Spring has sprung…a leak, that is. I live in Texas. It should be sunny and in the 70’s pretty much every day right now. But we keep bouncing back and forth between very warm (80’s) and cold (40’s). Okay, not big extremes for some of you, but it’s like the world is out of sync and doesn’t quite know what to do.
And that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. Out of sync. Isolated. I don’t interact with my groups like I used to, I don’t write as much as I used to, I don’t even talk to my family like I used to. I know it’s partly depression from staying inside too much, staying home all the time, not getting any exercise or sunshine. But every time I plan to start walking again, here comes another cold front, another storm. Or hubby breaks his foot. Or any one of a hundred things that pull me back inside and back into that web of depression.
In talking with other writers, I’ve learned it’s not uncommon. We tend to be introverts to begin with. Interacting with others is difficult for most writers. And yet here comes the season of conferences where writers feel they need to see and be seen, need to get out where the readers are. But just thinking about doing that gives me the heebie-jeebies.
I wasn’t always like this. In fact, I used to go and go all the time. I loved conferences. But then I got stuck in a job where I saw 30 families a day, 6 days a week, trying to talk them into buying portraits while they stubbornly held their ground. Now that I don’t have to do that anymore, I don’t want to see people at all. Or so I tell myself. I actually miss interacting with people, but I’ve grown self-conscious about my looks and can’t bring myself to get out there and risk the looks you get from those who’ve never had to worry about such a thing.
So how do you deal with the frustration? You write. Even when you don’t want to. Even when you’d rather have a root canal than write that scene. Even when you know you’re risking criticism from those who don’t like what you write or how you write it. You do it anyway. You also try to take better care of yourself, get some exercise, get out and see the new calves and foals, take a drive to look at the bluebonnets. You fire up the lawn mower and get behind it and push. You sit yourself down at the computer as soon as the sun goes down and you write, again.
And slowly, as winter finally releases its hold and Spring settles in to stay for a while, you reconnect with those around you, because it’s those connections that feeds a writer’s soul.
Anyone else suffer from SAD or have to battle bouts of depression? What’s your tried and true way to boot yourself out of the doldrums?