Some days I feel a little like I’m the person in this image. I’ve been struggling with depression ever since I moved to California, to a place in which I literally knew nobody, with a major that had little chance of getting me a job (and it didn’t), and a husband who is awesome and somehow manages to excel at everything he does.
For some writers, writing pushes them through dark moments in depression, but for me, that isn’t the case. I might not write a single word for weeks when things are particularly bad. I will open up Scrivener countless times, but end up rolling over and hating myself for not being productive. Sometimes I catch myself wondering if writing is something I even like. Because obviously, if you don’t like something when you’re depressed, then you must not truly love it. It’s the oh-so-logical conclusion.
I’m at a point right now where I can see light. Maybe only half the days are hard. On those good days, I write. I think it’s some of the best stuff I’ve ever written, and I think it will continue to improve, even if I don’t write on the bad days.
If you’ve got a loved one struggling with depression and you just don’t understand it, then I highly recommend this BuzzFeed article that uses comics to accurately depict depression. It’s a fun way of showing part of a very real struggle.
And if you’re a writer struggling with finding your writing niche while depressed, here’s some amazing posts on writing with depression:
Elizabeth Moon get real about depression and what it does to your writing.
Anne Allen says that embracing writers block is okay– sometimes it could be protecting you from depression.
Phillip Kenney, an author and psychotherapist on ways to avoid falling into depression when you spend all day in your head.
Robison Wells deals with mental illness in a lot of ways. He has an entire section of his website dedicated to real, honest blog posts about mental illness and what he struggles with. It’s incredible.