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Writing During Mental Health Recovery

I posted at the beginning of this year about dealing with depression, and I haven’t made a ton of posts since then. Not because I’m struggling. As a matter of fact, I’m feeling better and think I’ve finally found the right medication for me. At least for my depression, there’s a bit of anxiety trying to run free.

The problem is that during my darkest moments I did nearly nothing. As you can imagine, many of my responsibilities have piled up around me, writing being one of many. So with my newfound energy there’s laundry to tackle, a desk to organize, cleaning to do (oh, so much cleaning), exercise to work back in, a family to love, and when I tackle one or two items on that never ending list, I’m done. Spent. Time to relax and recharge.

I am writing, though, don’t get me wrong. I’ve picked up a beloved novel that’s been collecting dust in first draft form. It’s needed work and the direction has finally clicked. My usual writing method I lovingly refer to as “word vomit” where I spit word after word on the page, usually completing multiple chapters a day. My current pace is one chapter, maybe two. And unlike any time in the past, I’m leaving a lot of loose areas and notes. This draft is one of the weakest I’ve done, because I know it’s going to need a lot of work in the next round.

And that’s okay. I love the characters, so I can read and re-read them many times and enjoy messing with their lives. Yes, this will take a little longer. In the meantime the laundry will get under control, the house cleaner, and the family loved. I’m taking things one step at a time. There isn’t a magic pill to take, though I wish there was.

And that’s another area I’ve realized. Better or not, I spent over a year depressed and barely moving. That’s a year of bad habits to break. A year to recover from. It doesn’t happen overnight. I have to force myself into action. I have to look deep inside and decide where I need rest and where I need to move. I have to push.

So if you are where I am, you are doing just fine. It will take time. Find a way to get back to yourself, step by step. It will come. As long as you continue taking those steps.


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