DISCLAIMER: YES, I’VE BEEN ASKED BEFORE WHY I FEEL THE NEED TO DISCUSS MENTAL HEALTH ON MY PROFESSIONAL PLATFORMS. MY ANSWER HASN’T CHANGED. I DISCUSS MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH MY OWN EXPERIENCES, BECAUSE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS TO BE HIGHLIGHTED AND TALKED ABOUT AND BROUGHT OF THE DARK. I ALSO WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW HAVING ANXIETY DOESN’T MEAN THEY CAN‘T CHASE THEIR DREAMS. IT JUST MEANS THEY’RE GOING TO WORK A LOT HARDER TO GET THERE.
Okay, time for some real talk, guys. It’s no secret that I have anxiety and CPTSD. I talk about it everywhere. On purpose. I always think if one person reads something I say and doesn’t feel alone I’ve found a little purpose in my discomfort. That’s important to me.
Since the beginning of 2019 I’ve felt like I’ve been ‘living between the anxieties.’ Basically, meaning I shove as much as I can of the good stuff in between all the crap. Yes, 2020 was crap for everyone. Extroverts everywhere have told me so. Introverts too – but not always because of the lockdown. But it’s been a little over two years since the last time I had a period of time where life was on the level and it’s starting to wear on me in ways I can’t hide. People notice – long droughts from posting on Facebook. Blogs that are sporadically scheduled at best. Some days, I think it’s never going to change. Some days I know it’ll never change. The world will keep revolving, but I’ll always have anxiety and big triggers. I’ll always have to live in between them. That doesn’t mean I don’t have good days – because I do. But I also have nights like tonight:
-Sales are down. Covid economy. Other writers are experiencing similar things. I know a few indies who have thrown up their hands at it all in the last few months. I’ve considered it too. I’m not to that point yet. I am doing side jobs again, though. More work for the same amount of money leaves less time for self care. It can’t be helped. It is what it is.
-I’m behind on work because of lost sleep last month before I could find a vet willing to fix my cat. More lost sleep as cat had difficult recovery.
-Storms – with a possibility of isolated tornadoes in my area Wednesday – Friday morning. So, yeah I’m already feeling the sinking feeling in my stomach.
-My editor and I are in the middle of editing a book. We live in 2 different states. We’re both in areas possibly effected. If the net or power goes I’m more behind.
-People telling me not to worry about being behind in a ‘creative career’ art takes time. Yeah, those same people have never finished a massive artistic project and made a living off of it for the most part. See my point up there about sales being lower and me on the brink of saying ‘Oh, enough’s enough. I give up.”
-I miss people who I’ve lost to covid. I miss so many people and don’t believe the world will ever be the same.
So, the next few days belong to anxiety. Mostly, storm anxiety. It’s not going anywhere. I’ve done therapy. I’ve done everything. Living in Missouri ruined me for any thunderstorm. Alongside anxiety, needs to live someone able to answer e-mails and put in edits and stay positive on social media and not ride the doom spiral. We’ll see what happens.
What does this have to do with writing and creativity? Everything! Every writer friend I have – has anxiety. Mostly, major anxiety filled with triggers and panic attacks and everything that comes with it. It’s as if imagining the worst is good fuel for novels. Sometimes, fixing ‘the worst’ in fiction soothes the soul. As a writing I believe I write to fix all the things I can’t fix in the world. Bad guys eventually die – the good guys mostly win. People fall in love and have a chance to live their lives without hell raining on every side.
Some days, it’s all I can do to wait until after my coffee kicks in to get to the keyboard and hammer out the details of the lives of fictional people. I’m thrilled to do my job. It’s the one part of my life I know for sure I enjoy – the writing part that is.
So, what is anyone to take from this? Live between the storms. Live between the bad times. They’ll always be around the corner, but the time in between belongs to us.