Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Depression is a mean fucker.

I hate depression. It makes me into a different person, a person I don't like. A person who snaps at her kids, a person who takes everything too personally. A person who googles "Jennifer Armintrout sucks" just to see if anyone agrees with her.

I get stuck in these deep grooves with depression, where I think I'm worthless, and I consider quitting writing. I feel absolutely no drive or passion to write, I open up old projects I've abandoned and tell myself, "You're so lazy and worthless. You could at least finish this and self-publish it. You'll have to, because no one will buy it, since you're a shitty writer. You should just quit. Today. Contact everyone involved in your career and tell them to throw out your contracts and just quit. Go get a real job and stop being such a loser. Look at what you're doing to your family. You're never going to come up with any good ideas again, and if you do, you won't follow through on them. You should just give up today."

How can I let myself talk to me that way? That's insane. If I heard someone saying that out loud to another writer, I would punch that person's teeth in. I would be outraged beyond words.

But I suspect I'm not alone. I bet any number of writers struggling with depression have said those exact things to themselves. I bet I'm not the only person who struggles with this, even at the best of times. And while my career is certainly not enjoying it's "best time," things aren't the worst they've ever been, either. So, what do I have to be defeated about? Nothing. It's just a trick of my diseased brain, telling me mean stuff to knock me down a peg, just for kicks.

I don't know why my brain chemistry hates me. I don't know why it tries to destroy my confidence and mess with me, but I know that tomorrow I won't feel this way. If that's enough to get me through today, maybe tomorrow I'll have confidence again, maybe something will smack me in the face and say, "Suck it up. When you google 'Jennifer Armintrout sucks' the first page of results is mostly shit you've said about yourself."

That's the carrot dangling in front of me right now. I'm going to just survive today. But if you suffer from depression, please feel free to share your stories in the comments, if that helps you.

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