Monday, June 6, 2016

A Case of the Mondays

It's Monday. Again. Oh, how I loathe Mondays.

For anyone who really knows me, you know I struggle with depression and anxiety. Lately, both have been hitting me full force on Mondays, more so than any other day of the week. Without getting into why that may be, I've been thinking about what this means in terms of my reading and writing because, honestly, it has an impact on both.

Let's start with reading. I've found that when I shut down to everything else, one thing that really helps is escaping. And how does a bookworm do that? By reading. When I cannot function properly to accomplish daily activities, I can always read. I can step out of my own crippling world and find somewhere else and another pair of eyes to see it through. I can gain perspective through a character's situation, struggles, and triumphs. And even if things don't end in a preferred happily ever after, I can usually come out of my funk knowing I finished a book (and if you recall my book slump troubles, that is an accomplishment).

As far as writing goes, I've had a mixed bag of experiences during my low times. There are days where writing just seems like the only natural thing to do because I can be someone else, someone not struggling with depression. But I've also had WIPs that I had to step away from for months at a time because I get so sucked into what's happening that I end up in an even worse downward spiral. And that really doesn't help anything, much less make sense of escaping to begin with. I also have one WIP that is indefinitely sidelined because no matter what my mindset is going into it, the very real and equally important issues and themes slay me beyond recognition.

I actually worked today (life doesn't pause when you're depressed), so I haven't had my chance to escape yet. But I do plan on putting a nice dent in my book at bedtime tonight.

Does depression or anxiety impact your reading or writing? I'd love to hear any tricks you've found for coping or books that helped you escape!


Jonathan Schramm said...

Oh, Brianna. I feel you. I believe it was Kurt Vonnegut that said, "You cannot be a good writer of serious fiction if you are not depressed." Actually, I just googled it, but I think it's a pretty well known fact that a lot of writers struggle with some form of anxiety and/or depression. So you are definitely not alone. As far as tricks for coping, it does sound like some of you're writing is very personal, so maybe aim for something a little on the lighter side? Comedy? Children's? Best of luck-- and know that we're all in this together.

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

I find my mood worsening when I can't write. I've been super irritable with my kids too. Weather, housework, cooking -- it all overwhelms me and then my anxiety worsens. So, I hear ya. I feel ya.

Carrie Beckort said...

I've experienced it too. I do love to read when I'm feeling down. I find a light and fun book can sometimes bring me out of it. I write with heavy emotion, so that means I'm affected by it when I write. Sometimes it takes me a while to get out of whatever the feeling may be. Once I get through to the end though, it does help. Mostly because by the end something has been resolved for my character, so that usually helps me too. One thing I've started trying is diffusing essential oils while writing. I wasn't so sure about all this oil stuff before, but I've become a believer in their positive effects.

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