One of my least favorite and most disruptive life experiences is the unexpected visit and subsequent long-term relationship with Meniere’s Disease. When first given this French-sounding diagnosis I thought it sounder cuter than it actually is. Five years, permanent hearing loss, daily tinnitus, and numerous bouts of vertigo later—let me tell you it ain’t exactly awesome.
For the blissfully unaware, suffice it to say that bouts of vertigo can range from the mildly annoying—when I move too fast, I get dizzy—to the incapacitating bouts that restrict most movement and don’t even allow me to look at a screen. Which means reading is out, writing is definitely not happening, and if I even move, I toss my cookies. These days are really long, really lonely, and really not so swell.
As a woman of faith, I have come to accept my own vertigo as a thorn in the flesh experience. Sure, I’m praying about it, but I also know my God is bigger than my vertigo and if He chooses to leave it unabated, He must have reasons of His own. Fine. What if one of those reasons involves me writing about vertigo?
Having recently moved through a moderate episode and the emotional hangover that followed, I found myself wondering what an aging serial killer would do if he/she suffered from such inopportune bouts of vertigo. How much fun would it be to write about a killer in the throes of their mission-of-the-moment only to be thwarted not by the authorities, but by incapacitating nausea?
While a better woman would start some sort of compassionate blog designed to encourage others sharing this ridiculous malady, my mind goes straight to my favorite fiction genres of thrillers, suspense, and murder mysteries. The odds are strong that one of my bad guys—or girls—is going to encounter a French-seeming visitor who might just take up a lot more space than originally intended. I’m pretty sure that’s going to make for some fun writing which should translate into an entertaining read.
Here’s to putting our pencils where our struggles lie—and creating stronger stories as a result of our respective journeys.