Author and AllWrite? Founder Debbie Jinks was the next to answer the question I posed in her Facebook group: How has writing changed your life? Here is her heartwarming story of starting life anew one word at a time…
First of all thanks to Kirstie Ganobsik and Trina Noelle for giving me the opportunity to guest post on Enlightenment for Shmucks.
The question on ‘how writing helped improve my life’, is an unusual one to say the least!
So as they say let me start at the beginning.
Approximately two and a half years ago, well I say approximately I know the exact date, Friday 7th February 2015, it’s engraved in my memory forever, I passed out and hit the back of my head against a wall. The worst and most delicate area to hit it so the doctors say. I came round with the biggest bump on my head, a headache from hell, and no sense of smell or taste.
At first it didn’t sink in, I suppose I just thought that after a few days it would come back and life would resume as normal. However after there was still nothing after a week I started to get worried. I could feel the fear in the pit of my stomach. Something was very wrong.
I couldn’t face finding out more so I kept well away from good old Google and every other search engine there was. However my family didn’t. They started researching what was happening and came up with Anosmia. A loss of sense of smell and usually taste also as they are very much connected. So that was me, and when I started to look into it and discovered it could be permanent. I spiralled into depression.
My husband and family were wonderfully supportive and would comfort and look after me, but of course they couldn’t imagine what a devastating and life changing condition Anosmia can be, you can’t until it happens to you. People just take these two senses for granted it doesn’t even occur to them how easily they could disappear, just like that!
Losing your sense of smell makes life seem grey, no longer being able to smell the sweet scent of flowers. The smell of cut grass, I always loved that. The lovely damp earth smell in the air after a rain storm, well you get the picture. I still feel sad describing these things even now I must admit. Food…I always enjoyed my food. The different flavours, smell of it cooking, that first tasty bite.
I lost a lot of weight because I didn’t want to eat, well who would if everything tasted of….well nothing and was like chewing cardboard, actually I don’t why a said cardboard as I couldn’t have tasted even that anyway! My life became almost unbearable I felt drained physically and psychologically and had no interest in anything anymore.
Then something changed in me. I went for a walk along a small country lane near our house one afternoon and realized that if I didn’t find some why of releasing all this sorrow and anger, because yes I was very angry too, I would quite literally fade away. I was so skinny by then that my doctor said if I didn’t start eating I would become seriously ill, to the point of being hospitalized, which in fact was exactly what happened. My blood sugar level dropped so severely I nearly fell into a coma. This was very frightening not only for me but my husband and family too. So when my sister suggested that I started writing a blog about it, I grasped at the idea like a lifeline and began doing just that.
As I wrote and wrote and wrote, I started to feel a weight lifting from me and began to pour all of my sadness and angst into my writing. Doing this helped me gradually come back to life and feel like a person again instead of this wrung out wreck. Post after post spilled out of me and I began to feel healed, not physically as that remains to be seen, but mentally.
As I continued to write I realized I absolutely loved it and was told by many who read my blog that I was pretty good at it too. This became my passion and I knew I had more in me than writing only about my Anosmia, so I set up a website too and started writing about different subjects. This then led to my playing around with a few fictional pieces and I couldn’t get enough.
My life was not just improved by writing it was saved!
So back to present day. I’m now writing some short stories, have finished a children’s book to the point where I’ve started getting it illustrated. Have started writing a book in the fantasy genre, taken a course in fantasy writing and achieved a distinction. The list goes on and on I’m excited to say.
I still write my anosmia blog, which is called ‘Anosmia my World’, it’s very special to me as you can imagine. I intend to write a book about living with my Anosmia also.
If ever you want to check my blog out the link is www.anosmiamyworld.wordpress.com. I will always write this as its where my writing began. In a crazy kind of way if I hadn’t developed Anosmia I would never have started writing. So a devastating negative turned into a positive in the end. I still have hopes of getting my sense of smell and taste back and my smell has improved slightly, I occasionally get a sweet smell from a candle for example. I’ve known people like myself recover, not always completely but to a certain degree. Something is better than nothing. There are other people who have had a complete recovery too so I’ll never give up.
In the meantime I’ll just keep on scribbling away and hopefully one day I’ll see the words ‘Debbie Jinks. Author’ on a book I’ve written. That would be nice…….