Since receiving my head injury in 2014 something that’s both incredible and daunting has been occurring within me. Having always addressed any given situation with the ability to analyse with both sides of my brain (female and male perspectives) there’s now something else I can add to my experiences.
Life for me will never be the same. Experiences have shifted in a way that define and limit me and that can be exhilarating in an all-consuming manner. Once someone who sought adrenaline-fuelled adventure, I now fight against any association with it – yet it continues to seek me out. People like me are attracted to it and cannot just walk away. We are drawn to it as if it’s an addiction – I believe it is. Having the ability to view my past with new vision has proven interesting, demanding and somewhat unnerving at times but it has made a writer out of me. Writing has allowed me to make sense of situations and decisions and has acted as a therapy for me. However, it runs far deeper than this.
Fundamentally, the injury has changed how my brain works. Most brains filter incoming information, allowing just enough data to enter through each of our senses. Not mine. Experiencing life in a completely different way, these days, I view life as a complete sensory overload of information. The best way for me to process this is through the written word. Truthfully, it’s the only way I can comprehend what I witness some days. Maybe, with more time, this will improve (over four years is a fair while, though). My training and knowledge in psychology allows me to understand what’s happening, for which I’m hugely grateful – without this I think I’d have gone mad by now.
Through my writing I express my knowledge of psychology and criminology within my novels because I’ve studied these subjects and still hold a true interest in them; that’s not where my writing ends, though. Several aspects of my ramblings are currently in the process of becoming books, including poetry. Some of my projects are based on deeply personal journeys and it won’t be easy to share them publicly but, share them I will because I’m ready to show the world how important it is to fight back after life changing events.
How, then do I apply my new-found sensory overload problems to my writing? It’s as simple and as demanding as this: with imagination of a scene comes empathy and I place myself in the situation of my characters (all good authors do that). Taking this a step further, and perhaps I’m foolish to do this, I allow my senses to ‘feel’ each scene as they develop (even the nasty ones). Without any filters in place, my brain isn’t capable of restricting emotional turmoil of the scenes I write, ensuring a raw and authentic experience for my readers. Often overwhelmed by this I end up in a dark place for a while, but over time I’ve learned where my boundaries are and have found balance. Even so, it’s not always easy!