Fighting Depression with Everything I Have
It's been a while since I've added anything to this blog. That's because, in spite of ECT, depression is still kicking my tail. Through lots of therapy, some of it in an intensive outpatient program, I've come to realize that this is a chronic condition. I won't always feel this bad, but I will always have to deal with managing my mood and guarding against the possibility of relapse. I will always have to recognize the fact that my mind takes me to the negative places first, and I must challenge this tendency.
So where does all this leave my writing? For several months, I stopped writing and editing altogether, but that didn't make me happy. In fact, it made my depression worse. I felt like I had become disconnected from a vital part of myself.
So, as part of my healing process I'm re-affirming myself as a writer. That means taking writing and editing assignments and turning in a professionally polished product on time. It means scouring the job boards and responding to the ads that match my areas of expertise. It means marketing my books. It means coming up with article ideas and drafting queries to publications. It means reading books and signing up for online classes to expand my skills. And it means keeping this blog current.
My goal is to publish a new blog once a week and to respond to any questions or comments within 24 hours. I also want to reconnect with other writers on their blogs.
Finally, as part of my own recovery, I want to reach out to other writers and readers who are struggling with this beast called depression. I don't have all the answers – I'm not sure I have any of the answers, for that matter – but I do know that depression thrives in isolation. The more support you find, the weaker it becomes.