How writing helped me through a bad depressive episode.
Every one of us who has suffered from depression, particularly severe depression has something in their lives that keeps them going when they’ve run out of steam and they don’t know why anymore.
Many people I’ve met in support groups have someone, usually a child, partner or pet.
For most of my life, since childhood really, I’ve lived for my maternal grandparents. They took care of me during some very crucial years, and taught me what it is to love.
This is not to understate the value of all those other loving relatives and friends who have added so much to my life. When one suffers from depression, it can be very very difficult to experience and feel love, even when it is most present.
Depression can be like a black, numbing fog that envelopes you, isolating you.
But something about the way my grandparents love me, made me feel it. Then and now. I think of them everyday, and pray for them everyday. And when living became too hard, it was for them I continued.
Now that is not to say, I didn’t struggle still; that I haven’t faced death eye to eye on my own accord.
At one point, after such an experience, and desperation gripped me, I needed something to push me.
The thing that helped
One might have desire and motivation to live, but sometimes with depression, one’s will is so weakened, all else pales into insignificance.
I thought my grandparents would understand. They know me well enough. I told my Ma, I was never truly happy except for those years I lived with her. She knew, and said she was sorry to hear that.
I felt sad at the sadness in her voice, and thought that I never felt I truly expressed my gratitude for all the love they have given me. Not in a way that satisfied me anyway. And I wanted them to fully understand.
And I thought and thought.
I would embark on a project of sorts that I would present to them, a token of my love.
I have this quirk, perhaps a positive trait that I must always finish anything I start.
It was a good idea.
I was going to write a book, dedicated to my Grampie and my Ma.
It has been about two years. Temptation has come. Death nearly swallowed me up. But destiny has had bigger things in store.
The token of love
Imagine an incomplete story. I cannot. As a story teller, I cannot.
I finished my book. Their book. And it has been a long personal journey writing it, even while living the daily instabilities of depression and fibromyalgia. People who were supposed to love me have come and gone out of my life. I have changed. I have suffered, and I have grown. The world continues to change. My perspective has changed. The only thing that’s remained consistent is love.
Technically, the book isn’t really finished until in print. I’m going through the tough, rugged process of self publishing because at 91 and 87, my Grampie and Ma aren’t any spring chickens. I must to show it to them and say ‘I did this for you.’
It is my fervent hope that just as the process of writing has helped me to grow and battle depression and fibromyalgia, that the process of publishing it will continue to do so. I must finish, even in the throes of a breakdown.
This is my story. And I hope you will support it. Who knows, this might be your story too.