Saving the Unsaveable

Things are moving along. Yesterday, I spoke with my agent. I’ve been with her for several years now, but I’ve never had her pushing me to finish a project with quite the encouragement as she is this one.

It’s a tricky balance. This WiP is very close to me. Not that all of my word gremlins aren’t close to me, but this one touches a certain nerve. If you can’t save someone, then you try to find justice for her even if it means risking your life.

I have tried to save friends. The results have varied. At least once, the person did not want to be saved, and we no longer speak. It would be nice if when you try to offer support while showing someone that her actions may be harming her, that the shields would fall from her eyes and she’d say, “You’re right. I need help.” But more often, trying to save someone will hurt a relationship because people don’t want to be saved. We are too damn stubborn to ask for help, even when we know we’re floundering. Even when we know we’re struggling and really out to go easy on ourselves. We just don’t want to look weak or like we can’t handle it. Sometimes the hands are outstretched but we refuse to grab on.

Two years ago, my youngest child was extremely sick. He was born healthy but through bad luck and a worse immune system, he became very ill. I was falling apart inside and out. I have an anxiety disorder. When it is bad, it gets very bad and very ugly quickly. I become agoraphobic, which pulls me even further inside of myself and away from those offering to help. I was having panic attacks. My patience was shot. I was losing hair and losing weight because I simply stopped eating altogether. I was shutting down. It took a friend, someone I actually didn’t know all that well at the time, to say, “Sarah, you’re falling apart, and it’s obvious. Let me bring dinner to your family.” And I sat and cried and, after a while, nodded. I felt sick letting go of my pride, but I also felt relief. I’d hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t accepted that save from her.

This current WiP has brought me back to that time and the times where I’ve tried to save friends from harming themselves, and with each memory, I ask, “Why would someone be so arrogant as to think they could make someone else’s life change course?” It’s not arrogance but compassion. Because we want others to just be okay. To be more than in survival mode because survival mode in unsustainable.

There are places to go if you need help. Ask for it. Take hands that are reached out to you.

A little note of things to come…October 14th, 2013: the launch of the YA Scream Queens’ blog!