I think I’m getting depressed. I can tell because in any spare time I carve out from the day-job, all I want to do is sleep and read. I want to slide away from reality, and in feeling this way, my fiction dream feels like it’s sliding away too. And so goes the depressive cycle.
It’s funny, people who don’t get depressed probably don’t get what I’m talking about. Not truly. Their reaction might be, Just get on with it, Lisa; don’t read and sleep — write fiction! — in those carved-out hours. In my normal head, I do just this. But when depression weighs me down…Let’s just say there’s a whole ‘nother set of rules required to get through the days. It’s hard to explain the weightedness; the lurking sense that nothing’s worth it, that it’s all meaningless anyhow; the enervation (even when thinking about fiction); the sense that even the most mundane of tasks — like tidying the kitchen — are monumental.
I have to get the day-job stuff done because I need the money. It’s taking all I have. At the moment, the only thing I’m managing well is getting the dog out for walks.
I often try to analyze my way out of depression. Try to figure it out. Try to come up with alternate routines to jolt myself back into a good fictional brainspace. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Right now, it’s not working. On Monday’s post, I seemed to be equalizing, but that was apparently a commercial break from the main programming going on inside my head.
There’s the problem of partitioning, too. I need time and space away from stress to function well. At the moment, I can’t separate myself from the day-job chaos that’s swirling around me. For example, every time I check my email there are 15 new messages — it’s taking over my life. I haven’t been in this position in years — it’s wearing me out, sapping my creativity.
When I open the manuscript, nothing happens. I’m not the type to wait for inspiration. I get down to work and do it. But, like I said above, that’s when I’m in my normal head. Depressive head doesn’t function the same; I look at my prose and it reads like a bunch of blah-di-blah. I have no feeling for my own words. There’s no “just doing it.”
People who get depressed understand what I mean by “normal head” and “depressive head.” To put it in fictional terms: They’re totally different interior landscapes.
The day-job stuff is the trigger, for sure. Before the writing grant, I worked part-time, from home — just like I’m doing now. But it was different, more easygoing. I easily partitioned it away from the rest of my life. (Sidenote: This is a new kind of part-time called “full-time.”)
I’m hoping that I’ll get used to this day-job; and once I do, the stress will lift; and when it does, I’ll be able to partition; and when this happens, I’ll return to fictional brainspace; and when I do, my depressive state will lift. But seems far away from now, in a galaxy far far away from me.
All I know is that right now, sitting here at 1:30 p.m. with a grumbling stomach and a headache because I haven’t eaten since last night, I feel like my fiction dreams are seeping away, that I was so close…I’m going to take a nap now…