Writing the Pain I Know

Based on my social media persona, you all probably know me as a writer whose imagination is way more interesting than her everyday life, a person who loves cats and books, and can be funny (on occasion).

What you probably don’t know is behind this computer screen, every single day is a battle with my health. I’m a Type 1 diabetic, but my cells have stopped processing insulin properly. This leads to high blood sugars and stress on the organs. So three months ago I reduced my diet to protein and produce. I was already celiac and couldn’t have wheat gluten, but now all grains, including rice and corn are off the list. I have allergies 24/7, 365 days a year, and the only reason I drink coffee is to keep the migraines at bay—which works most days.

Recently I found out I’ve got heavy metal toxins preventing any form of true healing from happening. That means detox, but if you’ve ever quit giving your body something it’s used to, you’ve probably experienced that things get worse before they get better. Your body doesn’t function very well holding all those toxins tightly in its cells, but when you detox, the floodgates open and all those nasty things are allowed to wreak havoc on your entire system. The plan my doctor lined up will take months, and I must confess that seeing the other side of this path is like looking down a road covered in blinding thick fog—with rattlesnakes in the bushes; I can’t see how far away the end is—or if there is one.

Last October (wow, almost a year ago!) I posted about outliving my expiration date. I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes since then. I’ve been gluten free for over a year now, something I never thought I could do (or would). I’ve eliminated 99% of sugar, including artificial sweeteners, from my diet—no more cookies, candy, or ice cream. I say 99% because lots of grocery items have some form of sugar, like some canned beans!

The process of making these changes has been brutal, and the most discouraging thing of all is they haven’t made me feel better. With my doctor’s current plan, he hopes I’ll start feeling better in a month. And then we’ll keep going with the regimen for as long as it takes. Can you imagine thinking of recovery time in months or over a year? It’s daunting.

People have asked if I would ever write a character with diabetes or similar health issues, and the answer in the past has always been ‘no.’ When I write, I’d rather spend time with someone who isn’t held back by such weaknesses and inconveniences. One of the reasons I write is to pretend, just for a little, that I can go and do and be someone else.

However, with my current struggles and the frustration, that’s changed. I started a new book and this time my character has just as many health problems as me. Of course, I’m throwing in supernatural stuff as well. 😉 This character will face weakness and learn to find different kinds of strength. Because even though the days are hard and sometimes I feel so discouraged as to cry (or say “screw it all, I want the cookie!”), I keep going. I keep living and doing what I love. Writing this book started out as a therapeutic venture, but I hope the final product will be something worth sharing with you all.

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In the meantime, watch for the release of Earth Tones, Elemental Magic 3 coming October 20th! Check out the book trailer and stay tuned for the cover reveal next Wednesday!

I’m putting together a blog tour for the release with dates in November, and if anyone would like to participate, let me know! You can check out the tour schedule’s page on the right.

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29 comments on “Writing the Pain I Know

  1. The extent of what you are going through is immense, Angela. Your perseverance is amazing. I think in any situation such as this, as long as there is a shred of hope, however small, we can keep pushing ahead. You are an inspiration, Angela. Hugs to you, sista.

  2. You have been faced with a daunting task but as the time passes throughout this year of recovery you’ll see changes and positives that will help you keep going. One second, one minute, one step at a time. Look at all you’ve accomplished this past year since our class! You’ve shown tremendous strength. Hold on to that.

    You new book will help many people Angela. I’m a really good cheerleader and listener so if you even need to “talk” or “vent” just shoot me an e-mail. Just know that I’m with you all the way and I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Love you friend!

  3. amyshojai says:

    Wow, I had no idea–but just from the little I know you, I have no doubt you’ll come out the other side of the fire.

  4. Writing can be a really powerful tool to help cope with weaknesses in ourselves. We can make the journey to strength with our characters, and that has a real impact on life outside our books as well. I hope this new venture helps you find the strength to keep going, even though the path ahead seems long and daunting. Once your on the other side and feeling better you’ll be so thankful that you made the difficult journey!

    And you’ve got a buddy in the no-sugar diet here, if you ever need a cheerleader 🙂 It is hard with all the processed foods full of sugar!

    • I hope so, Becka. In a way, writing this book is more daunting than any of my others because so much feels invested in it.

      Yes, BOO processed foods! I try really hard to find alternatives, but sometimes there aren’t any. Still, what I do manage to do is better than nothing.

  5. Alina Sayre says:

    Attagirl 🙂 I’m so proud of you. The way you’ve stuck to your ultra-disciplined new regimen inspires me. And I’m REALLY intrigued by your new project!

  6. Angela Dean says:

    I’ve had Type I diabetes going on 27 years now. Kudos to you for giving up all the sugar. I’m working on changing to strictly a protein/produce diet, but I haven’t given up the carbs 100% yet. When I don’t eat them, though, I do notice much better, and steadier, blood sugars. Also, I’ve tried to give up the artificial sweeteners, I tend to go back to them for my tea and coffee. Habit, or because I like them? I don’t know. Good luck to you, and I’ll be watching for your supernatural story with a diabetic character!

    • Wow, 27 years. I stopped counting after I’d been one for over half my lifespan, lol. I have to do some math to figure out a number now. The blood sugars definitely do better with fewer carbs. I switched to Stevia for my coffee and xyiltol for baking. They work pretty well as alternatives to sugar.

      Thanks for stopping by, Angela!

  7. T.F.Walsh says:

    Well done on making it through – it would be so hard to give up so many foods. Keep up the great work, and can’t wait to read about it.

    • It was hard, but I’ve been using recipes from the Cellular Healing Diet book, and they actually taste really good! That helps a lot. It’s no fun eating food that tastes terrible. 😉

  8. You are an amazing woman, Angela! One that I am proud to call my friend. Your character and courage inspires me ~ and judging from these comments, others as well. I think it’s great you are going to write a book with a character that has health issues. What better way to show that they aren’t the sum of who you are, but a part of what makes you amazing?

  9. Susan A. says:

    I know I am excited to see this book you’re writing. So glad the idea of it is helping you cope with your own problems. No doubt it’s tough to write, but I think when it’s done you’ll be glad ou wrote it 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Your courage and dedication to writing is an inspiration. I don’t know of many people who would keep going under those challenges, but you prove not only that it can be done, but that you can also be an amazing person while doing it.

  11. Amber West says:

    What you are going through sounds very much like my mom. It takes a toll on a person, but I love that you’ve changed your mind about writing your experiences into a character. I hope that it brings some catharsis with it.

    • Yes it does. I’m sorry to hear your mom is struggling, Amber. I’m hoping for catharsis too, but it also feels like a huge responsibility to make it something “publishable.” I just have to take the writing stages one step at a time though.

  12. Berfelda Blickensnurdfer says:

    Dear Angela,

    I admire you writing about your health struggles and am encouraged by your tenacity. It takes a courageous person to allow others to really ‘see’ you.

    Thank you.

    P.S. I’ve heard that you can be funny more frequently than “on occasion”. 😉

  13. I’ve been following you long enough that most of what you’ve summarized here isn’t a surprise. I admire your strength Angela. A lot of people would be downtrodden by the burdens you carry with grace. You are inspirational.

    I love that you are working on a story featuring a character with similar health challenges!

  14. You are an inspiration and a role model, Angela. Truly! I’m very excited about your upcoming launch and book tour but even more so at the news that you will be writing your experience into a new character. That will be powerful! I was so happy to read about your dancing nights. Are you still doing it?

    • Thank you, Patricia. 🙂 I’m excited for the cover reveal next week! I keep looking at it and wanting to share it right now! Yup, I’m still dancing! At some point I would love to take formal lessons. Sometimes these really skilled guys ask me to dance, and then I spend it apologizing for not being able to keep up, lol. But there are also enough guys at my level to dance with too. 😉

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