Wednesday, 21 September 2011

As the world falls down

Caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I worry too much, baby


It’s agonising when decisions feel too hard to make. The result is paralysis – you neither move forward nor back. Everything feels so heavy – giant boulders that only I can balance and all my attention is on them so I miss seeing the flowers around the edges. Sometimes I look away and the world sparkles but dem boulders are just so big, they demand dominance.

Depression is an awful thing. The problem is it doesn’t allow for any perspective – thoughts fracture and scurry around in tiny circles. There are no solutions in that darkness; it’s very claustrophobic. There's a feeling of separation from others, like living in a bubble - the partition is there but no one else can see it.

I can only write about it when it’s not with me (although if you are prone to depression it never exactly goes away – it circles your perimeter fence and waits for an unwary sentry). But I still can’t make any decisions – and I really need to, soon, at any rate. I’ve sequestered myself away for too long and need to start living a life again.

I had some time out recently – I had the house to myself and booked time off the day job to enjoy the peace and quiet in the hope that it would be productive. It took a little while to change the swing of my thoughts from day job to writing, but once I was in the zone, so to speak, it was fantastic. I was up at 6am each day and tapping furiously on the keyboard. The rewrite didn’t know what hit it. I forged ahead and fell in love with words again – that magic moment when the writing wheels seem to turn on their own. At the end of each day I looked back and thought gosh! I did that! I wrote that! It was a feeling that had been a long time missing.

I’m back at work now and still have that time-off energy – I can feel it as I make lists of work things to do, hum a tune on the way to the office kitchen, catch up with colleagues. It is prompting me to chip little bits off those boulders, to tackle small decisions that are easier to digest. It calls my attention to everything I love about autumn and tells me that the world is wonderful and good things are ahead for me. Maybe all I needed was a little break, after all.


Image from the film poster for Labyrinth; title also from the film

26 comments:

mshatch said...

"depression never exactly goes away – it circles your perimeter fence and waits for an unwary sentry."

I can relate to this.

Out on the prairie said...

It sounds as if you took a break at the right time and it healed your soul a bit.I like my time alone with nature, it provides that same energy I need to maintain well. I get restless if I don't get out regulaly.

Giles Hash said...

I know what you mean with depression. I don't suffer from it, but many people in my family do. And they're on medication for it.

I'm glad you were able to get some work done despite the pit. And I'm glad you seem to be feeling a bit better :)

Old Kitty said...

Yay for breaks from the everyday!! Good for you!!! Glad you got your writerly mojo back too!!

I just know you'll keep dem bad boulders away with your pen and your amazing words!!

Yay! Take care
x

Talli Roland said...

Breaks from the routine are so restful, aren't they? Sometimes I just take a day and it makes me feel so much better!

Hart Johnson said...

I'm so sorry you suffer from it. I have several loved ones who do, and I know what a mammoth of a life obstacle it can be. Glad you got a little down time.

Hannah Kincade said...

I suffer occasionally as well. I let myself wallow for a couple of days and sit listening to music while playing mindless games like Diner Dash. Then I slap myself into doing something productive.

Also, now living with The Man is helpful, he whips me into a good mood rather quickly.

I'm glad you're feeling better now!

Debbie said...

Little breaks are important for the body and the power of silence for the mind. That's just me though.

Keep going with your writing.

Tracy Z. said...

Depression never really goes away, is so true. It lingers, waiting to encircle you again, but I think you have the right idea, chipping away a little at a time.

I go through spells too where I am a total recluse and it takes a toll. I'm glad you were able to take a break and start feeling better. Hopefully that's a platform for more. 8)

Laura Marcella said...

Glad to hear you've got the fire back, Jayne! It's true that sometimes all you need is a little break. :)

Laura M. Campbell said...

Looking back through my blog posts over the past year and half, I noticed posts about self-doubt, frustration and suffocating constantly pop up. Depression really chaps my ass, but it's something I've dealt with for a very long time. I expect it now. Taking a walk or getting peace & quiet for an hour makes it more bearable.

It's good to hear you found the positive curve of the cycle. Enjoy it!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

HI Jayne
Sounds like you are on a roll now.. and that doing what you love really sits well with you and changes your whole perspective..

You know I've had a year full of indecision.. started with one really bad decision and seems I can't trust my own judgement now.. haha.. but you are so right about the no decision just being a form of paralysis...

Best thing I did was go to europe for 5 weeks. but now I'm home I've noticed I'm back to indecision again.. bugger..

Have a lovely week and lovelier weekend.. ciao xxx Julie

S.P. Bowers said...

Glad you're chipping away at those boulders. Keep it up and keep writing.

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

No wonder you fell in love with words again - if this sentence of yours has anything to go by ... "Although if you are prone to depression it never exactly goes away – it circles your perimeter fence and waits for an unwary sentry'.

By the way, I can totally relate to your post. Kindred spirits. Enough said.

Take care of 'you'.

Anne Gallagher said...

LIsts. That's what invariably helps me when I get overwhelmed. From "narrowing the exposition in chapter 3" to "brush teeth, feed the cat".

It doesn't make me feel less depressed, but when I cross them off I feel I have a better sense of accomplishment.

Clarissa Draper said...

Sometimes, it's great to take those breaks. I know I really need them. I suffer from depression as well and I know that writing helps me get out of it so I need to keep going and to keep going I need those breaks.

E.R. King said...

Depression is horrible, but I hope this helps:
http://i.imgur.com/5LdZT.jpg
It's the link to the Oxford comma cartoon. I hope it makes you smile!

Maggie May said...

I love your description of depression but I know only too well what it is like.
I think artistic people are prone to it in some form or another. Maybe we have to feel things so intensely, otherwise we wouldn't be able to express ourselves.

Glad the break did you good. Hope the good effects last a long time.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Nezzy said...

I'm so sorry sweetie. Sometimes ya just have to take some baby steps to climb outta the hole.

My heart and prayers are with ya.

God bless and have yourself a fantastic fall weekend. :o)

L.A Speedwing said...

Yes I do believe artists are as Maggy May say, are more prone to bursts of joy and burts of sadness/melancholy. Artists are sponges. Every emotion is soaked in from this world and sips out and you don't always chose the way it's going to sip out. Thanks for sharing it with us.

jbchicoine said...

Seems as if so many of us writer-types deal with depression on some level... sure hope you are pulling up--there's not too much worse than those nose-dives...

Eliza said...

I'm so glad you're on an up now. I can relate so much to your post, chipping away at those boulders is a daily battle - keep going.

The Tame Lion said...

We all are always here to support you.

Dolly said...

This post described my own bouts so well. I call mine black dog, like Churchill did. He circles just as you described. I agree with Maggie May and Speedwriting. After a 2 year bout of black dog, college is amazing and has put such a smile on my face. The trick is keeping anxiety at bay too. Look forward to meeting at mid-term.

JO said...

Look after yourself, Jayne. Do whatever you need to do. It's a beautiful world, but only if you feel well enough to notice.

Jayne said...

A big heartfelt thanks to everyone that commented on this post. x