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The War Inside: Part 7

You’ll remember my whole reason for undergoing gastric bypass surgery was because I wanted to live a long, happy, productive life as a multi-published author. I had a book finished—if not perfect. After RWNZ conference I had several good ideas how to make it so. Perfect, I mean.

Perfect Book

For the first month after surgery I truly didn’t give a damn about anything, writing included. Life was one long parade of District Nurses and infection and drugs and trying to live this new life that everyone told me would get better. 

But I’ll never forget the day I finally decided to pull out my manuscript and have a look at how to incorporate some of Donald Maass’s suggestions. I opened the folder … and it was as though I were reading something I’d never seen before, something written by a stranger.

I couldn’t remember a thing.

Not the heroine.

Not the hero.

Not the plot.


I was a wreck.

Mum heard me crying and came to find out what the current drama was. When I bawled out my problem she just nodded.

“It’s the anesthetic,” she said. “Exactly the same thing happened to to me. I completely forgot how to knit.”

Although I’d been away from home for a few years by this point I remembered her knitting all the way through my childhood. You name it, she created it—gorgeous jerseys with hugely complex patterns where her fingers flew and she never looked at the needles. Watching her was magic. 


Relief flooded over me. “Then it comes back.”

When she didn’t answer immediately, my relief drained away. “Doesn’t it?”

I could see her mentally picking through words. After a pause she decided on, “For most people, yes.”

Most people? “Well it did for you, right?”

“No,” she said. “I’ve never really been able to knit much the last few years except stocking stitch. You find other things to do.” 

Other things? What did she mean other things! There weren’t any other things!

That night I sat in my sleep chair with the curtains open to the night, staring up at the stars. And (because I’m a naturally positive person with a cheery outlook on life) extrapolated my current unendurable situation into the future.

I’d screwed up. Not only had I put us into debt for nothing but I’d ruined any chances of doing what I wanted. I’d never be able to fix the book. Never write another one. Never be a nice person again. My poor husband. The guy couldn’t win. Instead of ending up with a gorgeous, sexy wife (I’m also naturally sarcastic) he was now going to spend the next fifty years married to a skinny bitch. 

The next few months were the lowest time in my whole journey.

And then one day, around six months post-surgery, something in my brain clicked back into place. Finally, finally, finally I saw sun gleaming out behind the clouds.

Mark Twain once said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”  I really identify with him! Do you? How do you deal with the worries that crowd in on you? I’d love to know. Share in the comments.




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you want to know a funny thing? I wrote a ton of fanfiction ten years ago, more in some cases, great long complicated adventures, many novel length and longer. I go back and read them now and again and wonder where that all came from, who wrote these epics of fun and wit, of romance and daring-do….and I don’t recognize myself as the author. It is quite scary at the time – on a plus side I really enjoy the stories (hell, I wrote them for myself after all) but I also get the horrible feeling that I’ve done my… Read more »

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