Since my post yesterday, and after reading the link in its comments, I’ve been thinking of how to describe, for myself, what my mental status is like.
Depression seems so black and white.
Anxiety seems so alarming.
I am the kind of person who is unable to hear or remember or absorb much of anything other than the negative comments made to me, about me, within me. I will obsess for weeks over a grammar flub or a misplaced giggle during someone’s venting. I can’t turn that off.
So, then I try to turn it out. I focus negativity on those around me, people on the road, at the grocery store, my husband, my kids. But that just makes me feel even more like a horrible person, and so I just retreat altogether.
Through reading, writing, drinking, watching TV or movies, sleeping, eating… Anything that will blank out my own thoughts and feelings. I’ve always had an elaborate fantasy life (and I don’t mean that I play RPGs or that I have a closet full of fetish gear). I mean that since I was a little kid with imaginary friends, I’ve been taking day dreaming to an art form.
I think that’s what most writers do, and it makes so much sense to me that so many writers suffer depression as well. It’s escapism.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t find enjoyment in those things, because of course I do. This doesn’t mean that I don’t put on my best Scroogy Face and interact when necessary, even doing a fairly passable job at socializing.
It’s just a shell. An act. Like I’m on autopilot.
Soon, I look around and realize it’s been a week since I’ve swept or vacuumed and my laundry remains unfolded in the basket and my kids are running rampant and my husband barely says a word to me.
I realize that I haven’t been there.
That’s what I mean by dark, lost, shapeless. Undefined.
I know that this too shall pass, that there will be brighter days.
But in case yesterday’s post was less than clear, there ya go…