A Season of Downs and Ups

I’m fairly crappy at keeping this place updated, but over the years I have done my best to post one new entry per month. A record for myself, if nothing else, of what the hell was going on. I haven’t posted an entry since July. Here’s why.

In August, my mom tried to commit suicide. She had been struggling with a fairly rapid onset of anxiety disorder since the spring. I’d been trying to help her, having some experience with anxiety myself. For a brief rundown, see this post I wrote for Psychology Today.

When I wrote that, I didn’t know we were a few weeks away from my mom overdosing, and my family in the ICU for 40 hours waiting for her to stop convulsing and die. She hadn’t meant to do it. Not really. She wanted to get our attention (even though she already had it, the anxiety convinced her she needed more. Such is the nature of that beast.). I cried and laughed bitterly to Dylan that my mom had accidentally killed herself. Bitter laughter, bitter tears. Four in the morning waiting by the phone half a country away while my dad and my brother and all my childhood friends camped out in the ICU. Five am watching Philadelphia on HBO which would have made me cry on a normal day (especially those songs, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, damn you and your sick mournful beats).

But my mom didn’t die. Sometime in the night they intubated and put her under, and 40 hours later they brought her back up, and she opened her eyes. The tough old bird came out of it with no lasting damage (a fricking miracle!), and I flew home to make sure she was placed in proper inpatient care. She wanted us to put her into a nursing home. She didn’t think she could ever get better. We knew that she could.

Fast forward six weeks, and by the time I was set to go on book tour, my mom was on her way back. We were, and are, cautiously optimistic. Her medication is working well, and it is good to hear her laugh again, and smart off again, and be a big sarcastic butthole again like I’m used to.

This beast of Generalized Anxiety Disorder came on fast and strong. From fine and functioning to total collapse inside the span of a year. Our denial of how bad it had gotten, and some of our unfamiliarity with the disorder didn’t help. But we know what to watch for now, and because of her experiences, a friend who also struggled with anxiety went to get treatment, so, silver linings, I guess. This season was almost much, much worse.

In the midst of this, I was gearing up for the release of Three Dark Crowns, pasting on my author’s smile (which is usually, seriously, quite genuine). And then it was in the world, and it debuted at #2 on the New York Times Bestsellers list (#5 on ebook!) and then I was on the road, hanging with incredible authors like Lauren Oliver, Zac Brewer, M.E. Girard, Renee Ahdieh (I think I had five panels with Renee this season!) and so many more. 3DC hung out on the list for six weeks, and continues on the national Indie list. Thank you to everyone who helped to put it there. It’s surreal, and to say I’m grateful for all of these things doesn’t quite cut it.

So there’s the ups. And they were big ups, after a big down. We came close. The fight continues. I apologize for the hiatus here. The plan is to return to normal now.  Smartassery and raucous dogs. Monthly posts. The sweetest co-writing cat in the world. And Lauren Oliver told me about a way to prepare a whole duck so I am totally doing that for Thanksgiving.

This is likely all I will say about this. I’m hesitant to post it, but I wrote that article about not being ashamed of anxiety disorders and I meant it, so a-posting I will go.

19 thoughts on “A Season of Downs and Ups

  1. Missy says:

    I heart this! Your candor is refreshing in a world that likes to hide behind airbrushed photo ads and happy tampon commercials.

    1. Kendare Blake says:

      I love happy tampon commercials 🙂 Ha.

  2. Najma says:

    I hope that your mother keeps on getting better. 3DC was even more amazing than I could have imagined! I am already waiting for the next book.

  3. Oh, Kendare, I’m so sorry you had to go through that! Thank goodness you had the “ups” to help you see the other side. Congratulations on all your successes, and may the “downs” be fewer in the coming year.

  4. Sandy Lemke says:

    Hey….so sorry to hear about your mom. ..but glad she is better. ..I ran into Luke at work and he told me you were in town. ..my husband has battled Generalized Anxiety Disorder. …our whole marriage. ….sometimes I wish I understood it better. ….hard to figure them out and understand. ….Lassie is fat and sassy as ever. …not looking forward to winter chores. …..too many years at the horse farm.

  5. Sending you hugs, Girlfriend. Positive thoughts for you and your mom and anyone else who needs them. Hang in there!

    I’m always here for you if you need me. xo K

  6. I am truly sorry for what has happened to you. I genuinely from the bottom of my heart wish best of care for you and your mother. I know how it feels to be so truly afraid for someone you dearly love. Like you aren’t going see them again. That fear, regret, and sadness you endure when something like this is happening. I believe that in life, everything happens for a reason, there are moments in life when we feel like everything is turning out terrible and there’s nothing that will ever brighten up within all of this darkness. But, then there’s a spark of life that breaks through. Things then turn out that they are going very well. Like it is owning up to you for things turning out bad lately. I have had this type of feeling for so long, and I want you to get the best of happiness always. Never loose that feeling of life and joy… I don’t ever want anyone else to feel that way, because I know that it hurts. Cherish your loved ones, and try to keep them as close as possible, show them all the time that you care about every word they have to say. For I have lost that opportunity to love someone so deeply close to me. You might me thinking, what would a 12 year old girl know. Well, I have endured things in life that should never happen kids that are my age. No matter the age, no one should have to feel this way. Love your family, and never let them go . . . Because life is too short . . .

  7. Sean Matlock says:

    Hi im Sean and I just finished your book three dark crowns, and i loved it. I’ve never been into reading until i read this book, its amazing, i love how you described each character and how they are all different with there own niches. I think its amazing that you’re making a second book and I’ve done some research i think its called One Dark Throne and it will come out in 2017, I cant wait to read it. Im really sad that only 1 of the queens will live and I don’t know who i want to live. I like all of the queen in there own separate and also how they are so different. But is I could get your feed back on anything my email address is : smatlock0205@lsr7.net or Blackmoney250@icloud.com

    1. Kendare Blake says:

      Hi Sean, I’m very glad you enjoyed Three Dark Crowns! No official release date yet for One Dark Throne but more info should be along shortly. Watch this space. Or Twitter or Facebook because I am not great at updating this space 🙂 Thank you so much for reading. I hope you like how the Ascension Year ends!

      1. Sean Matlock says:

        Yes i would love to see how it ends but i also dont want it to its so good

  8. Chantelle says:

    I’ve just finished reading through the first of your Three Dark Crown series and it was quite an exciting adventure! I can’t wait to read the second book.
    So, as I’m sure many, many others are wondering, when do anticipate you’ll be able to release the second book of the Dark Crown series? ~ Eagerly Awaiting 🙂

    1. Kendare Blake says:

      Hi Chantelle!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed Three Dark Crowns. Thank you! The second book, One Dark Throne, is set for September 2017 🙂

  9. Jess says:

    I am so sorry to hear that you went through that. My mother tried the same thing after her marriage broke up a year ago, once in October and once on Christmas day. I’m sure you felt the same fear I did, waiting to hear if your mother will pull through and trying to understand why she might take those actions. I felt guilty the whole time I waited, thinking I could have been there for her more, whether I did a good enough job of keeping an eye on her when I knew she was struggling. Having experienced all that, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. I hope everyone in your family is doing well. You are a wonderful person and it’s inspiring to see someone I admire so much make such an honest and heartfelt post about these matters.

    1. Kendare Blake says:

      Thanks very much, Jess. I’m sorry to hear about your mom, too. I hope she’s feeling better this year. It’s such a difficult thing.

  10. Laura says:

    No need to apologize for the hiatus Kendare! Family always comes first.
    I just bought three dark crowns and man… I gotta say that it is one of the best books I’ve read in a while! I’m REALLY looking forward to the next one!

    1. Kendare Blake says:

      Thank you, Laura! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  11. Carina Olsen says:

    Oh, giving you all the hugs sweet girl. <3 Thank you for sharing about all of this. I hope your mom is doing better 🙂 And that your whole family is okay. <3

    1. Kendare Blake says:

      Thank you, Carina 🙂

  12. Vernon Andrews says:

    Love your parents .I’ve known your dad for years and finally meet your mom this summer. I bought your dad’s Saab and we spent a couple of days with your parents and enjoyed talking to and playing cards with them.

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