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  • Writer's pictureJenna O'Malley

Reflective Ripples: Mental Health and Long Overdue Update

Welcome to Reflective Ripples, where we glance into debatable topics about the creative world. Today, let me provide some clarity as to why I've been so silent here.

It’s been a while, lovelies. First and foremost, thank you for your support during this time. The last few months have not been the best roller coaster of my life, and I’m kind of not sure where to start other than maybe chronological order.

TRIGGER WARNINGs being what they are: this post contains an update on my mental health and more. Please be considerate. Thank you.

On August 27, I was hired last minute to fill a full-time English teaching position for a virtual school in the United States. Great! I had planned to be a sub in my local, public school district as my husband and I were looking to moving an hour or more away. Subbing would have been routine money, and I could have switched school systems without an issue. The pay is abysmal, but it would have gotten us through. This virtual position is full time, and I’m also trying to maintain my writing life as full-time.

I spent most of September learning what my limits are between doing, what I consider to be, two full-time jobs. I knew I had to take October to learn a better productivity routine as my depression and anxiety continued to legit spiral out of control. October started, and I made myself a solid schedule and modified how I used my bullet journal to track the never-ending quest list I chase each day.

On October 14, 2021, I tested positive for my first pregnancy ever. Being in my mid-thirties and married for going-on a decade, this was a huge joy. I fight infertility a la polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) due to insulin resistance. Basically, my body is pre-coded to be diabetic, no matter what I do, and a side effect of that is I struggle to conceive a child. I’ve wrecked my credit and our finances to a degree in attempts to become pregnant in the past. This one happened on its own, naturally.

However, we found out on October 29, 2021 that Angel, as we’ve come to call them, attached to my fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies can be deadly to the mother due to a high potential for internal bleeding, and the baby rarely goes full term. I had to have surgery to remove the pregnancy. National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) started the following week.

I’m still healing, and my mental health progress gained in the weeks leading to the end of October have been lost. I’m still trying to piece things back together, though. I’m still trying to make YouTube videos for #authortube. Frey and Lee are on vacation as I’ve set The Arsinoëphorus Alliance (Book 3): Bound by Vengeance and Mind aside for November. I’ve been writing as much as I can on the daily for NaNoWriMo and Vitaelangica (Book 1): The Crusaders of Lukzander Shoals. As of today, I’ll break 30,000 words, which means the book is halfway written!

I’m taking the time between now and the end of 2021 to focus on healing. Therefore, I have also decided it might be a wise idea for me to push back the deadline for some publication dates, but I will tell more about those in the coming future.

For today, I wanted to mention how thankful I am for those who belong to my community. Thank you for your love and kindness when I needed it most. Please take the time to focus on yourself as well, lovely. You’re worth it.

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