Writing Through Depression… My Guide to Survival by Creativity

Depression is such a heavy topic, so I will do my best to keep it light, but let’s be real, depression is serious and should never be joked about. With that in mind, everything I am about to write about is deeply personal and the opinions I share come from my perspective. Please do not judge, or feel judged. This was the way I dealt with my most recent bout of depression.

When I was a teenager, I struggled greatly with depression, but I didn’t understand it at the time. I didn’t know that there was a name for the way I was feeling, or that it could be helped.  I just thought I was sad. Eventually, I grew out of it, but looking back, I’m so thankful that it didn’t manifest into something worse.

In 2017 I had my beautiful baby girl. Her name is Hailey, and she was such a bright light in our lives, but as any new parent knows, a new baby means a lack of sleep and strong emotions.

In the year following her birth, I was diagnosed with bipolar. This diagnosis made so much sense at the time. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders because I could finally call my mood swings something more than me just being “hormonal” or “dramatic” like so many women are labeled as. This was a real medical diagnosis, with real science behind it.

But the work didn’t start there. The work started in 2021 when I entered my first depressive episode since my teenage years. In March I experienced a significant loss of self and spiraled into the deep, dark abyss that is depression.

On the average days of my life, I am a funny, outgoing, charismatic, and confident woman. Depressed me was different. She cried all the time, she shook at the idea of talking to people, her hands were constantly wringing together out of fear and sadness. I was lost and broken. All of my confidence was gone, and I couldn’t remember who I was.

Unfortunately, I stayed this way for months. But there was a light at the end of my journey. I started to receive therapy regularly and had the care of two medical doctors on my side to balance medications. In time, I started to respond to happy stimuli again and I even started to smile. Then I found creative writing.

During one of my therapy suggestions, my therapist suggested journaling. At first, I was very put off by the idea. I haven’t written for pleasure since I was a child. Begrudgingly I picked up a pencil and started to write. After a few days… I still hated it. To be that self-reflective in a time of deep despair was not healthy for me. Instead, I turned to fantasy writing, and that’s when things got fun.

My husband and I run a mystery game Etsy shop and I started out by creating a new game that would be Science Fiction themed. But the more I wrote, the longer and longer my ‘game’ was getting. Soon I had 10,000 words down on paper and the most shocking part is that I had drive. I wanted to do something again. I wanted to write because it gave me the long-lost feeling of joy.

So write I did. I wrote for eight hours a day for nearly two weeks straight and by the end of it, I had The Defender. By the time I typed THE END I was smiling, laughing, joking, and genuinely looking forward to waking up each morning. To go from feeling like a pile of waste to feeling like a person that has something to offer was, needless to say, incredible.

It has been many months since I finished writing The Defender, but I have since then written parts two and three of the Gatlin series (The Defender being part 1). Writing fulfills so many needs of mine. It gives me control, it allows me to be creative, and it homes in on one of my skills which makes me feel like a confident person who has worth in this world.

Writing is a creative outlet for me, and it helped me survive depression. For anyone that is struggling, please reach out for help. Send me a note through my Contact Page, talk to your loved ones, or speak to a professional. Here is the site that I found my amazing therapist on Find Counselling, Therapists, Psychologists – Psychology Today Canada

Depression is serious, and I’m serious about helping anyone who is struggling. If there is anything I can do for you, or a loved one you know who may be struggling, please reach out.

 

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