A quick update.
I have struggled with depression and low self-esteem all my life. Like many writers (I’ve noticed a trend :P), I can remember word for word any negative review of my work, and dismiss the positive ones because…well, I can’t even explain why. It’s not logical. I *know* it’s not logical, but somehow that makes no difference.
In my head, it’s because I know the negative ones are right. My stories do suck, my characters are horrible and awful, I should learn how to world-build, I should stick to my day job. Those voices are just affirming what Inner Cat already knows. The people who like my work are…lying, for some reason of their own.
Does any of this sound like the thinkings of a logical mind? Not really, right? And yet they are my daily thoughts.
So now a confession. I have a taken a step (or several) towards correcting my problems with depression and self-hatred. Some of these are medical, some are physical, some are small and simple but manage to give me some sense of accomplishment over my life. Like keeping a daily pen-and-paper to-do journal, and breaking everything down into small steps. (It’s not clean the house – it’s make the bed, sweep the floor, fold the laundry, room by room. It’s marking off showering and taking vitamins, and walking the dogs and going to buy milk. Things that I have trouble recognising as accomplishments because I gather to most people they are not. When you are depressed, I promise you, showering *is* a huge fucking accomplishment.)
Physically, I’ve been weight-lifting. This started because I wanted to get better at archery, but has turned into something I really love. I’ve always been pretty weak (upper body especially) so every small gain, every tiny plate I add to that barbell is a giant FUCK YEAH I AM AWESOME and it makes me feel superhuman.
There has been a bizarre downside to feeling better about myself and doing things that make me happy, and that’s been a complete failure to write. Part of me wants to blame it on medication, but I think the truth is that I’m terrified it’s the meds and so I’m too scared to try and have it confirmed. Because then writing is over. I will *not* trade words for the joy of feeling permanently suicidal.
So I’ve been editing an old work, and telling myself that editing, and adding 100 words a day to this thing is writing. I might not be making a new story, but I’m still being creative. Small steps, goals I can reach, goals that don;t make me feel like a failure.
And finally, an apology. I’m sorry I’ve been shitty to a number of people online and in real life recently (and not so recently), I’ve been trying to find a good place in my head, and I think I am a lot closer to it right now, and there’s a weird clarity to it that highlights my awfulness while also saying, okay, it’s over, you can move forward now. I’m going to do better, and be more careful with other people’s feelings.