A weight off my shoulders

As I mentioned awhile back, I was set to write an article for my city's weekly paper, Flagpole. The article's subject? The relationship among creativity and illness (mental and physical). I got lots of good tips, conducted some research, and even interviewed a few people.

Know when I turned the article into the editor? Never.

This duty has been weighing on my mind during this the worst period of Migraine pain and debility I've had in a long while. I missed out on work five or six days due to illness in the last couple of months, a marked change from missing just one once in awhile. I am having an awesome time working on bookstore stuff when I can handle it, but I've let a lot of paperwork and work commitments fall to the wayside if it was at all possible to procrastinate.

The article was really stress-inducing. Each time (truly, each time) I set aside for working just on the article I was either sick (75% of the time) or forced to do last-minute work-related things (25% of the time). Today I finally wrote to the editor to let her know I wouldn't be sending her the article any time soon--at this point, she might not even want it.

As soon as that long strip of April attacks began (the neverending headache from April 10-17, to be exact), I thought to myself, "I should nix this article idea. It's one small thing in the grand scheme of things; it's one small thing in a regular person's life. But for me it's just too heavy a commitment at this point." But I didn't admit that to myself for more than a minute at a time. Instead, I kept thinking I could get it all done. The two things I found most difficult were:
1. my perceived need to not let this kind stranger, the editor, think badly of me and,
2. my tendency to deny the fact that what I used to be able to do is not equal to what I can accomplish now--my abilities are diminished, and I hate that.

Here's what I wrote to the editor. I hope I don't come across too feeble or too annoying or too fake. Then again, I need to work on not worrying about what others think, right? Oh, I hope so.

Dear ________,

I'm embarrassed to have to write to you today. I should've written a few weeks ago, but I kept hoping that this awful bout of Migraine attacks would taper off as it usually does. I've been spending far more time lying in bed feeling bad than I have out in the world working or socializing. Weather changes can signal a particularly difficult time in a migraineur's life, but this spring has been intolerable.

All the research for the article is finished. I have rough starts of two rough drafts but nothing solid to speak of. I know we didn't establish a deadline, but it's clear to me that I am very late.

If you'd be interested in waiting to hear from me when I'm on the mend, then I'd be happy to finish up the work I've begun then--I just can't be sure when that will be. As of right now, I'm having to notify you to let you both know that I cannot fulfill my commitments right now despite my deep wish to.

I hope you can try to understand! Again, I'm really sorry.


Janet Geddis

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