Tag Archives: depression

Back in Circulation

Long time no see blogging world. I feel like at this point I’m like that library book that’s been lost for months and you’ve given up searching for. Hence my title.

I could try all I want to offer all the excuses I want about why I’ve been away so long. I could write on and on about how busy I was at the end of my school year, or how I was swamped trying to finish part of a novel for my senior capstone, or how I’ve been avidly searching for jobs or anything like that. But I don’t think those would be the truth, and I’m a person who does in many ways value honesty.

The truth is I’ve been depressed.

I have suffered from depression for a long time. The first I truly remember dealing with this problem was when I was fifteen years old, but it’s possible I’ve dealt with it even longer than that. I’ve never been a truly smiley cheerful person, as much as I want to be one, but I guess it’s always been a bit more than lacking that optimistic touch. It’s been something deeper and harder to change. And no, I’m not talking just general sadness. I’m talking can’t sleep or will sleep the whole day, always feel tired, can’t get through a week without breaking down, having no appetite or wanting to eat everything, dealing with negative thoughts etc. type depression (got to love the English language that makes the word depression have different connotations).

Of course, I go through ups and downs. Sometimes life feels bearable, and other days it’s hard. But this last semester has been particularly rough. Trying to deal with the world rapidly shifting beneath my feet while wondering what is possibly going to come next. Feeling discouraged in hopeless job searches, and dealing with having to move away from my friends to a different state. My whole life I’ve put a lot of my identity in being a good student. And now that’s gone. And sometimes I wonder what’s left if I don’t have that anymore.

Sometimes when I’m depressed my writing comes more easily than ever. I can feel utterly inspired to put my feelings and experiences down on the page, or escape into a little fantasy world for a bit. But at others, it becomes incredibly hard, especially in trying to write something like a blog. I want to maintain some level of positivity on here. And that can be hard when I’m not feeling all too happy about life.

I don’t expect other people to understand, but I thought my readers deserved a truthful explanation. I know I’ve had Twitter followers who have been asking after me, so hopefully this answers some of those questions. Too often I’ve felt like I have to hide what I’m dealing with, and I’m kind of sick of it. I think people deserve to know. So I’m back for a bit, but if I leave again you’ll probably know why. I have some good motivation this month since I’m doing July Writing Challenge. I’m hoping to really be active in continuing to write, both in fiction and on this blog to meet my daily word count goals.

I might be a graduated English major, but I still have valuable things I want to say about reading and writing and the English language. So, though I hate to make any promises, I hope to use this post as encouragement to keep checking on my postings. Because hopefully I’ll have some more up in the next few weeks.

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Digging Deeper

I’ve been in a bad mood all week. Let’s just start with this. I hate sad movies.

This piece that has been a week in the making shall finally come forth. It all began one rainy Thursday night with the supposed delight of watching a movie. It began with The Fault in our Stars.

For anyone thinking this will be a commentary on the movie/book it will not, so if that’s what you’re looking for read no further. Rather, I’d like to make a broader commentary. I also warn that I still only have vague understanding of what I’m about to say in spite of deciding to post a blog about it.

I tried to hold out through the movie. I really did. I played on my phone through most of it, kept whispering over and over again “don’t get attached, don’t get attached” and even tried to sneak off to the bathroom when I assumed it would begin to become truly sad (this backfired and my friends paused the movie on my behalf). I giggled at funny pinterest posts rather than truly immersing myself, and I was fine throughout the film. I proudly sent a snapchat to my cousin of my clean face, no tears in sight. But my confidence was shortsighted. For it was after the film that my true feelings became known.

An attempt to go to sleep proved futile as I tossed and turned. I tried distracting myself, but suddenly to my utter surprise, there were tears. Lots and lots of tears.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a pessimist. I’m critical, cynical, sarcastic. I don’t particularly tend to look on the bright side all the time. In fact I often tend to be the gloomy reclusive depressed type, an Eeyore rather than a Winnie-the-Pooh. I am told to smile more. I have people think I’m hateful and mean-spirited in fact simply because I hide behind a somewhat serious and cold exterior. And I think that’s why negative films and books always have such a hard hit on me.

I need a bit of hope in my life. I need some little bit of light peeking through the dark gray clouds. I cling to the bits I have. And when I watch movies like The Fault in our Stars, I have a hard time remembering that there is any good in the world. It makes me question the realities of life around me. And even more it makes me wonder what could possibly be wrong with me that one movie I paid barely any attention to can make me spend an hour curled on the couch crying rather than getting the sleep I so obviously needed.

I’m depressed. I don’t usually admit it readily. But I am. And it’s hard. This past month I’ve struggled to write at all, only surviving thanks to the expectations of the challenge I’m currently participating in. And this week was one of those “I don’t want to be a writer, I’m terrible, I will delete each and every piece of works” type weeks. No worries, my works are safe in my recycling bin for now and will likely be moved at some point. But I still am stuck pondering why my mind works like this, and above all the same questions raised by watching the films. Why do bad things happen? Why is there disease and death and suffering?

I just so happened to be reading King Lear this week as well, which fed rather well into my ponderings. For any who haven’t read it, no worries on spoilers…I’ll just tell you most everyone dies…especially the good characters. The play is rife with suffering. And yet there’s a beauty in it, a questioning just as I’ve been questioning. How is it we live in a world full of such evil? If there is/are (a) higher power(s) then why do they not intervene?

A most poignant line in the play is said by the Duke of Gloucester “As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.”

I’m not writing to tell you whether there is or is not a god, or fate, or a higher power, or anything of religious nature. I’m not writing to tell you why there is suffering or what it does. I’m not writing to say there is a way to escape the pain and horrors of this life. Were this a religious blog maybe, but instead I’m forced to approach it from a literary perspective. And that is to appreciate that a man in the Elizabethan era pondered the exact same heavy questions I now am dealing with.

Is there good? Why do people suffer? Why why why?

And that is a beauty of literature, to question these weightier issues in ways that move and touch people. It creates something in us that resonates, even through the ages. I doubt Shakespeare knew he’d do something funny to the heart of a twenty two year old woman in 2014, sitting alone on her couch pondering why, if there was good, she could feel so miserable and depressed.

I have only ever written happy endings, though I’ve been pondering the possibility of writing a sad one recently. Because I think there is something valuable in them, in questioning the difficult elements of the human existence that are universal and unchanging. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll inspire someone as Shakespeare inspired me.

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