It's Never Too Late
"It's not over until it's over. It's not over till you're dead..."
Jennifer Coolidge inspired me with her very quotable quote at the Critic’s Choice Award. I, too, found success later than I expected. When I started writing, I imagined being a prolific writer by the time I was in my 20s. I was positive I would find success quickly and have a career like Stephen King in no time.
I was wrong.
When success didn’t come right away, I stopped writing by my mid-20s and didn’t start again in earnest until my mid-30s. I was determined to be a full-time writer by the time I was forty and took online courses and writer challenges in hopes of achieving that goal.
What happened is that I got my first book contract from Tor when I was 40 and became a full-time writer at 41. I was very proud of myself for not giving up, even though my path to publication was very different from how I imagined it.
The last few years have been hard as I dealt with health issues (physical and mental). My productivity was greatly affected, which affected my career and income. In the midst of the 2020 pandemic, I made the decision to address my health issues. In 2021, I finally had health insurance again, so I started doing just that.
Now at the beginning of 2023, I FINALLY have my ADHD diagnosis and I have started a non-stimulant medication to get it under control. I am starting to see a difference in my concentration and ability to hyper-focus, which is very encouraging.
Since I shared my struggle on social media, I’ve had a few people ask me how I went about getting help and an official diagnosis. I shared with them that it took 2 years. My PTSD/GAD-related depression and anxiety had to be addressed first before my concentration issues. I was annoyed but understood there is a process. I’ve just been so desperate to get back to the days when ADHD hyper-focus was my superpower when it came to writing. The stress of the pandemic (keeping my 80+-year-old mom who lives with me healthy for one thing) had literally shorted out my brain.
I encourage anyone struggling with mental health issues to get the help you need. Even if that means reading books on how to deal with health issues, that can be very helpful with coping. My old coping mechanisms just finally gave out on me. That is why I had to seek medical help and am now taking medication.
It’s never too late to get help. It’s never too late to start again. It’s never too late.
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