I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was in elementary school. I loved writing stories about my family, alien abductions, and a billion other topics.
My favorite day was library day when I’d check out the maximum number of books and devour them in every free moment I found, sitting on the floor of the little library in my closet. I wanted to do that. I wanted to write those stories.
For a while I was nearing my dream. I was writing and editing and querying. I got a lot of positive feedback letting me know that my dream that so many people tried to talk me out of was possible and one day I’d be published.
Then I fell into the longest, darkest depression of my life that stole years from me. I stopped writing. I stopped editing. I stopped trying.
When I finally began crawling my way out of the hole I got pregnant and suddenly there I was with a tiny human who demanded all of my attention and postpartum depression so deep I couldn’t see my way out.
I got help. I underwent psychiatric evaluation, I saw a therapist who spoke nonsense, then I started seeing a psychiatrist who was able to help me dig my way out and start writing again.
It was hard and it hurt and I question every move I made. But I was writing. It felt good and suddenly my dream began to feel real again.
But depression is a sneaky bitch and just as I started getting thing on track she came back for a visit. It felt like the end of the world. This time the loss of writing is more acute and painful because I worked so long and hard to get back to it.
To keep myself active I’m working on this blog. I’m going to write what I can so I still learn and practice and when my medication is sorted, when I beat back the apathy of depression and can hear my characters whisper to me again I’ll be ready to get back to them. I won’t forget them.
That is what it’s like writing with mental illness, you do what you can, when you can, and just keep plugging along because the alternative is to just give up and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do that. Being a writer is as much part of me as being female or American. I was born to it.
I am a writer…no matter what, that will always be true.