I had a realization that stuck with me from a couple weeks ago--what if my problem with writing isn't so much that I can't write like I used to but that I need to try and write in a different way?
Now, this realization seems so obvious, so elementary, that I can't believe I didn't realize it before. Right, I'm not writing like I used to. I am not the same writer I was when I was on a different drug. I am new kind of writer--so much so that I feel like I need to start over again.
Toss out all feelings of inadequacy--I have nothing I can compare this new experience to.
Stop feeling like a failure because I am so far behind my peers.
Of course, those things are easier said than done, and when it comes to not writing, I just sort of lock up and lock down.
When I don't write, I feel like I am just treading water, like I am just wasting my time. Why shouldn't I be able to write? I feel like a failure--after having such a bright beginning, and such a dedication to making that bright beginning continue to burn. I burnt out.
And now things are changing--in 12 weeks, give or take, I will be the mother of twins, and I will be taking time off local theatre and won't be out there as much. I will just need to keep myself on the radar--hopefully I can do that much.
So why is it I just can't adjust to being a new person with new responsibilities and new priorities? It's honestly because I have allowed my depression to get a good root hold on my mind and my heart and that I have allowed it to take me down.
Clearly, I need to work on that.
This morning, I went to the grocery store and I caught a bit of Charity Nebbe on TALK OF IOWA in IPR talking to Sue Kidd Monk, the author of THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES and a new book, which I cannot remember the name, which has been chosen to be an Oprah book club book. And she talked about how she would not write for five years. And how she was not writing now because she's promoting the book. And the thing that struck me about the interview was how calm and collected she sounded about it. I hadn't written for five years--just like that. No qualifiers about how she sucked, or felt defeated or terrible about things. I am sure she might have felt that way--but the calm of her voice and demeanor talking about that made me realize that if it can happen to her, it can happen to me, and I can come out on the other side in one piece.
So I am going to continue to struggle against my writing--THE KING OF CHILDREN has popped back up and so has a new project, BEST FRIENDS. We will see where it leads me and how I do with it.
This is my brand new me, and I am not going to let depression define me anymore. I am ready to try, really try, and my first step is to write, and my second step is to write in this blog more often. No matter how whiny and petty it sounds, the only way to diffuse the power that depression has over me is to talk about it.