The Case of the Absent Blogger

It was Mystery and Thriller week over on Goodreads last week, hence the title. (Neat, don’t you think?) As many of you might have noticed, I took a month-long vacation from blogging without any prior notice. I feel like I owe my regular readers an explanation, so that’s what I’ll be talking about in this post. Also, watch out for some fun Harry Potter GIFs. πŸ˜€

Why the Absence?

Two main reasons for this one: extended illness and a writing slump (I refuse to call it writer’s block).

In my March wrap-up, I mentioned both of those and naively thought April would be better. Probably Fate read that and decided to have a laugh at my expense, because it only got much worse.

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I was suffering from throat infection, which would make me extremely tired, and what with all the travelling I did in the scorching heat, it only added to my woes. I was so busy with my project work in college that I didn’t go to the doctor for a long while, hoping I’d just get better eventually, but that plan failed miserably too. I did end up going last week and I’m on the road to recovery. I’m not 100% alright yet, but I’m getting there.

I entered Camp NaNoWriMo in April hoping to get some writing done, but couldn’t write a single word. Of course the illness drained my physically, but I was on a massive creative low from March onward. I just didn’t feel motivated to write at all. Putting down words felt like such a chore. Also, I lost faith in my abilities as a storyteller. I was so overwhelmed by all the technical aspects that I realised I had no idea about till I read a few articles and once I started second-guessing myself, it was a downward spiral.

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Were There Any Good Moments?

It wasn’t all bad in April.Β I am finally done with my undergraduate studies!

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The last exam I had to sit through as an undergrad was on May 6th. There was a farewell organised by my department in April, which turned out to be more fun than I expected. It was also the second time I wore a saree for an occasion and it was quite a challenge to pull that off in this heat. I took some great pictures and made lasting memories that day. Also, I took a very insightful course on graphology (more commonly known as handwriting analysis) as an elective this semester, which concluded last month. It was refreshingly different from all the technical subjects I had throughout my studies. I think I’m going to have a separate post up on it quite soon, so watch out for that!

Lessons and Thoughts

To try and make my mundane life more relatable, I reflect on the lessons I learnt from my experiences. Here’s what this unintended leave of absence has taught me:

When I was sick, I was looking for some kind of support or understanding from the people I’m close to. My family had no patience for my condition because they’ve seen it all before. What hurt the most, however, was my friends making fun of how physically weak and susceptible I am. At that point of time, it just fuelled my despair even more.

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It’s very difficult to heal from severe illnesses with zero external support, according to me. So much of your energy goes in trying to fulfil your daily duties that you have none left to help you feel better about yourself. When I needed my support system the most, that’s when it failed me. I started to question if I actually have a good support system or if they are the fair-weather kind. From that I learnt to be more self-reliant and try to find ways to remain so even when I’m not at my physical best.

Also, I currently feel like reading books where the main character deals with physical illness on a daily basis. The recent trend right now is towards mental health representation. While it’s definitely something we need more of, I started to wonder the last book I read where the main character fell sick and the best I could come up with was when Bilbo catches a cold in The Hobbit. I’m aware that there a lot of books on people having chronic or fatal diseases like cancer, but I was looking for something where a character is dealing with asthma or wheezing or migraine – the mundane, but ever-present sort of illnesses – and didn’t find any. (To be fair, I didn’t do a lot of research.) If you have any book recommendations for me, please let me know in the comments section below.

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I realised I have a lot more to talk about, but I’m going to end this one here. In the coming weeks, I hope to talk about the changes in my life post-college, about my anxieties and hopes for the future and about my thoughts on graduating. I will also be requiring your help in making some decisions with regard to my blog, which I will elaborate on in my Friday post.

I’d love to hear from you! How was April for you? Fill me in on everything I’ve missed out on since I stopped posting in the comments section.

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28 thoughts on “The Case of the Absent Blogger

  1. I’m so glad you’re better – it must have been horrible! I’m currently reading The Hobbit and when he gets the cold I sincerely felt so sorry for him! Poor little HOBBIT!
    You’ve missed quite a bit, maybe? Aha, exciting news is
    Mikilea is hosting A REALLY EXCITING PROJECT YOU MUST CHECK OUT NOW
    https://thewellthumbedreader.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/discussion-announcement-is-the-book-blogging-community-too-clique-y-introducing-my-blog-project/
    I’m hosting The Typewriter Project #awkwardselfpromo
    https://mybookylife.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/the-typewriter-project/
    and…Ahh, I think that’s it??? I’m a goldfish so…you can’t reply on me

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! I’m so glad you’re​ reading The Hobbit now! 😁 I hope you love it as much as I did. Oh, definitely. Especially when he can’t make a good farewell speech, I felt particularly bad for him.
      I’ve missed A LOT! Everyone’s Camp NaNo updates, new releases and buzz in the book community and other fun stuff. 😭
      I did ask for you to tell me what you were up to, so I don’t mind the promo at all. πŸ˜‚ I shall check it out first thing in the morning! Look out for my comment in the next 12 hours or so. πŸ˜‚
      Everything you’ve linked to sounds so very interesting! Can’t wait to check them out! Thanks for filling me in. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you’re back! I’ve missed you! I’m so sorry you’ve had such a rough time in April. 😦 It is extremely draining to deal with an illness (especially while juggling school). I totally agree with you on the support issue. It’s so important to have people in your life that are sympathetic to the pain and exhaustion you are dealing with.
    I have a few health issues that make it difficult to keep up sometimes…low blood pressure, low blood sugar, thyroid and kidney issues. Sometimes I feel that my family, as you said, “has no patience for my condition because they’ve seen it all before.” Just because it is something that keeps coming up or doesn’t go away doesn’t mean that the person dealing with it doesn’t need support. In fact, they need it even more because recurring illnesses are more draining emotionally.
    So, I feel you. I’ll be your emotional support over the internet. πŸ™‚ During those times when you feel like you’re not able to accomplish as much as you want because of an illness, just remember that you are so much stronger than everyone else, because you’ve been given a burden to carry but you refused to give up. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I missed you too! πŸ™
      I’m so sorry to hear that you have to deal with those on a regular basis. When you’re not feeling well and the people around you are busy with their own stuff, it definitely feels a lot worse than it is. I can relate to everything you said so much! 😭
      Thanks for offering to support me online! That’s the sweetest thing anyone on the Internet has ever told me! 😊 Of course, I’ll do the same for you anytime you might need it. (I think we can use Twitter for this. I’m still not sure what to do with that platform!)
      I was moved to tears reading this. You’re my hero, Megan, for doing everything you do despite everything else you’ve to deal with. I shall definitely keep it in mind when I’m feeling low. I hope you’ll remember that you’re truly an inspiration for people like me when you’re going through a rough patch yourself. This comment made my day! Thank you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so glad my comment lifted your spirits. It makes me happy to know I could help in some small way. πŸ™‚
        Aww…thank you so much for your kind words. It made me feel a bit teary eyed myself. πŸ˜‰ I feel inspired and motivated now. I’ll keep your words in mind anytime I feel discouraged.
        We’ll definitely keep up our online support! (who said online friends aren’t real? πŸ˜› ) Twitter sounds good to me. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Online friends are the best! πŸ˜‚ To be quite honest, I have never succeeded in finding a like-minded friend in real life, but I have so many such blogging friends. Not sure if I’m lucky or unlucky in that respect, lol.

        Like

      • In real life, I don’t come across to many people who like writing fiction, have blogs, and are obsessed with LOTR memes. So yep. Online friends are the best! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, no! I’m sorry you were sick for so long! I agree that it’s especially difficult when people seem to “move on” from the fact you’re sick and get tired of helping you…and in the meantime you still need help.

    Congratulations on graduating, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It feels great to be done with my degree! 😊 I was able to get a bit of rest because it was my final semester and wasn’t as hectic. I hope I can recover much faster now that I have holidays.
      Thank you again for understanding. πŸ™‚ It is quite a task, but I’m personally feeling a lot better now and the support I’m getting from the blogging community has been instrumental in that.

      Like

  4. Congratulations on completing your undergraduate studies? Where are the graduation photos?
    Take care of your health.
    Glad that you are well and back to blogging?
    What’s the next step in your career? Graduate studies or job?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ Well, the actual convocation is in August. I just finished my exams (but I’m sure I’ll pass πŸ˜‚). I’m planning to work for a year and then maybe go for higher studies. Still a bit apprehensive at the moment because job means moving within the same city as travel is impossible. We’ll see how it unfolds.
      It’s wonderful to hear from you after so long! How have you been? πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am sure you will do well.
        Doing great.
        Once my journey with the letter W was over, I realized I am not writing as regularly. It is always good to have some discipline. On the other hand, I have more time to read. There is always something positive in every situation. So I am sure your move to other part of the city will have a beneficial impact.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s good to know that you’re getting more time to read. πŸ™‚ I’ll try to catch up on your poems as best as I can, but forgive me if I don’t. πŸ™
        I sure hope it does! Scared but excited for what lies ahead. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  5. *HUGS* I wish I could have been there to support you. It’s hard when your own family and those around you don’t help you when you need them most, or don’t try to understand how you’re feeling or what you’re going through. I hope you’re feeling better as of today. I’m glad you’re back, and I hope you know that you’ll always have my online support, because online friends are real friends too.
    I grew up with asthma, and have had vision problems and diet problems, so I know how hard dealing with feeling unwell can be.

    Congrats on graduating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your support! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad I can count on my online friends. They sure are real friends. 😁
      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to deal with so many problems. I wish you all the good health in the world! 😊
      I’m feeling much better since the start of this week and expect to make a full recovery by Friday. 😁
      Thank you! It feels great to be done with studies, at least for now. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Awwwwww. 😦 I’m so sorry that you were so sick, but even more than you didn’t have the support system you needed at that time. It’s tough when people choose to be unsympathetic and you have nowhere to go to avoid it. So I hope you feel better soon and people start being a little more caring and attentive.

    On a happier note, congrats on finishing your undergraduate studies!! That’s so exciting. It can be a little overwhelming, too, from what I recall about how I felt when I graduated. What were you studying, btw? I think you’ve mentioned it before, but it slipped my mind. And that handwriting analysis course sounds fascinating!

    The best thing that happened during my April…. Iceland. I loved every moment of the retreat, and I already can’t wait to go back. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, it was quite a challenge, but I’m feeling loads better now. πŸ™‚ Perhaps it’s all the love and support from my online friends because I’ve been healthier this week than in all of April.
      Thank you! πŸ™‚ I’m happy to be graduating, but entering the corporate world is a bit scary. So, mixed feelings as of now. I studied Telecommunication Engineering in my undergraduation.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed Iceland! 😁 I’ve only been going through your Twitter account. I’ll make sure to visit your blog soon to catch up and read all about your trip! 😊 Is there another trip on the cards again?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ohh, that’s great, Nandini! So glad that you’re feeling better. πŸ™‚

        I was scared, too, when I graduated from college. Entering the working world is like stepping into the great unknown; despite the years of schooling and preparation, you have no idea what to expect or whether your plans or intended career is going to work out. I hadn’t been able to land a job before graduation, so I already thought I was a failure despite all my hard work. But luckily I landed an internship a couple weeks later, and that eventually grew into my first real day job.

        My advice: Do your best to take things as they come, and keep your eyes open for opportunities. It’s scary, but as long as you’re persistent, openminded, and willing to keep the faith, you’ll find something. I’m sure of it.

        Are we friends on Facebook? I think you might actually find more about Iceland on my personal page. I posted some stuff there during my trip, since my relatives knew I was travelling abroad. And as for future trips… If you mean whether I’m still going to Writer’s Digest in NYC this summer, yes. And if you mean whether I want to go back to the Iceland Writers Retreat or Iceland in general, that’s also a yes. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you have so many trips lined up. That’s wonderful! πŸ™‚ We are friends on Facebook, actually. I’ll surely check your profile for the Iceland posts.
        You’ve captured my feelings at the moment perfectly about “stepping into the great unknown”. It’s scary for me because I don’t know if I’ll like it or if that’s what I want to do with my life. Being involved in so many things makes it hard for me to decide what to actually take up, I guess. πŸ˜‚ So far my education has just been decided by others or my rank in an exam. Let’s hope hope I end up liking my job. Thanks for all the advice! πŸ™‚ I’m starting work from July, so I’m sure it’ll make more sense to me then. πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

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