Good news, finally: my autoimmune disease is finally in remission. Bloodwork came back excellent, so all of the frustration this summer (some of which is ongoing) was worth it and the drugs are working.
I thought it might relieve some of my stress but I was not prepared for how much. It’s that stress cup analogy–I’m already carrying so much, there’s barely any room for anything else, and my health worries were taking up a considerable amount of space in the cup. (As I was only semi-joking about on Bsky: now there’s just the crushing weight of capitalism, career death spiral, and laundry.)
We’re checking in six months to see if it’s still working, and I’m still navigating some tax stuff as well as how the insurance stuff will work (I have other medications I buy, so I don’t know for sure what deductible I’ll be paying when the provincial coverage starts), but for now, I can shift my focus to the million other things worrying me.
As it’s the first of the month with a new release, patrons can download the first eight chapters of A Wild Kind of Darkness today. The book releases next Tuesday (The Killing Beach is currently part of Kobo’s November BOGO mystery sale).
Hell Fire continues next month, then in January and February to conclude the book. On Monday, patrons got a Zara short story set at Halloween with an event from young Elis’s past that’s been referenced a few times (the time she threw a fireball at someone she should not have).
I’m really having trouble with the cognitive dissonance right now of having to be like “rah rah, support me on Patreon! rah rah, I have a new book coming out!” given the state of the world.
That’s not to say it’s not always bad; it is. But the front row seat, in real time, as everything is happening is unprecendented.
I wrote about it for patrons, how I am actively promoting my own stuff out of obliviousness, but out of obligation, because I have to hustle to make a living. It’s hard to pause and celebrate good news, like remission. But it’s difficult, and I grapple with it, and that’s the goddamn point: it’s not supposed to be easy to witness terrible things and then carry on as if it’s business as usual.
I was talking about this with a friend the other night, who was also doomscrolling and amplifying and dealing with the same frustration and powerlessness of knowing you need to keep functioning when you very much want to scream and rage at everything. How petty and insignificant everything else feels. I know a lot of people who believe that you act if you can and then otherwise don’t let it bother you, because the world at large is out of our hands and there’s no sense crippling ourselves with its horror.
But what I think about is if that was me.
If I watched three generations of my family wiped out.
If I was working in a hospital with preemies in incubators who I knew I would watch die because the power’s been cut.
If I was pulling body after body out of the rubble, praying to find one–just one–alive.
If I was going through hell and I knew there were people on the other side of the world in what is comparative comfort, who had their own problems but none of them were actual genocide and war crimes committed against them, what would I want from those people? The people who had no money left to give, who had already contacted their leaders?
I would want them to bear witness.
I would want them to ache for just a fraction of what I feel. I would want that to radicalize them. I would want that to change their outlook. I would want them to keep the pressure on and to not look away. I would want them to find a way to deal with their feelings of powerless, their own pain, to hold a light up to what I am going through.
That is, indeed, half of the reason I write the things I do, the dark moments where I am exorcising my own demons: I want to be seen. I want a light shone on that pain and trauma. I want a witness where there was none before.
When others are suffering, I think the very least we can do is not look away. To bear the pain of witnessing, to accept that it’s a struggle to function when facing the world’s horrors. To ache for what you cannot do and find all the things you can–marching and protesting, writing to our elected leaders (who work for us), educating ourselves and educating others. To know that bearing witness will change us, irrevocably, but that is better than remaining stagnant.
And to the people who immediately chirp “you shouldn’t talk about ‘politics’–shut up and write stories”, you obviously have not been paying attention to who I am. Human rights are not “politics”, and what are people going to do–read my books even less? Lol, child, good luck with that.