To swim early in the morning surrounded by mirrored clouds is the perfect time to reflect on life. This morning I peacefully floated on my boogie board thinking of all the people who have shared my writing journey. One particular friend came to mind. Here is Heather Blight’s inspiring story.
Heather sat curled up in front of the fire, the mental video of her life playing over and over in her mind. She wanted to scream, ‘Stop, please stop’, but no matter what she said or did it kept babbling along, constantly tormenting her with negative images and scenes from her past. She asked herself, ‘Why do I watch all this lousy stuff?’ Why not change to another tape, one filled with happiness, not this dreary self-perpetuating dirge. What if I simply started with the title? Blight. The name says it all. If I changed it, would the story change with it? But in her heart, Heather knew that if she was going to survive, she would have to change not only her name, but her life. Was it possible? Could she become Heather B. Light?
Twenty years ago she stared at the doctor in disbelief as her world disintegrated. She wondered if she was allowed to cry. The tears flowed anyway and somehow they helped. Her husband had already been told that surgery was out of the question and he had refused chemotherapy. He had only a few days, weeks at the most, and he wanted to use the time to say goodbye. Her husband wanted a party.
Heather was horrified, but as usual she repressed her feelings and started to joke about his Going Away party. Anything for peace. Often he would look at her and say, ‘I’m the one who’s dying, why are you crying again?’ The voices in her head kept telling her that it was all a dream, a nightmare, some sort of strange game. Her husband organized a video camera to record his farewell. She was the dutiful wife, supportive, loyal and faithful. The party was a success. People admired and applauded their courage but didn’t know how helpless she felt.
After the funeral the doctor gave her pills to ease her crying. They helped but didn’t stop the constant shaking inside. Work. That was what was needed. She bought a plant nursery not knowing the difference between a plant and a weed. Constantly physically and mentally exhausted she questioned her abilities. Heather wondered what had possessed her to believe that she could succeed. Her father always told her that she was no good. The nursery folded but money was made on the sale of the land. After that came a boring office job, then, mortgaged to the hilt, not one, but two sandwich bars. On an emotional roller coaster she fluctuated between depression and euphoria. Six months later her house was sold to pay the bills. Heather began playing the ‘I’ll be happy when,’ game. I’ll be happy when I’m a success. I’ll be happy when I’m in a good relationship. Reading a book called The Game of Life and how to Play it about accepting responsibility for herself made the difference. Was her own miserable world her own fault? Taking flight to a cottage by the bay did not help. Constant black depression forced her to consider alternative thinking.
Slowly she realized that her husband was a replica of her strong unloving father. Had she tried to relive the past and get it right? She looked at her business ventures. Were they subconscious sabotage? Was her subconscious mind programmed with guilt and self-sacrifice? Had she sought out comfort zones that were wrecking her life?
Heather decided she had to forgive her father and her husband, before she could forgive and love herself. Like a computer, her habits, patterns, comfort zones programmed in since birth by other people. In her daily meditation she carefully reprogrammed her subconscious mind to replace the negative movie of her life and replace it with a positive one. No blame, no recriminations, no criticism. It worked.
Heather enjoyed curling up in front of the fire, the mental video of her life now filled with painting classes, water aerobics, creative writing at TAFE College and grandchildren. She began writing a novel based on her experiences of returning as a mature woman to the singles scene. During this time, Heather was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but refused to let the illness define her. Last year her debut novel, Singled Out was published by www.soulmatepublishing.com and is available at Amazon as a kindle book for US $3.49.
‘Singled Out’ is a satirical but poignant look at friendship, cheating, death, and addiction in the mature-age singles scene in Australia. Beth, terminally young and incurably optimistic, will not receive her inheritance unless she gets married again before she turns forty. When potential husbands lie, cheat, and betray Beth, her drinking escalates with flashbacks to a traumatic childhood. Can she rise above it all to find true love?
Singled Out is also available from Amazon Australia for AUS $3.99
Singled Out: A Satirical and Humorous Insight Into a Journey of Self Discovery
Singled Out is a rollicking romp through the highs and lows of the mature aged dating scene. It is about four friends, a gay hairdresser, a dysfunctional mother and a woman who undertakes a life altering journey and finally achieves her dream. Heather Blight is an extremely gifted storyteller and wonderful crafter of character and dialogue. Her novel humorously reveals the hopes, desires, pitfalls, and back stabbing nature of friendships, mother daughter relationships and the online dating scene. However, Singled Out reminds us of a simpler time. Relationships and dating techniques are discussed in detail with close personal friends and wisdom passes from one to the other. Beth is a lovingly wrought character, not a perfect woman by any means. Therefore, she is very human. It is uplifting when her personal growth and ultimate belief in herself enables her to break the cycle of failed relationships. Singled Out has depth and there is much more to discover in this book for those willing to read beneath the surface.
Heather is currently writing a memoir titled ‘Multiple Sclerosis Miracles and Me’ about all the different treatments she has tried since being diagnosed with MS. These range from burning cow dung to making her own yoghurt. She has also made rational choices regarding traditional medicines. What is the most important thing to Heather? Her subconscious mind has long ago stopped playing the negative movie of her life. It has been replaced with one containing no recriminations and no criticism. Her mental video is now filled with positive images.