Mental Health and Writing

Last weekend, my mom asked me if I’m putting pressure on myself to write when I don’t want to. I tried to explain to her why I make myself write blog posts and drabbles throughout the week and I didn’t do a very good job of it.

Well, I came up with a better answer several days too late. Instead of calling or texting to continue a finished conversation, I posted it on Twitter instead.

@sheena_bandy: With depression, you have to make yourself do things. I make myself write because I feel more like myself when I do. It helps. #amwriting

It had a pretty good response. I even gained a friend or two.

So I decided to write a blog post to really explain what writing does for me and my depression. It’s pretty significant and can’t really be covered in 140 characters.

On Wednesday, I was too busy and things were stressing me out. Plus, I’d watched four episodes of Shingeki no Kyojin the night before, which is too much SNK before bed. I was having a panic attack.

So I tried my usual techniques.

I wrapped my pink owl Snuggie around myself, I put some homeopathic remedy under my tongue, and I played my favorite instrumentals on Spotify and put an adorable cat gif at the corner of my screen for the day.

Well, that really wasn’t enough. When things are actually stressful and I haven’t just missed my meds or something, all the cat gifs in the world can’t stop me from panicking.

So as soon as the work day ended, I started writing. It’s not really escaping. It’s more like reconnecting with myself. I’m not writing a diary or anything. I don’t write down the bad things that happen to me and I don’t write down the bad things I think and feel. I write things like a couple of dorks being romantic or zombies getting lit on fire.

But I feel more like myself when I’m writing those things. I feel like I’m contributing to the world when I’m writing those things for the web. It’s not very impressive but it makes me feel like I have something good to give to others. I could feel like a burden at work or like everything is resting on my shoulders in my personal life, but writing eases that. I feel like I have enough to give when I’m writing. I feel like I did before all the responsibilities of life and pressure to perform. I feel like me again.

Writing is who I’ve always been and I’d be lost if I ever gave that up. That’s why, even when the stress and pressure are pushing me into the dirt, I force myself to sit down and type my little heart out. Because I need to remind myself how it feels to be me. The me that has plenty to give and doesn’t resent giving it.

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