After the rush - reflections of a non addict
There is so much work, adrenaline , build up and emotional effort involved over the years it takes to write a book and then ultimately reach the end goal - release.
When your book is finally out there the rush is like that of an addict, you want more of that feeling of elation, of the natural high, of the buzz that is the end game. I wonder if all performers, artists, creators, actors or athletes spend their moments chasing that buzz no matter how fleeting it may be. Imagine the work and training that goes into running a gold medal time at an Olympic race and it is all over in 3 minutes. My goodness the dedication required to achieve that rush and end goal is intense.
The thing is, I have realised I am not much of an addict to the rush. There really is too much work involved to sustain that high. The intensity of effort required is just not sustainable in a busy life, in everyday living. Unlike an addict looking for the next fix, I am just not that addicted to the high or effort involved in self promotion and selling , unfortunately I am a tad que sera sera . I know with a little effort I could score me a good addicts hit, say yes to that podcast request , or get a promo in the papers or make the effort to hype it all up to be an Amazon "best seller" by tweaking the buyer, playing the game behind the scenes, but meh , what does that title matter, I've never been a fan of titles. Maybe I am the weekend raver , the party girl opportunist, the laziest type of addict , the rush needs to find me.
I am also really good at creating my own highs without the angst and long term committment that is involved in writing memoir. The buzz I get from watching my garden grow and change, hands in the dirt whilst digging, chopping and enjoying the fruits of my labour. Or the natural high I get from an autumn walk, a conversation with strangers, listening to the stories of others. The rush of warmth that courses through my veins from cuddling a playful puppy or finally the smile of recognition from a new baby grand daughter. These are my sustainable addictions , my easy to come by pleasures, my natural rush. Have you ever had that simple high where you are just so very glad to have a wonderful day of nothingness ahead of you ? , where you feel such gratitude for life and your surrounds. I remember the dizzying high I felt when the sun would shine through the windows of my Anglesea home , the magpie song would warble throughout the stillness of the morning and a day of doing lay ahead. I used to tell my children that these were god given days where you are just given a day to enjoy life. If you watch and observe children they live in that natural high of living life, every adventure and discovery a new wonder , their glee and energy buzzing from their tiny bodies. At times I wish we could just bottle that childish wonder before we begin to see the world through the jaded eyes of a street hustler .
As much as I recognise that I am not a very good addict to sustaining the rush , trust me I am an even worse dealer in sourcing and selling it. Many people on social media whom I followed or had an interest in seem to spend all their time and posts in self promotion. I find myself lamenting to no-one in particular - please can you just share some of your soul without a dollar in it or a link to continue the addicts rush of self promotion. Like a good non addict I have learnt to delete them all, to cut the supply which feeds insecurity and doubt. Social media has its place and it is great to connect and build business ( even to sell books ) however the trick is not to be addicted or consumed into feeding the habit , to take it for what it is, just a simple placebo in a smorgasbord of feel good drugs.
So the question I ask myself is after the rush, when the high is over what have I learnt? Thankfully many very interesting lessons about life, people, community and conversations. I spend most of my waking hours learning something new, I think I am addicted to that actually. People fascinate me. The kindness and words from strangers and friends has been amazing, the silence from others fascinating. I enjoyed the early rush and effort required to promote my book especially during the lockdown times, it gave me something to do , to focus on, I had time to write and blog and fluff around. But now life is returning to my new normal and a different phase. I like to compartmentalise my life into stages . The writing of my memoir was just that a stage, that I actually did it was the achievement , that others read it was amazing and that conversations were shared and understanding took place was the goal. The next phase is rehab and recovery where I get on with life and enjoy my days, where the rush of life is from living it freely everyday and the only addiction I get to battle is with chocolate , oh and coffee , and possibly cheese .................
#thingsIvalue My colourful addictions - a new puppy came to visit , oh my heart , not mine of course but I love him anyway , what a rush of love. The beauty of a flowering orchid the time it takes to flower and bloom is a like a sustained slow release pleasure. The Anglesea beach and cliffs - always my drug of choice - any day, everyday. Plants inside and outside my home, some of the best conversations I have had lately, I am addicted to watching them grow. And just because every addict needs their dealer :) my book The Suitcase sitting on the shelf .
May your days be filled with sunshine and song