Monday, May 12, 2014

Writing Through Depression - Eight Months Later

By Rich

Back in September of 2013 I took the plunge and opened myself to the Internet by talking about my depression diagnosis. At the time I wrote the column I had just started on my regimen of prescription medicine and therapy and I wasn't too sure how things would go. In the back of my mind, the fear of falling back and having the weight of anxiety return lingered.

Eight months on, I'm happy to tell you that it's so far, so good. My moods have leveled off, my energy is restored, and my outlook on life is full of encouragement. I still have my moments of depression, especially when my plate is full of multiple tasks and not much time to recharge. In fact, after the release of Coffee Cup Tales -- had to get promotion of my book in somewhere -- I crashed for a day or so as the weight of promotion snuck up on me. The good thing is I can recover from these bouts of sadness with a good night's sleep and a few hours of 'me' time.

What I'm writing is another reason I know things are improving. Actually, let me correct myself. The volume I'm writing is another reason I know positive changes are taking place. I can't remember a time in my life where I've been so productive. I can whip up a non-fiction piece for The Coloradoan or RM Parent in 20 minutes. Characters and their stories flow freely from my fingertips without any blockage. And, as in the case with said Coffee Cup Tales, I can pull a snippet of an idea from an overheard conversation and turn it into a short story.

I don't think I could have done this during the darkest of my depression. With the continuous background panic I always felt, I would've probably been annoyed with all the conversations instead of listening for a juicy piece of material. Clearing my mind has opened me to so many new ideas and challenges that I now know I can accomplish. Back then, something negative and worrisome would have pushed against all that positive feedback.

I'm in a good place with myself, my family, and my writing. Well, I'd like some more sales on Coffee Cup Tales; however, I know it's going to take some time to build up an audience. Good thing I'm ready to take on the task with all of my strength.

How have you been feeling lately?


Patricia Stoltey said...

Sounds like you've successfully turned the corner and now have a productive and satisfying writing life, Rich. As you know, I am one of your biggest fans.

As for me, I'm okay but a little overwhelmed by my To Do List. Guess it really is time to put down the remote!

The Irish Avenger said...

As you know, I share some of the depression issues you've been having, although I'm not sure it's entirely dialed in, in my case. I still struggle to get material cranked out, but I have noticed a definite uptick in creativity and positive thinking. Last week I spent two days in the sun doing yard work at my rental property, and that really helped. Doc and I are still watching it, so we'll see what happens when the sun comes out for good this summer.

The Irish Avenger said...

And, FYI, that was me, Chris N. ^^^^

Sarah Sullivan said...

Oh Rich, I think they should put Lexapro in the water! Lord knows it's helped me enormously. I like what you wrote about being able to pick out a snippet and craft it into a story. I feel like I'm working on that and, as with anything else, it does get easier the more you work at it. Glad your world is currently sunny!

RichardK said...

Sarah, there are still moments where I crash and burn and even shed a few tears. The good news is I can pop out of them within a day or so instead of the weeks or months I used to remain in the funk. That's what makes me hopeful.

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