Some of you may have noticed I’ve been a little (okay, maybe a lot) MIA lately, I’d like to take a moment to apologise for that.
I’m really sorry to everyone who follows me for not being around and sorry to the authors I’ve come to call friends, who I have failed to support over the time I’ve been away.
I’m going to explain where I’ve been, as much as I can, not because I owe anyone an explanation other than a simple “I’m human and life happens,” but because I care about each and every person who takes the time to support my blog and I’d like to share a little bit of myself with you.
The last 2 months, well to be honest the last 7 months, have been absolutely crazy for me and it finally caught up with me. I’ve been snowballed under a ton of pressure coming from many different sources and unfortunately my commitment to the bookworld along with my university studies have suffered immensely as a result.
Fixing, selling and buying a house is a huge and tiring commitment, I’m pleased to say the fixing and selling part has ended and now I’m looking at houses and gearing up to move. Which is really exciting, it’s been a long process, one which we (I) started in January.
There was a lot of work to be done and I spent many nights pulling all nighters in between renovating to honour commitments to this blog. Including a week long takeover event which ran all day EST time which for me is from 11pm til 1 – 2pm my time during the busiest and most full on week of renovations. And I loved every minute of it, it was totally rewarding and I made so many friendships out of it but this was the beginning of the end for me, I bit off more than I could chew and kept piling more on top. I burnt myself out fast.
At the time that this was all going on I also had a number of family issues arise, including an extremely uncomfortable confrontation with my stepfather that was so far out of line on his part that it ended in a separation between my mum and him. While this came from his childish need for my mum’s attention, not caring who he affected or how deeply, it was one of the worst feelings in the world to know that someone we (as a family) trusted tried to use me as a pawn to hurt my mother. Luckily, my mum who was at a point in which she no longer felt the marriage was the right one for her, took it like a champ and refused to let his vindictive behaviour affect our relationship. But it was a long and drawn out process trying to remove him from our lives and drained the life out of me. My only escape from reality was within the pages of books and the rush of being a part of something (blogging) that may help an author break through and find their feet in the bookworld.
However, with all of this happening, I found myself sick and for months I could not shake the illness, all the stress took its toll on my body and a combination of boardline anemia and a chronic sinus infection had me knocked off my feet for two and a half months. I struggled to keep my eyes open for longer than two hours at a time and fought migraines for days at a time with a day or so relief in between. This is where I started slipping, I missed posts I’d committed to, couldn’t read the ARCs I’d signed up for before I got sick and everything started feeling like a job rather than something I do because I love and enjoy it.
With everything going on, being miserable and sick, used and overworked, missing my husband became more than the constant ache it usually is, it threw me into depression. My husband and I have been together for over 6 years now, but thanks to a battle with immiragion to recognise our marriage as genuine, he had to move back to a country he hasn’t called home in over a decade and we’ve been waiting 16 months so far, with no end in sight, for an answer on whether or not he’ll be granted a visa to come home to me, where he belongs. At this point, I still battled as much as I could to keep the blog going, scared of disappearing and letting people down. That was the only reason I kept going, I wasn’t enjoying the books I read, I wasn’t enjoying the blogging. Everything on the outside had killed my passion and I hated that.
By this point, my grades at uni had slipped from being top marks to fails. I missed assessments, I completely forgot about my exams. It’s a total mess. I went from an easy 3.8GPA to barely scraping a 2.
But then my mum had some serious health issues which required a few weeks with hospital in the home care. I’ve got a 16 year old sister and a 20 year old brother who I’ve had in my care while mum underwent treatment and recovery, as well as caring for her as well when the nurses weren’t here. It was quite full on, a little scary and very exhausting but I’m happy to say that so far, things have really turned around and her health is thankfully back on track.
With all this happening one after the other, once I found out my mum was sick, I made a decision to step away from the bookworld quietly until I felt it was time I could come back. I used that time to rediscover my love for reading, I read books for me, not for the blog, not because I was asked too, not because I had commitments, but for myself. If a book and I didn’t click, I didn’t finish it. I fell back in love with old favourite authors whose new releases had fallen through the cracks while I was trying to stay afloat with the blog. I didn’t focus on how I’d review it, I didn’t read it with an open mind like I had to as a reviewer. I let myself either enjoy it or not enjoy it. It was freeing. I just left small customer reviews on Amazon and GoodReads and that was as far as my obligations wants.
I needed to do this for me, I was lost in a world where, for the first time, books didn’t excite me. They filled me with dread. That’s so unacceptable to me and I should never have let it get to that point, I should have stepped away long before I did for a break.
But it’s now time for me to come back! I’m really excited to be back and while it’ll probably be a slow process as I’ll also be catching up on quite a bit of my uni load, I cannot wait to get back to blogging, as something I absolutely love.