Steven wrote a poem about pain to go with his insightful painting. I wanted to share my response.
I live with chronic low-grade pain (which I almost spelled "pane.") What color would it be? Muted red, perhaps. On a good day, light pink. Like my mental illness, I'm used to it. Unlike my mental illness, there is never a question that I would get rid of the pain if I were able.
The mental illness has affected the way I think, and I have had it all my life. I sometimes think if it were taken away, I might not know how to deal with the world as a "normal" person.
Just like some people who have been blind all their lives have trouble navigating the world if by some miracle their sight is restored. I am blind to what it is to be "normal."
I also wanted to respond to Adam's very kind post in which he mentioned my struggles.
I was initially discouraged by the asshattery of other people. Then I overcame that. Now I'm discouraged by the publishing process. It is NOT FUN! It is expensive and time-consuming. It probably doesn't help that I have obsessive-compulsive disorder. I hate being my own publicist. If you can't afford to have a team helping you promote your work, and you don't enjoy doing this sort of shit by yourself, woe betide you.
So, yeah, I don't know if I'll ever publish another book. I'm going to get the one I'm (still) working on out there, but that might be it. I don't expect to get a huge readership for it, not nearly enough to cover the expenses of getting it published.
And that's currently where I stand.