I wanted to talk to everyone about depression. There’s a lot of terms for dealing with it. Battling. Struggling. Fighting. The list goes on. But really, that doesn’t capture the feeling for me.
See, I drown in it. That’s what it feels like. Not battling. A battle I could handle. It has a sword and teeth and fangs and we can go to town. No, it’s a drowning because you literally get tired of dogpaddling through it, and then you go under—and it fills you. Your only hope is to resurface and cough the water out of your lungs.
But it is an endless ocean and sometimes you can see land. But you’ll never reach it. Even as you see people on it living their lives happy and playing in the sand. You’ll never feel that grit between your toes.
Because for some people, the world is made of dark, dank water and we endlessly and tiredly swim for some kind of support…for some kind of surcease…anything really.
I was told once never to “break the fourth wall” as a professional writer, meaning never show anything personal to anyone reading about me. Oh sure, share some minor little things like cats and stance on social issues but never stray too far into the darkness or any hardcore passions.
That never felt right. Because let’s face it, we are all human. And yes, while I may not grumble to you all about how I feel about a bad review in particular, I’m definitely going to share the humanness of who I am.
Because I fought damned hard to get to that humanity.
Now all of you know I write. I keep saying that writers are a neurotic, egotistical mess. I am clearly talking about myself. I am constantly on the edge of hoping a book does well and that I’m writing solid enough stuff to keep people entertained. This can be crippling. I admit that. It’s easier if I let go of that anchor because it drags me down into the waters.
It’s so damned hard to let go of that because really, by doing so, I’m putting a value on brain vomit.
At some point, I began to believe there had to be tangible things produced when something was worked on. Like a burrito or something. In my head, writing doesn’t produce anything like that. So it’s a hard concept to get my brain around writing. I feel odd even saying “I am creative”. It feels like I’m claiming something I’m not. But LOOK I have proof! I do! Or so I say to my brain.
Bear with me. I never said I wasn’t cracked in the head.
It’s taking a bit to put the “I did this” onto a book I’ve written. Dunno why. Lack of something in my soul, heart or mind. And out of the blue, my mother gave me some advice; she never gives me advice. Hell, I can’t tell you one bit of advice she’d ever given me in the past but suddenly, here she is dishing out a tidbit.
She told me to say I love myself ever day. Several times.
You cannot imagine how difficult it is to say that. It’s a lie! It’s nonsense! It’s brain vomit.
What did I have to lose? Why was I reluctant? Why was it so scary?
I can’t describe the oddness I feel when I say it in my head. It’s not a bad feeling. It’s an odd feeling. I distrust it. Much like I distrust anything complimentary. Because those are solid things to hold onto while paddling in the ocean and they can be swept away… and all sorts of nonsense.
But okay. I have tried it. It feels odd but there’s a change. Inside someplace. A buoyancy.
So maybe it’s okay.
If you’re drowning, try it. Let me know how you feel. See if our oddnesses match up. I am going to pick up writing again after being out of it for a week. It’s been a rough week and I’ve been reeling and drowning like a mad drowning thing. But I’m still paddling and fuck it, that’s a damned good thing.
I love you all. Really. You’re like the air in those puffy water wing things they put on kids and I appreciate every single puff of breath you give me. But use some for yourself. Drowning or now. Say I Love Myself to that person you’re sitting inside. Make him or her smile.