Welcome to the wide crazy world of TJ Klune

As you can see, this is a blog (a blog, you say? You're like the only person in the world that has one!). Here are my promises to you: I promise to up date this as much as I can. I promise that at some point, you will most likely be offended. I promise you may suffer from the affliction the Klunatics know as Wookie Cry Face. I also promise to make this some place where you can see how my mind works.



You've been warned.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Beauty In The Breakdown: A Redux

Things are different now.

I last wrote on this blog ten months ago, right at the time when I was at my bleakest.  It was a culmination of events that began in December of 2013 and led to me not recognizing myself anymore, or even in a position capable of doing so. I felt lost, unsure of what I was doing or where I was going. 

I tend to not take care of myself during highly stressful times. Usually, I'm so focused on making sure everyone and everything else is okay that I don't stop to think about myself. It's how I'm conditioned. To this day, I still feel some guilt over the my perceived selfishness at shutting down and walking away for as long as I did.

It was necessary.

I know that.

But that still doesn't mean that I was okay with it.

My body, however, had had enough and I just collapsed within myself.

I wasn't a very good friend to people during that time. I was even worse (and really, still am) at responding to the hundreds of messages I'd received.

I knew, though, that I couldn't keep going as I was.

So I stopped. Stepped away.

Took some time to breathe.

Things are different now.

I went to therapy.

It helped. Sort of.

I was diagnosed with PTSD, which, honestly, sounds as ridiculous now as it did in August of last year. I was not in a war. I have never been a victim of a violent act.

I told the therapist this.

She laughed slightly and said, "It's not about what you have or haven't done,. It's about what's happened to you. You're smart. Don't act dumb about this. It's trauma plain and simple."

God, I hated that.

It made sense. I still hated it.

Full transparency: Eric won't be coming to live in Virginia with me. Logistically,  it's just not possible. In Indiana, he has his family that is able to provide the care he needs. If he came here, it would just be me. I can't give him what he needs, and it wouldn't be fair to either of us. Medicare doesn't pay for as much as you might think it does, meaning a round the clock nurse, which he would have to have if he came here as I work 50 hours a week and write another 20 hours a week on top of that.

It sucks. We were dealt a very shitty hand. I have raged at the unfairness of it all to the point where I didn't even know what to think anymore.

But things are different now, okay? I've taken the steps needed to find even footing again. I've put myself first, even if it felt wrong the entire time I was doing it. My last therapy appointment was in February and I've been doing okay.  That doesn't mean I'm 100% fine, of course. I am still coming to terms with the repercussions of everything that happened. Some days, I think I have a grasp on it. Some days, I am the happiest I've been in months.  Some days, I have to force myself out of bed.

"What do you like to do?" the therapist asked me.

"About what?" I said.

"Anything. What's something you love?"

"Reading.  Writing. Watching movies."

"Writing? What do you write?"

"Books."

She was surprised at that. "You've written books?"

I shrugged, because I always get weirdly shy when people find out that I'm an author."

"When was the last time you wrote?"

"November 2013."

So she told me that I should start again.

And so I did.

I wrote.

And wrote.

And motherfucking wrote.

In September, I started writing The Lightning-Struck Heart.

I finished it in November.  You get it in July.

I finished Withered & Sere and Crisped & Sere. You get them in 2016.

In February, I started How To Be A Normal Person.

I finished it in April.  You get that one in October.

Five weeks ago, I started the sequel to Tell Me It's Real, tentatively titled The Queen and the Homo Jock King. I will be finished with it by June.  You will see that one this winter.

Then it's BOATK4.  Then it's Burn II. Then it's the sequel to Lightning. The third and fourth book after Withered and Crisped. Then TMIR3.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Writing, man. It's saved me.  It's done more for me than anything else could have.

Things are different now. 

And they always will be.

But I am a goddamn motherfucking writer, and I am going to tell my story, and other stories, and I am going to do it for as long as my fingers can press the keys.

Life isn't what I thought it would be.

But, at least right now, I can tell myself that it'll be okay.

Because there is beauty in the breakdown.  And that beauty comes from the pieces that are left. They may not fit together like they did before, and the shape might not be the same. But it's still recognizable and that's what matters now.

I know who I am. I know what I'm going to do.

I have plans. 

And I can't wait to show them to you.

Love,

Tj




39 comments:

  1. There's nothing selfish about what you did. We can only do what we can. I'm very happy that you're in a better place. (((hugs)))

    Can't wait to read all these goodies you have coming our way. <3

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  2. It is unfortunate that your plans for the future have gone to Helena Handbasket but a strong person knows when to retreat, regroup, and come back stronger. Lots of love from our home to yours.

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    1. If I could give you an award for Best Use Of A Drag Queen Name In A Sympathetic Message, I would. Because you just won.

      That, sir, was well played. And thank you <3

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  3. Many of us understand much of what you have undergone TJ and empathize accordingly. Keep making the most of each day remembering that we uphold you and Eric in our hearts always.

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  4. There is absolutely nothing wrong or selfish about taking care of yourself. It also doesn't matter how many times you hear that because in the end it only matters that you did what you had to do to survive. It's good to be a survivor. Just remember to keep breathing. You are awesome and we all love you.

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  5. While this post makes me sad on so many levels...mainly that the road has been filled with so much pain, and yes...trauma, it's also hopeful. I'm so happy that you're feeling better and that the writing is helping. For those of us that love your writing, it's a win for us, but I hate that it had to come to you through so much pain. (((hugs))) and smiles...

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  6. *Hugs* please continue to take care of yourself, my friend :-) you walked away to survive, and now your gift & love of writing is bringing you back. That is truly beautiful, man <3 praying for you always...

    Tame

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  7. Yes you are a writer and a damn good one! Just remember to take care of yourself in Every Way. We love you TJ and want to see you happy, safe and healthy.
    Alana

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  8. Survival is an honorable goal, and you are an honorable man. Relax my young friend, let the events of each day continue to teach you what you need to know.

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  9. Hi TJ,

    Thanks for letting me know how things stand. I've been wondering how you were doing. What you went through would throw anyone! I'm relieved that you stepped back and reevaluated things. I've had my share of 'battles' with depression, I realize how hard it can be. I'm proud of you and wish you continued improvement. I'll keep sending you love and healing. I also want to remind you that I live within 15 minutes or so north of you, unlike most people reading this post, and my offer is still open. If you need anything I can provide, I will be more than happy to help you. <3

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  10. It just breaks my heart that you went through so much pain. And I'm glad you are taking care of yourself. I'm very excited about all the writing projects and I hope it really is helping. I miss seeing your funny posts on Facebook. I hope that Friday Lists and Things will return someday. I hope to see you smiling again. ❤️

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  12. I'm sorry for everything that happened to you , You are a strong person!!!! I' m so happy that you have started writing again, i absolutely love your books! I laughed and i cried reading your books .....you are a great writer and a wonderful person ! I wish you to be happy always ...... I hope you understand what i wrote because i don't speak english very well ( i'm italian) ....... With so much love to you ......many kisses and see you soon......

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  13. You know, Randy told his therapist the same exact thing when he told him that he has PTSD. PTSD has many faces, it can result from something as simple as a minor car wreck or as major as a life changing event, such as a major medical event with our loved one. The important thing is realizing you have a problem and getting help for it, which you did. While you might not be 100%, that's Okay, because you're working on it and it will only get better as time passes.
    I wish you only the best, Eric as well. Many hugs for you both.

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  14. You know, Randy told his therapist the same exact thing when he told him that he has PTSD. PTSD has many faces, it can result from something as simple as a minor car wreck or as major as a life changing event, such as a major medical event with our loved one. The important thing is realizing you have a problem and getting help for it, which you did. While you might not be 100%, that's Okay, because you're working on it and it will only get better as time passes.
    I wish you only the best, Eric as well. Many hugs for you both.

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  15. Don't ever feel guilty about looking after yourself, I am so glad you are getting your mojo back, life can be brutal sometimes and it takes courage, strength and character to rebuild it after its gone to shit....Well done :-)

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  16. I think right now, at this very moment, I can truly appreciate this post in ways I never would have before. The ending to my story, at least my story with John, is inevitable, and we know it, but it doesn't make the trauma any less, or more, of an impact.
    I, too, struggle with taking care of myself, and I'm so glad that you finally did, and continue to. It's not selfish, TJ, it's self-preservation. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal revelation. I know you're stronger than you were, and still not as strong as you will be.
    Much love to you.

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    1. Sending you huge hugs Christy - I hope my email reached you <3

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  17. But you're better, and you're writing.

    And non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. That's Kafka.

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  18. We miss you. Can't wait to see what you have written :).
    take care,
    Debbie

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  19. It's really good to hear from you and to know that you're finding your way. It's hard not to feel guilty when we take time for ourselves, but please, be easy on yourself. You have to make sure you're okay and if backing off helped do that, well so be it. I'm looking forward to reaping the rewards (reading) all you've written.

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  20. The road to recovery is taken one step at a time. So glad to read that you are taking those steps with a lighter load. Continue taking care of yourself and we will all be blessing you from the side lines.

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  21. You know what has come to my mind while reading your message? Until the End of the World, the 1991 movie by Wim Wenders. At the very end, Claire, the main character, is resqued from her addiction (to dreams) by the power of words. She stars to read and she finds herself again, you (re)started to write and you are finding yourself again. Not the same self as before, but an awesome one as well, I'm sure.
    Good luck, TJ, we love you no matter what.

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  22. I don't find the diagnosis you received surprising at all. I think about you, and about Christy Duke, and I know where you are. Once you've been there, it's a place you never forget. But you do go on, and you do get better. And while your life isn't what you expected, you're moving forward. You're writing, a LOT. And I hope you know there are a lot of people who love you, and wish both you and Eric nothing but the best. You're a wonderful man, Tj. Be kind to yourself.

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  23. To TJ to Christy Duke to Diane Copland - I send loads of love and support because we never run out of love - but we sometimes forget that we need to receive it as well as give it.

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  24. All your fans love you TJ. You fucking rock!

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  25. So glad you're feeling better!!! It is weird I know considering you have no idea who I am, but I've missed 'hearing' your voice on the web. Take care of YOU as well as you take care of others eh?

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  26. Living a life is never easy ... some may 'look' that way ... but trust me ... no one has an 'easy' life. Your's has played out to multitudes & you are guiding & reminding us all to take care of ourselves first ... so we can take care of others ... if possible. And ... no ... it's not always possible thru no fault of anyone. So glad you recognized you needed help & got it. Keep getting a check up. Writing helped bring you back into the life you want to lead ... but don't let it become an obsession. Really easy to trade one for another. Why I suggested even a quarterly check up. We all get so invested in living our lives ... we forget to look up & out. Healing takes time & love. We all love you & will be here for you as you move forward. Thank you for loving us & sharing with us. $$ in your book jar ... had to get a bigger jar ... looking forward to all of your books! Love from Alaska

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  27. I understand PTSD and am thankful you got help. While the pain remains, the healing is in the coping and overcoming and breathing and moving on just a little each day. Bless you TJ.

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  28. Hi TJ - I'm rather new to your books. I just read BOATK and loved it and then the sequel and loved it, too. I'm making my way through your other books now. I want to say that I'm glad you're getting better. I cannot imagine going through what you and Eric have. You're right, the hand you were dealt sucks. But I'm glad you're finding your way, and I'm glad you're writing again. I know it's a process and it isn't an easy one. I hope each day finds you a bit stronger than the day before and that things will continue to get better for you. I look forward to reading more of your words.

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  29. 'Welcome back! I'm so glad to see that you are writing again. I've never dealt with PTSD but have dealt with severe depression. It takes a strong person to face the issues in life that really bring you down. I can't wait to read your follow up to Tell Me It's Real. This book still makes me lol and I've read it a bunch of times. I can't wait to read your next book in the BOATK series.

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  30. You are one of the kindest, gentlest people I've come across, and you deserve to be emotionally healthy and happy. This is selfishness only in the exact definition and not in the connotation. Taking care of yourself is necessary not wrong. Remember there's a reason the flight attendants instruct you to put your mask on first: You can't be there for anyone else if you're not there for yourself.

    I'm a foster parent and all the kids who come to me have PTSD. Some have been through horrific violence, psychological and emotional abuse, and so forth. But the one thing they all have in common, and the reason that all of them have PTSD regardless of their past is that they were ripped from the world they knew and had learned what to expect from, taken from the people they love, and put in unfamiliar, terrifying, unstable new lives.

    No one would begrudge these kids that diagnosis of PTSD and no one should say that you haven't also suffered for the same reason. I don't think it's a good thing for you to say it about yourself, either. Being kind to yourself is good and it's so wonderful that you're learning how to do that. You have been so strong for Eric and together you got through so much. I'm so happy you're learning how to be strong for yourself.

    We love you, T.J.

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