As part of my New Year’s Resolution to blog on a regular basis, I was supposed to come up with an informative or entertaining post today, but I couldn’t think of a single thing to blog about. Rather than ignore my resolutions altogether, I’m going to go ahead and do my Monday blog, but I’ll warn you ahead of time: there is nothing fun or funny about my post. But, maybe if you’re like me, this post will help you, or at least make you feel like you’re not alone.
For those of you who follow my blog, you’ve read about my struggles with writer’s block. This affliction is all too real for many writers, but quite often, my inability to write comes from depression rather than true writer’s block. During these periods of time when my imagination seems to go on strike and the creative flow slows to a trickle, other aspects of my life are affected as well. Running a simple errand seems overwhelming; the prospect of leaving my house is daunting; any break in my routine feels like a major ordeal.
If you’ve ever suffered from depression, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t suffered from it, you might not understand, and if so, that’s okay. Some of those who are reading this might wonder why I chose to write something so personal. After all, this is supposed to be a blog about writing, isn’t it? I’m supposed to share informative links, talk about POV, and commiserate with you about the dreaded query letter. Why would write about something so…depressing?
Depression is better understood than it was twenty years ago, but there’s still a stigma. People don’t want to talk about it, even those of us who are depressed. People with depression often feel guilty for feeling that way, and that makes the depression worse. We try to hide our feelings. We feel like failures, especially when the people we confide in tell us how well antidepressants worked for them, or when they tell us that exercise will make us feel better, or when they launch into a tale about how much worse things are for such-and-such. I know other people have it worse than me. I know I should be grateful for what I have–and I am.
I’ve suffered from depression all my life and I know from experience that in a few days, or weeks, the dark cloud will lift and I’ll wonder why I’d ever felt so depressed. I also know from experience that there’s no magic words to make it better, no vacation getaway that will help me escape the sadness that plagues me. But, I also know from experience that everything will be alright. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon.
*For anyone who feels they might need help in dealing with depression, don’t suffer in silence. You are not alone. Ask for help if you need it. Contact the National Institute of Mental Health for information or for a referral.