me to go. I hope you don't forget me. I sure won't forget you. Gee, I kind of miss you already. I'm funny that way...