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. 😀
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.
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.
Were There Any Good Moments?
It wasn’t all bad in April. I am finally done with my undergraduate studies!
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.
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.
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.