I never used to be nervous about writing a blog post. I never used to start and stall, start and stall. I never used to fret about what people might think of how I was expressing myself. But things are different now. I am nervous. I am starting and stalling. I do worry about what people might think about my capability as a writer.
The thing is, I’m emerging from what’s been the lengthiest depression of my life, but while I’m able to find some joy in life again, I’m having to start from scratch as a writer. Words, which have always previously flowed, now need to be fought for. What once came naturally, now feels entirely unnatural. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, everythingly, I’m in the strangest place I’ve ever been.
I’m not creating my best work at the moment, I’m not creating at all at the moment, and it pains me to an unimaginable degree. All I want to be able to do is write a poem.
It’s weird how things change. I used to write my way through everything. No matter what was going on in my life, the capability to express myself creatively was always there. Then, this depressive episode came along and it wiped-me-the-fuck-out.
Emotionally, I’m finding it quite difficult to be on social media, especially Instagram. I’m happy for all the folk out there creating. But I’m also hungry for what they have and which I’ve lost – that ability to make something from nothing.
While it can be challenging to be on social media, I’m still conscious of its benefits, so today I started a dialogue on Facebook with regards to depression and the loss of creativity. I didn’t know what to expect from posting, as it’s only too easy to get into the mindset that I’m the only one who cannot be creative, but people responded and reminded me that, actually, I’m not alone at all.
One friend said ‘I feel like someone just suddenly stole my essence.’ Another friend who hasn’t been able to write for nine months talked about using tarot to deal with the anguish. She said ‘about the only thing I’ve found to help when it’s making me despair is working with the hanged one, just being present in that state of liminality without thinking about how it may evolve, trying not to resist the discomfort or seek resolution, trying to be ok with non-action.’ Someone else who went from writing a 100,000-word novel to not being able to make coherent sentences said that ‘being without words is frankly terrifying,’ and it is. For me, nothing is more terrifying than being without words.
Moving forward, I don’t want it to be four more months before I write another post about what’s going on in my life. I want to write to you tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that. I want to get back into some sort of rhythm with my blogging because I miss it. My existence right now is anything but interesting – depression is fucking boring – but I need to try and move in a new direction and I’d love to have your company.