One of the hardest things about the mental breakdown was the loss of my career. For 15 years I was a middle or high school teacher. And, I think, I was a pretty good one.
I've gone from having 30 kids and their parents in my life every day to none. My kids are grown, my husband works. It's just me and my dog -- all day, every day.
As I began an exercise program of walking, a story came to me. Seriously, in one two hour walk an entire story unfolded. The next day, I spent six hours on my deck writing out what my brain had given me.
I'm not alone any more. I have the characters in my own creations to keep me company. I love them. I hate them. They are as real to me as my students used to be.
Talent to write? Now that remains to be seen. Regardless, I feel complete when I write. I feel heard.
In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....