When I blogged on Friday, I sat in my favorite cafe, drinking a delicious coffee, eating wonderful pastries. The weather outside felt spring-like, warm, sunny, full of life. There were people out, milling around the small town, going in and out of shops. My partner sat across the table from me, reading, journaling, making me laugh. I was hopeful for a weekend of small moments to meet creativity and gain inspiration. It didn’t exactly pan out that way. Mental health issues decided to play the upper hand.
I spent the weekend on high alert. Anxious, sad, shaky. It didn’t feel restful, restorative, or inspired. It felt like an impossible balancing act of people, emotions, safety, well-being. Mental health is consuming and draining. I’ve thought a lot about John Green as of late. I’ve wondered how he pushed through OCD to create and write. I’ve wondered how it felt to write such a poignant novel on OCD. Each time I think of my new characters, I wonder if one of them will struggle with a form of mental health. I wonder if I could write it properly. Dandelion’s addiction issues felt different than writing about rage powerful enough to break a door, sadness so deep it leaves you numb to touch, smell, sounds. Depression and addiction can go hand-in-hand, but they can feel very different. Addiction can feel almost maniac and uncertain. Depression can feel like a steady sameness that one will never break free of.
It’s safe to say I haven’t made progress on this new story idea. The images and ideas that began to rumble last week have quieted the last few days. The drama around me and in me hasn’t left much space for anything else. I am trying to learn to be okay with this. It’s hard to know creativity keeps me moving, but feeling tapped out and unable to do the thing that may help the most, well, it’s frustrating. Rest doesn’t sound all that exciting. I prefer to go, do, be, hustle. What’s worked in the past isn’t working any longer, though. Kids and mental instability is a beast I don’t feel equipped to handle.
But here I am, with the life I have been given, trying my hardest. The mornings feel slightly better than the evenings. At night the mind races, and one tends to fall into bed, passing out, turning the cares off. In the morning, things can feel hopeful, for a moment, before it all comes back. This is not where I thought this blogging about writing would take me; it is leading down a path of pouring out my heart about the drama within and around me. It feels safe and poignant to do so. Important. I want to be real that creativity is hard when life is happening full force. It’s hard to show up. It’s hard to think through what is happening. It feels pathetic to create a new world to write about when so much reality is happening in front of oneself. In a way that’s hard to explain, we creatives know that it is the only way for us. The only way through reality for us is it escape it, manipulate it, and come out the other side having made sense of it.
I know I need to make sense of the life around me. I need to experience it in my own way and turn it into something worth looking at. Perhaps, what I’m trying to tell myself, is that the new book will contain elements of depression I feel ill-equipped to write about. A sadness I don’t want to enter into with my writing. And yet, I know it will be the cathartic experience I need to understand it all. To move on. To live and flourish in the only way I can. Perhaps I understand more about this story than previously thought.