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On Depression, and Writing, and Barely Balancing

A writers life is not an easy life.  You might have several jobs to balance, you might have an editor who is a constant help (or not) and you have to deal with friends and family who, for the most part, love and support you, or simply don’t understand your unusual obsession with writing. 

If they do, they will wonder when you might make some money.  It is like a house of cards….

And that house can fall down.  Even with a love for what you do, it can be impossible to create a drive to make that happen.  For the past couple of months, this is exactly what happened to me.  I lost my balance, and… I fell off that brick wall.  Don’t misunderstand; I love writing, but something became too much.  I almost forgot that there was this piece of me which needed some love and care.  The writer in me died, and I didn’t think that I would ever be able to write again.

There were days when it was nearly impossible to wake up no matter how many times I tried to talk myself into waking up.  I didn’t feel a need or a want to do this.  Deadlines loomed (there are a few still out there) and I didn’t care.  I felt like I was in a black hole and didn’t want to or feel the need to push myself until I started looking up how I can get out of this mindset. I read lots of articles about CBD oil, therapy and medication.

My family, who I am sure love me, didn’t know or want to know the extent of my black days.  Most have said I simply need to get back to doing something productive, but that doesn’t help.  I didn’t even have a desire to write or have anything published. Even reading a book was nearly impossible, and even now I can only concentrate for minutes.

I hear a lot of people simply say it is because I am not earning money.  What they don’t understand is that I love what I do, but I need to write and publish to earn money, and if I am not writing I am not making money.  Even the day job I have suffered.  I am not the person I can be if I don’t even try to care about anything.  It is a very deep hole you can get into and there is more of a chance that you can lose your balance.

I’m sure you remember the old nursery rhyme about an egg… remember that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t but him back together again? Life is about balance

That is what a lot of my days have been like, a bit broken, and hard to fix.  I have often wondered if I make a difference, or if people would notice that I am broken, I can hide it very well, and generally most people will find me to be a social person who attempts to ‘fake it’.  Most of the time I try to pretend I enjoy things, or that I want to be there- the only benefit I have is my writing, and even then, there are times when I wonder if I should continue to write.

There are also times when I wonder if I write more and think happy thoughts that I will feel better- but this doesn’t happen.  It isn’t about feeling better it is about learning to balance everything again, even if I am broken, and probably won’t be back the way I was.  It is about understanding what is important in my life.  I am a writer, and I have depression but I am still a person who has worth.

Would it help me if another one of my books were published?

I have a sense that I would feel a great accomplishment, but I would also be burned out from the effort. I understand this.  I don’t have any more time than the next writer, and I probably have less since my energy levels are drained very quickly.  It might change my writing, since my outlook on life is much darker than it was.  I understand more of the dark side of myself, and that is something that will resonate in my writing.

Sometimes barely balancing is a productive thing, but add in depression and this can quickly fall out of control.

3 Comments

  • Damaria Senne

    Been there, done that, and slowly emerging from the darkness. For me it was not even about earning money, because I was earning enough money to support myself through writing. But I had a combination of life issues: too much work and working long hours, an unexpected move to another city, health issues both for me and a close family member and my brain eventually shut down. I couldn't even summon the energy to write an email, never mind a blog post or an article. It's been a long process to regain the balance you speak about, but I'm slowly getting better everyday. I hope you do too.

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