My Writing and Depression

I feel like I should grab my virtual broom and start knocking the cobwebs off of this blog. I haven’t posted in here since June. JUNE. You may have forgotten I existed or have moved onto somewhere else. If you’re still here, I really appreciate it. And I’m so very sorry that I haven’t been around. I’ve been going through my own thing. Trying to wrap my brain around the stuff I needed to do.

depression, self image, my writing

I was visiting family and friends in West Virginia for much of this summer. Whenever I come home, I feel a bit of relief and some sadness. Relief that I’m home and not couch surfing. My bed is here and my partner is beside of me. I can begin to rebuild my certain kind of normal, which is off-center and hangs to the left. Sad because I can’t just teleport everyone here too.

We’ve been visiting for five years. This time around things didn’t just perk back up like they normally do. I felt so down. So low. I am a very good actor. My Mom always told me that I should’ve gone into acting. I was the Rudy Huckstable of our family. I find that I still act to this day, but now it’s more acting that everything is fine.

No worries here.

I’m ok.

You’re ok?

I’m definitely ok.

I haven’t been ok. I’ve felt overwhelmed, stressed, and feeling inept. The entire laundry list of insecurities that writers fight upon occasion have taken roost in my mind and for the life of me, this dirty laundry won’t come clean. I can’t just shout it out.

I started retreating. This is what I do. And I started dropping balls and feeling horrible about it all. The snowball in full effect.

It’s tiring to hold it in. Tiring to play pretend regularly. I spoke to my friend, Burgess. She suggested that I make a video about it. Maybe since I’d already had my nightly Ambien, but I felt like I could do it. I immediately hopped off-line and recorded this.

I haven’t magically fixed myself. I’m still struggling over here. But I’m trying to fight it now. And I’m trying to be kinder to myself. I’m not perfect. That woman I want to be is a dream. She’s that unattainable perfect. I have to try to not allow myself to feel like a shadow of this image. She is a shadow of me.

Do you ever feel like this? Maybe we can chat ourselves into not feeling alone.



Filed under writing

7 Responses to My Writing and Depression

  1. Tamara,

    I understand the feeling tired, lack of writing, the inadequacies running through one’s head (also call Fraud Police and What-if Demons). This year have been really rough on me and what I have learned is that sometimes you need to cry, vent, write, or whatever you to need to do to help. I will not get too messy my troubles, but basically I have had to change how I view EVERYTHING. I think I have situational depression and anxiety and am looking to get into therapy. But in the mean time I have found that writing hasn’t let me down. It’s still there. I am starting simple, writing for 15 minutes each night (or as often as I can), dusting off my blog, doing OctMo WriMo this month, and trying to face my writing fear (like getting published, working on my children;s book, and write a full stage play. Hang in there. I got your back, and will not let you fall!!

  2. Oh honey! I’m glad you’re back, glad for this post, and…I feel ya. You’re probably an introvert – an “I-N” something. And “I-N” folks…well, we’re prone to depression. Because we feel so deeply. We understand so much. And we’re often misunderstood.
    But we’re brilliant writers, and have lots to give.
    It’s isn’t just about “being happy.” Because we’d snap ourselves out of it if we could. And when there’s too much going on in life, I know I withdraw from many of the things I love to do – including writing.
    You’ll get your mojo back. But don’t forget to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to just be. It’s okay to “just be” for as long as you need to.
    You just keep on shining your light, and eventually, your light will not only shine for others, but it’ll light you up inside, too.
    Because it’s okay to withdraw for awhile. Rekindle the spirit. Regroup.
    Sending you hugs. Sending you love. And hopes for healing and glad tidings! xo
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  3. I feel you. Depression is not an easy foe. But hang in there. We can do this.
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  4. Tamara, I’m so sorry to see you feeling so low, though glad that doing the video helped a bit. I would love to give you a great big hug and tell you you are enough.

    But I also do understand what you say. I’ve been there too, especially with feeling not successful enough and just plain not enough. It’s never true, but knowing that logically doesn’t always stop us feeling it.

    What has helped me hugely is learning to question stressful beliefs and to just allow the shitty feelings and to let them pass through. When I was learning how to do this, I imagined my fear being like a ball of barbed wire, and letting it break off bit by bit, and that way I felt able to let go. It sometimes seems that the emotions might overwhelm us, but really it’s trying to fight them that does that. I do still have times I feel a bit low (and had it last week) but it’s nothing like it used to be years ago – and I’ve often noticed the low feelings often precede a time of change and growth so I hope the same will be true for you.
    Meantime, just know you truly are enough, be kind to yourself if you can, and don’t let those mean self-critical thoughts get their way.
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  5. I hear ya (although I am in a crowded train station right now so I guess it would be more accurate to say I am totally getting what you blogged).

    It doesn’t help when it feels like everyone else is succeeding, or together, or voted for, or chosen, or hired, or whatever your personal bugaboo is.

    Hell, I have been reading stuff that is, for me, exceptionally hard to like or even tolerate, and then I find out it’s more popular or selling better. And that makes me wonder: WTF? Is it just me?

    Am I too picky, too anal about editing and plot and accuracy, or jealous? And then of course insecurity hits and whispers that me and my work are unlovable.


    I know that is not true, but there are moments when I believe it, anyway.

    The only cure I know is to create. Even if it’s crap. Nobody has to see it. Just, I make stuff.

    Know that you are valued.

    • Tamara Woods

      Thanks for being here for me Janet. I’m trying to create tonight, actually. That’s why I came back here to actually reply to comments. I’m trying to get back into my A game–or at least my fair to middling B game.

      • Hugs.

        I try to take delight in the smaller aspects of writing these days. I do want to be published again (and I mean individually, as I have been in some anthologies lately). But instead, right now, I’m trying to enjoy little things, like figuring out whether a historical character would have an outhouse on her property (probably). Weird and arcane but it feels good to know that the sentence I want to write about it, that tiny, little sentence, will be accurate.

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