The battle of depression is something that is more than just “do something that makes you feel good.”
One thing that I’ve fought over the years is one of the items that contributes to my feeling depressed is that I wanted to have something that is an output of my mind and creativity that is accepted in some way by peers. Now, I get some of this through my job. However, journalism is not fantasy or fiction, and while I can write stories for print and make packages for broadcast, it’s not the same as creating a world in my mind, putting life into characters and setting up a scenario to see how those characters will react.
Writing used to be an escape for me. I loved to write fiction. It served multiple purposes…I could get away from the stress of the day, I could take some dreams and put them out of my head. I could vent the creativity that wouldn’t get used.
And I have to admit, part of it was that I could use it to interact with others and gain some praise for my work. It was a source of self-esteem for me in times I desperately need it. It was as a kid, it was in my 20s, my 30s…
And along the way, that love was poisoned from the outside.
In some places, it was writers who weren’t open to or hostile to my faith.
In others, it was some writers that just didn’t link up with me personality wise. (Hey, you’re not going to get along with everyone.)
In one of the biggest, and the thing that kept me from really writing anything for the last 4 years, was a writer’s conference I attended where the work I thought wasn’t THAT bad was basically stripped down to the point I was shown it was total garbage.
During a time when was being mentally destroyed by the matters of life and God was breaking down parts of my life that were not in line with Him, that love was taken away.
I used to write for the love of it. However, I have to admit now that part of the love came from the idea that eventually it would be in a book that people could read and enjoy. That people would say “that Jason, he wrote this book that I really loved.”
To be that person that made a little impact in someone else’s life that way.
I didn’t go through another National Novel Writing Month. It’s been so tainted over the years that the last time I tried to do it in 2013 I just walked away feeling the weight of the things that happened connected to it.
That month almost used to be a holiday for me.
I would take vacation from work the first few days so I could just write my fingers off and race to see how far I could go. One year I was done after 5 days with the goal of 50,000. Man, that felt so good.
I found a writer’s group in Memphis and I was seriously thinking that I might dip my toe in the water just to see if perhaps I’ve healed enough from the last few years to slowly make my way down the road again.
They said the idea for the story was a great idea. They just didn’t like how I wrote it.
So there’s that part of my brain with that story in it that says “this is a good story. You need to tell it.”
To break through this wall…and it’s not writer’s block…it’s stronger, deeper and wider than that. It’s depression and it’s another part of the beast that needs to be attacked to bring it down.
I know I should just suck it up and try again. But with 45 on the horizon in about a month, my depression keeps fighting back telling me that I’ve basically wasted my life. And it’s hard not to fight it off when I look at the way God seems to keep me in this place of borderline desperation.
This is a ramble…sorry for it. I just needed to get something out and at least I know there’s three of you who read this. (My mom, Bill and the anonymous person who commented on my last post.)
I don’t know if I’ll go to the writer’s group tonight. But even if I don’t…I’m taking the fact I’m seriously considering it to be a step in the right direction.