As it happens, there is a cosmic collision in the Blogosphere today. It's Insecure Writers' Support Group Day, and the topic for today's OctPoWriMo was "Insecure." So, it's a fine day for Insecurity.
I wrote this note in response to one of the OctPoWriMo posts, and I thought it would carry over nicely.
Fine advice! As someone who has a trifecta of psychological issues (bipolar type 2, borderline personality disorder, and OCD) I have found that trying to force myself to be "sweetness and light" when I feel like anything but does more harm than good. People who tell someone experiencing depression (or a depressive episode) or anxiety to "just stop thinking that way" or "just cheer up" help no-one.
It was only last year when I realized I needed to stop thinking of myself as broken. My baseline state is moderately depressed, and I know that's a difficult thing for someone who does not have a mood disorder to comprehend. But I have learned that those of us who tend to see the world through a glass darkly so to speak often have good insight and it might be well for the world to give us a listen rather than trying to change us into sugar and spice and all.
I realized a while back that I wasn't the "standard fare" for the Insecure Writer's Support Group (or anywhere else, for that matter) and so I created the Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp for people like me who aren't just a tad insecure about our writing, we have been fighting mental health issues all our lives. It never quite caught on, but the blog serves a purpose. Plus, I have taken plenty of Fukitol at this point in my life, and I really don't care about being one of the cool kids anymore.
I felt that the time might be right to try sharing my dubious wisdom with the Insecure Writers' Support Group again. I know that there are other people out there like me, feeling like you're the only one who feels the way that you do. I'm not writing this for the nice, normal people. I'm writing it for you. Because, like the Ghostbusters (only not nearly as interesting), I'm ready to believe you.
The Insecure Writer's Support Group asked the question of whether writing has ever gotten me through tough times. Well, since pretty much all the time is a tough time, I'd have to say yes. However, there is one exception to this. At times when I've had an experience which causes a flare-up of PTSD, I find myself unable to write very much.
When the flood hit Boulder County in 2013, I was driving to work. There was a continuous wave of water pounding across Baseline Road, and it broadsided the driver's side of my car. I managed to keep the car on the road, or I probably wouldn't be writing this now. I got to work and I was shaking and evidently in shock. I went in and worked out in the therapy pool, which I did every night when I worked, but which I now know was a crazy idea. Then I could hear the transformer blow outside, and the power went out. I went into the locker area and showered and dressed in the dark.
After this event, I found myself having great difficulty writing. There was a voice inside me that told me I was being stupid to engage in such frippery when I had nearly died, that I should devote my life to practical concerns. It took me a long time to silence that voice.
So, yes, writing is often a coping tool, but it doesn't seem to work when my PTSD is extremely active. Go figure.
I hope this has been helpful somehow. I know it was kind of all over the place. I'm working on multiple projects, which probably means I'm a bit hypomanic. I probably ought to buckle my seat belt, because that means a crash is in the offing. Same shit I've been dealing with since I hit puberty. I know how to handle it better now, but it doesn't make it fun.
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