storyrainthejournal: (colette'shandw/cat)
It's probably not obvious, but when I don't post much of my own content in the ethersphere on the social media, it's often because I'm in a bout of anxiety/depression. (Though sometimes it's more happily because I'm traveling, visiting, or just really engaged in the breathing world.)

There are plenty of situational reasons for anxiety/depression these days, and, indeed, I do feel overwhelmed right now, and tired. But I've also struggled with severe anxiety/depression from childhood. Add the daily drags and challenges of a chronic illness to that, and yeah, I have hard periods. Things that help, meditating, writing every day (challenging with a full-time dayjob and a chronic illness), feeling like my writing is being read and engaged and doing some small good in the world, cats, loved ones, books & movies. But the first two most of all, in terms of even keel. And medication. What a good, good thing it's been for me and my quality of life.

When I can't get on social media without a dozen important, desperate issues hitting me and the anxiety square in the injustice-rage and feels buttons, I'm already off-kilter and then the posts about all the best novels and stories lists I'm not on tweak the 'oh, cod, I'm such a failure,' pedal, and the whole ridiculous vehicle careens into anxiety/depression gulch. I know better than to compare my career to any other writer's. I know better than to rely at all on external validation (though it's always super incredibly appreciated when it comes). But knowing better doesn't always keep you from fucking up.

(I've done lots and lots of therapy, at various points, for many years, so please don't offer advice or counsel here--I'm not looking for it. Just processing a bit, and putting it out there, because maybe other people are having some of the same issues.)

So, reminders for self: You always come through it. It's okay to stick your nose in a book or a tv show for a while and give reality a break--you don't have to feel guilty about it. Hang on, keep doing what you know helps (even if you have to keep retrying for that bloody one regular hour of writing fiction on dayjob days over and over). Love on the animals in your life, don't just mourn and desperately miss the one who's gone. Be kind to yourself. Come back to the fight when you're ready. It doesn't appear to be going anywhere.
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