I don’t claim to understand clinical depression. But I do understand the blues. I experienced them after the birth of my son. I was deliriously happy. But also sleep deprived, adult deprived, constantly covered in regurgitated milk and slowly losing touch with life outside of my house. It may sound like the romanticized pressure of being a new mom, but the reality was far from charming.
The same could be said about my writing life. I’ve definitely experienced the blues, sometimes for months on end. I’m proud of things that I’ve accomplished. But I’m also sleep deprived, understanding adult deprived and constantly surrounded by people who are doing everything better than I can. At times, it’s hard to focus on anything other than life inside the writerly sphere, especially when things aren't going as planned.
Definitely not charming.
And the thing is, when I slip into the blues, even though I do have understanding adults around me, I push them away. I paste on a smile and deflect their concern with unrelenting cheer. Every once in a while, the forced happiness is enough to pull me out. Other times it sends me further into hiding, away from anyone who might ask questions I don’t want to answer.
Although it’s hard to avoid the tough questions I ask myself.
Oddly enough, it’s the writing that pulls me out. A big block of time, a story that’s dying to be told. That’s what brings me back, every single time. Because no matter how hard my doubting brain works to convince me otherwise, the fact is, I’m a writer.