Depression and Writing

Depression is hitting me hard. I think it’s my symptom/condition that I have the hardest time accepting. It’s not glamorous, it’s never fun and never makes you feel special. It always makes me feel like I’m worthless and useless. As an author, this preys on my natural beliefs.

You see, I tend to see myself as a vessel for my stories. But combined with my depression, I feel like nothing BUT a vessel. I feel like I’m nothing without them.

The sad truth is that writing is my whole life. It’s me. It’s been my refuge since childhood, where it suddenly filled a void within me that hurt so badly until then. Ever since I started writing, my days rotate around it. As a kid, I would squeeze it in whenever, would draw my characters everywhere, and obsessed over them.

Now, I wake up thinking of my novels. I spend my mornings wondering what I’ll do until I get the chance to write. My whole day is just spent waiting until the right time to write. I know I dont have the mental energy to write all day, but I wish I could. Already I love writing 5 hours a day, and feel bad if I “waste” even one of those hours not hammering out words.

I know this isn’t healthy, but it is what it is. My writing is my life. The only other thing more important is my wife and my relatives. Literally, unless it’s a basic need, everything else feels secondary. I dont want to travel, I dont want a career, I just want to be good at writing and do my stories justice. I want to accomplish what this drive in me is calling for.

But when depression hits, as it does now, I cant write. Every word hurts, I cant think, and then everything that makes me ‘me’ seems to crumble away. What use am I if I cant write? Not being able to write for even one day is a terrible blow. What if my stories are terribly written? What good am I if i can’t get my stories out there properly, to those who need to read them? I know it sounds dramatic, but not being able to write feels like a poisonous sin that will destroy me.

I know, in some way, that my belief of me being just a vessel for writing is bad for me. I need to see myself as more. But how do I do that? It’s like seeing yourself beyond an addiction, in some way.

And then, what’s wrong with this view, if it gives me purpose and value, even in some small way? I know I should see myself as more, but what if I dont feel like more? I feel like so much in my life just points towards writing, and like it’s the cornerstone of my life. Where would I be without it?

I know, in some factual way, that I am a person without my writing. I’ve experienced that, by having my spiritual projects. But… I just feel like more with my writing. I feel this compulsion and a sense of destiny and being attuned with the universe when it comes to writing. Is that a symptom of a delusion? I dont know what to think some days.

I guess I cant hope to find other people who feel this way. I’ve hoped, and as of yet haven’t found other writers who seem to have this weird perspective and obsession and maybe even delusion with their writing. And yet I hope. I feel lonely, a lot, so isolated with my writing. It’s not the only way I connect with people, but unless someone dips into this part of me, do they know me at all? Will I ever find that I am not alone in this weird feeling?

Grateful doesn’t mean Painless

I’ve had a shit day. Not that anything bad has happened, but that I’m exhausted emotionally from less than pleasant private things (thankfully nothing wrong in my own home, so don’t worry) that have brought me down to a point of exhaustion. I was barely able to do anything today, being so tired that I just wanted to cry.

Now, self pity isn’t the point of this post. I got myself feeling better and just a few minutes ago I was reflecting on it. My thought process went like this “oh I live in such a lovely home, shame on me for feeling bad when I live in such a nice place, I should be more grateful and maybe one day I’ll regret not being happy enough”. To which I did a double take.

Wait, what? Gratefulness does not erase pain, be it emotional or physical. Sure, your mindset can make things more palatable and you can have good coping mechanisms. But when I practice gratitude, I usually end up just feeling guilty. Oh, I am grateful, but I feel guilty for still being in pain when I have such lovely things.

Because here’s the thing -> stuff and situations won’t erase your mental illness. They can help, but to erase it completely? It would have to be nirvana in my opinion.

So yes, gratitude is great and all, but it won’t heal you. And being grateful is not the polar opposite of mental anguish. You can be both grateful and in pain, the two do not exclude each other.

So don’t think you’re not grateful enough because you’re in pain. Being in pain is not a sign you’re not grateful enough. Appreciate what you have, but don’t burden yourself with the concept that good mental habits (like gratefulness, positive thinking) means no mental illness. They’re not the same.

Cute cat to cheer up your day!

The Discrimination Behind Yoga Hatred

I was doing yoga this morning. Yep, just putting it out there. I was doing yoga, not only once, but twice!

I’m doing this yoga not for my body, but for my C-PTSD. It just helps. I pick a video sequence that suits my energy level, and I follow along. Yesterday, due to some devastating news that I will maybe discuss another day, I was in a stunned haze. My stress and anxiety and hypervigilance were over the top and so I did yoga three times in the day. Three.

And so, this morning, I thought of something. I thought back to my years in university when the teacher (a woman) scorned yoga for its cultural appropriation, for its shallowness, and for its lululemon pants. And I thought of how much good this video, a calm video discussing awareness and energy and breath more than any physical aims, was helping my mindfulness and ease my anxiety. And I had an enlightened thought. Just one.

Fuck you if you hate yoga.

Because you know what? Yoga in the west is largely a woman’s thing. It is a safe, gentle space for women to come together and embrace their bodies. It is largely practiced by victims of violence as a means of overcoming trauma. It’s recommended by doctors and touted by energy healers and survivors of violence as well as war veterans. And you know what? Yoga clothing embraces a female body without pinching or fat shaming.

So all this hatred towards yoga is largely misogynistic victim hating. Making fun of mindfulness and the loving self-help incorporated into yoga is ridiculously harmful when it’s exactly the sort of thing that doctors prescribe for us survivors.

Is there yoga that’s cultural appropriation? Sure, but I’ve also seen yoga that is very respectfully done, thank you very much. Is there yoga that is performed solely for physical gains? Of course. But I think it says something that one of the highest ranked videos on youtube when I simply typed in ‘yoga’, talked entirely about spirituality, self love, and mindfulness.

And you know what else? I’m sick of female culture being pushed down on. I’m sick of things women like and do being touted as ‘silly’ or ‘shallow’ when it’s the farthest thing from it.

So yes, I’m practicing yoga – a lot of yoga – to try and get better. It’s my form of self care. And I do it in leggings and its comfy as can be.