Well, that’s a loaded title, isn’t it?
Truth is, I don’t know where I’m going or even how to start. Every beginning has another beginning stretching back into infinity. And none of us know the end or how we might get there. Or what even might come next.
But for those of you who’ve been wondering, I’m just not sure how I identify with Skye Callahan and dark romance right now. What I know is this: I can’t deal with the constant stress of being online and the constant pressure to be social. And I can’t write when facing the constant pressure of letting my readers down.
I just can’t.
And yes, many people will say it’s better to face those fears and anxieties and push through it, but I’ve been trying that since the beginning. Skye Callahan is a personna, but it’s also exactly who I am, just with a different name and an online presence (or so it was until the beginning of this year). I am not social. I am not outgoing. And I got to the point that I would have a full blown panic attack every time I had a new message, new email, or new comment. I needed to step away.
Early this year, I lost someone I’ve been friends with since I was twelve. I remember when she first moved to America, when she had her first Oreo, and her first birthday party in America. I remember her excitement when she found out she was pregnant with her little girl. I remember how beautiful she looked at her baby shower. I remember the little Facebook messages we exchanged when we lived hours apart.
And I remember every single detail when my husband told me she was gone.
First, I thought of her little girls. I hoped they were okay. If they ever could be okay.
And then, I said the only thing I could get out, “How?”
I still can’t believe it.
I can’t make sense of it.
And before I knew it, I had descended into my own hell of anxiety and depression. But that’s not the end of it. The shock of it all also triggered my PTSD. My friend was also a survivor of sexual assault, something she never talked about, and something I didn’t know until after she was gone.
I can already feel the anxiety prickling at my skin as I type this. It has been months now, but I still can’t fully shake it. Writing dark romance was a catalyst for me in dealing with my anger, emotions, and depression, but I’m not ready to go back into that mindset. Eventually, I know I will. The stories are there, waiting to be explored, but for now I’m focused on gardening, working my new day job, and fixing up my old house. I need to rebuild myself, starting from the foundation and working up.
Readers, I’m still thinking about you! And I do miss you. I hope life is treating you well. I’ll be back in some capacity. I probably won’t be back on social media, although my page still exists and I’ll post there from time to time. All big updates will be posted there, here on my blog, and in my newsletter.
I don’t know how long the hiatus will last, but I look forward to being able to lose myself in a dark story again and sharing it with the world.