Getting There From Here

I went for a bike ride today.

CityCycle Shop via flickr

Five miles in the rain and somewhat chilly autumn weather. In my fiction writing, I have been trying to eliminate as much back-story as possible. It is boring. However, the most important part of any rule is knowing when to break that rule. So, here goes…

A handful of years ago, I had a lot going on. My natural tendency toward self-doubt and fear of disappointing others intermingled with my series of unfortunate life circumstances and led to an anxiety disorder with panic attacks. It was several months before I could even tell my wife, and a few years before I would seek any type of help. I started taking an SSRI to help bring me up out of my somber and dark moods. I started taking Xanax to deal with the times when my anxiety got so overwhelming that I was certain I could not go on. I also tried to improve the way that I think so that I could be more positive with myself and not so self-critical all of the time. I tried to be less critical and negative toward those that I love. I pushed myself to take chances and get out there more. I think sometimes in life, you just need to pop a Xanax, hunker down, and press ahead.

In July of this year, I completely ruptured my Achilles tendon on my right foot. I was in a wheel chair for months. I had to have surgery to reconstruct my tendon so that I could walk again. While I was preparing for the surgery, I had a preoperative check-up. I had an irregular EKG. The EKG showed that I have had a heart attack, though I have never had any symptoms. Since I have never had an EKG before, there was no way to compare to a previous EKG. My doctor ended up saying that my EKG was a “variation of normal,” but it was easy to see that he had no easy answers for me really. In my follow-up appointments, I have had two times where my blood pressure has been high. I weigh more than I have every weighed. I am in the worst shape of my life.

As you may or may not be aware, I took a long break from blogging. Life is busy, hectic, and sometimes difficult. Sometimes something has to give. Often, for me, that is writing. It goes on the back burner when there are too many life demands. I am filled with the same self-doubt in my writing that I am everywhere else, making it sometimes difficult to reach my writing goals. I am still trying to decide what my writing goals for 2014 will be. I want them to be realistic, but also ambitious. I want to achieve my personal victories. I think sometimes in life, you just need to pop a Xanax, hunker down, and press ahead.


I went for a bike ride today.


  1. Maurice A. Barry

    I noticed your absence and checked back from time to time just in case I had unfollowed you or something.. I’m relieved to hear the news. Difficult as it is, acknowledging and recognizing the problem you wish to solve (I apologize for my use of language here as it seems a bit off. It’s just that I approach most things in my life as a series of problems–in the design sense–to be solved). In my case I would then move on to a phase of suggested solutions then proceed to choose one or several and go from there. I am trivializing, of course, as the problems I have in mind are of a much more minor nature (work related projects, repairs, general career goals–things like that). It still holds somewhat true, I think.
    Normally at times like this it is polite to send well wishes, perhaps even pity. I can’t bring myself to do that as, frankly, it trivializes what it is you are going through as well as the courage and strength you are drawing upon to deal with it.. Anxiety is not a simple thing with an equally simple solution. It is as complex as are you and so, then, will the treatment solutions you decide to implement.
    I can say this. I wish you well and assure you that light is always there at the end of the tunnel even if the march toward it will always be a difficult one.
    I also look forward to hearing more from you. It is nice to see you back in this space.

    • jrlambert

      Thanks Maurice! It means a lot that you checked in on me, and that you took the time to post such a nice comment. I cannot really complain too much, there are people that have it much worse. It really has been a tough year. I have a lot of motivation to improve my health though, which is a great thing. Progress in physical therapy is very slow at this point, but it is coming. My anxiety is there, but getting slowly better as I work on trying to think more positive. Thanks for the well wishes, it really does sincerely mean a lot. I will keep writing… 🙂

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