Memoir/Personal Essay, Writing


I have been on hiatus for over a month now trying to prioritize the important things in my life and also to figure out just what direction I want to take this blog. I have struggled with making a decision because I am a lover of everything and it is difficult to narrow down what I am passionate about. This has led to the creation of numerous blogs that have gone untouched and has kept me from posting something that is really important to me because I felt it was not in line with this blog’s purpose. But, life is writing and writing is life and from now on this blog will be about both.

For those of you who don’t know, I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Over the past two years these undiagnosed conditions have wreaked havoc on my health, my energy, my spirit, and my dreams for the future. In fact, it has caused my entire life to come to a screeching halt. Along with this illness I am caring for my four year old whom doctors believe is autistic with Asperger’s and can become violent at any second for any reason or no reason at all. I use the word “think” because I have been unable to have him officially diagnosed and have been waiting for specialists to see him for nearly two years now. The waiting lists are so long and are soul crushing for any parent who desperately wants to seek and receive help for their child. As if that wasn’t enough, I also have a soon-to-be-eighteen-year-old son who will begin college in the fall. AND as if THAT is not enough, I lost my job in mid-December because of budget cuts.

What has all this done for me? It has made me stop and reevaluate my life and where I want to go. It has made me realize that I need to be more authentic in all my interactions. I am was a firm believer in perfectionism and never asking anyone for help. I wanted everyone to perceive me as the person who knew how to do everything. But this mask of perfectionism I am hiding behind is not serving me very well. So, I plan to be more authentic in my writing on this blog, to share with you my fears, my worries, and my truth.

The biggest truth that I can share with you right now is that I am terrified of writing. I do not know the first thing about writing and yet the idea of learning everything there is to know in order to become a great writer is overwhelming and stops me in my tracks. I have so many interests (law, politics, neuroscience, psychology, social work, mental health counseling, sociology, criminal justice, writing, reading – you get the idea) that I find it difficult to settle down into one specific area. It is the perpetual “the grass is greener on the other side” philosophy. What I do know for sure, though, is that I want to help people, I want to teach, and I want to write. That is where I have to place my focus.

To start things off, I would like to introduce my authentic self to you: I am a 36-year-old woman who is still not sure what she wants to do with her life and has not made it past step one in Life 101. I am a woman whose legs hurt so badly some days that she has to crawl out of bed or not get out of bed at all. I am a woman who spends many mornings locked in the bathroom in an attempt to avoid her four year old’s stinging punch to the face. I am the woman who has finally started the journey toward authenticity and finding her place in this often scary world. I hope that you will follow along with me.


9 thoughts on “Authenticity”

  1. That was a beautiful, heart wrenching, honest, authentic post. A terrific start to your beginnings as a writer. Thank you for sharing your multi-dimensional struggles and bringing them out to the forefront. When you are authentic, people will respond to what you have to share. Thank you for taking the risk of revealing your life challenges and sharing your dreams for the future.

    I look forward to your future posts; my thoughts will be with you concerning what you need for yourself and for your family, especially in getting help for your four year old son.

    A refreshing day to you,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance

  2. I don’t know why you are afraid to write. This is magnificent! Authenticity, that is writing what you know, is half the battle.
    I look forward to following along.

  3. Interesting and fascinating. I was struck, as you struggled to find your focus, by something I got from Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, (I think)– it’s an E.L. Doctorow quote that goes something like “Writing is like driving at night. With your headlights on, you can only see a few feet in front of you, and yet you can make the whole journey that way.” Relax in knowing that you can make your journey, just by writing. Keep going. I’m rooting for you!

  4. Hi Sarah,
    Good to hear from you – I’d been wondering how you are getting on. My CFS diagnosis is a year old now (tho like you I have had for much longer) and I am only just beginning to understand what that means.
    Like you I am seeking to become more authentic. I think that is one of the lessons of chronic fatigue – finding the energy to get through the day is hard enough – trying to put on a brave face and pretend everything’s ok is impossible. One thing I’ve learnt – you can’t fight this illness – you have to go with it.

    I think the thing with writing authentically is to just do it – write what bubbles up from deep within in you. The creativity prompts on Trains of Thought are great triggers for releasing the flow of words.

    I hope you get some help regarding your little boy soon.

    All the best – Suzanne

  5. Sarah, good luck with your journey both on a mental and physical level. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to get through each day, and I hope that there are sufficient lulls in your pain to allow you time to create.

  6. Sarah,
    Thanks again for your honesty, vulnerability, and authenticity. It is truly refreshing.

    As far as narrowing down your niche, try to figure which one or two topics are your true passion, ones you just *can’t* put away. That is what I would try to focus on for blog posts. Your passion will shine through, thus making your posts even more authentic and lively.

    My thoughts will be with you concerning the help you need for yourself and your son.

    I would recommend keeping a private journal to document your struggles and victories. I think that will help to calm your writing fears, and your journal would be a worthy testament of your life.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring

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