The Care and Feeding of a Creative Writer (and Human Being)

You, my dear readers, have been neglected. My apologies to each of you. I just emerged from a haze that blanketed my world for several weeks and until this moment hadn’t realized how out of touch I had become. It’s a side effect of chronic depression.

Several things occurred to put me in a hazy corner and keep me there. While I won’t be specific, I’ll give you a brief overview.

I have family and friends who like to tell me that God won’t give us more than we can handle. This simply isn’t true. We suffer grievously when we try to handle things on our own. I truly believe I was on the wrong path and God let me suffer to get my attention.
1. I took on a job that, while I believed it would be fulfilling, pushed me beyond my stress threshold. My writing suffered. My blogs suffered. My health suffered. I was overwhelmed by the smallest things. And so, I prayed, knowing God will never leave me nor forsake me. Last week, I tendered my resignation and have been a writing fool ever since.

2. My mother had surgery to repair two tears in her rotator cuff. She’s a good patient and caring for her hasn’t been a hardship, but it has put things into perspective. Because my father died relatively young (just 43 days shy of his 68th birthday) I’m hyper aware of my mother’s age. I’m afraid I got a little wrapped up in being a caregiver and forgot to care for myself. She went to spend a few days with her brother and his family and that’s when I realized that I had added an unnecessary weight to my shoulders.

3. The day mom left to visit family is the day Robin Williams died. His suicide had a profound effect on me. As a fan, I felt the world had lost a tremendous talent capable of lightening the sorrows and despair of the whole world. As a human who battles depression and has more than once considered taking my own life, I grieved for the man; I still grieve. I’ll never know what thoughts led him to his decision, but I understand the decision itself. Depression strangles reason and without oxygen reason cannot survive.

If you are having difficulties coping with day to day life there are resources that will help. Here are just a few:

  • MentalHealth.gov has a blog, depression & suicide prevention resources and a treatment locator.
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs is an authoritative mental health information and resources for Veterans and their families.
  • NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
  • Founded by Glenn Close, Bring Change 2 Mind works to end the stigma and discrimination of mental illness.
  • NoStigmas.org is a global non-profit movement utilizing Peer-2-Peer connections to promote mental wellness and prevent suicide.

Robin WilliaimsThere are more than enough tributes to Robin Williams out there, but I wanted to share my ten favorite movies starring this frenetic, whirling dervish-like comedian and actor:

  1. The World According to Garp
  2. Awakenings
  3. Good Morning Vietnam
  4. August Rush
  5. Dead Poets Society
  6. Jumanji
  7. House of D
  8. One Hour Photo
  9. Aladdin
  10. The Fisher King