Writer’s Block and Seasonal Affective Disorder

It seems the more I feel like I should be writing, the less I feel like writing. I am thankful that writing is not my full time job, because I’d definitely go hungry. I admire people who can write for a living and glad that they do, because it gives me so many awesome books, short stories, essays, blog posts and articles to read. I’m also pretty sure that the idea that “OMG I HAVE TO WRITE” is what kills my writing creativity and desire.

On my writing to do list lately, in addition to blogging, is writing some book reviews and Yelp reviews. I sat down to write a book review, and hit the wall. I tried writing something, but my heart wasn’t in it, so I put it aside. I hate waiting awhile to write book reviews, because the more I get into reading another book, the details from the book I need to review start sinking back into the recesses of my memory, and I start feeling like I’m not doing the book review justice. Seriously, the guilt in writing sometimes kills me, and I know it shouldn’t. I got some Yelp reviews in yesterday, and that seemed to help get the writing juices flowing again, so here I am!

I’ve looked into using writing prompts again like I did in the fall, but they don’t seem interesting to me. I feel certain that this block is all due to the time of year it is for me, because I am always incredibly despondent this time of the year. It usually begins in January and lasts through February or March. When spring arrives, I come out of my shell. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lights don’t seem to help much. Every year I have to remind myself that it’s just an annual phase in my life, and things DO GET BETTER. But still, the constant sadness and depression usually starts to creep in and tell me lies that I’ll be stuck this way forever. I know the depression demons tell lies, yet it doesn’t stop me from believing them at times.

Usually the writing that ends up winning, in these cases, are the ones where I just pour out my heart and soul, letting anything that comes out make it on the screen or on the paper. You know, like I’m doing now. Just like the quote below says, any writing is better than nothing at all.

What do you do to combat the writer’s block? Are you affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder?

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”
― Charles Bukowski

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Life Lately

This is long, but I won’t apologize. You have been warned! In my defense, there’s a lot of words in my head that need to get out since I haven’t been blogging regularly.

Habits are mostly good to have. I’m a creature of habit. I’ve written about it in the past, so I won’t dwell on the subject. Blogging is a good habit for me to have, but I’m finding that it’s also a habit that is, unfortunately, easily broken. Life has been busy since the holidays with no sign of letting up. That’s okay, though! Keeping busy is usually good for me because it keeps me from getting back into bad habits, like snacking, staying up too late or sleeping too much when it’s not night time. Those things usually trigger depression, which I have still been battling lately, as well.

So thoughts have been forming in my mind, but I just haven’t taken the time to get them out of my head. They’re mostly random thoughts and not very lengthy, so they end up in my personal Facebook, but I should probably be sharing them in my Blog Facebook, as well. Oddly enough, there’s several thoughts that I will post in this blog instead of on Facebook, even though this blog is public. I guess I feel that my blog is more of a selected audience, and the people who take the time to read it should be “treated” with something a little more…I don’t know…special?

What’s been going on with me? You know, New Year’s Resolutions and all, those things that I say that I don’t make but subconsciously I do? I guess as long as I don’t write them down, I don’t feel the guilt of failure if I don’t succeed. I have been trying to get back into working out. I started slacking in October, so I’m jumping back on now. I have no doubt that the lack of exercise and reverting back to bad eating habits is what has slowed my weight loss. I maintained pretty much the whole month of December and half of January. I’m not complaining, but maintaining is not where I want to be. I did that for many years already!

Shortly after the New Year, I decided to go for a Couch to 5K plan (C25K) and found an app on my phone to help me. I’ve tried jogging in the past and didn’t get very far with it. This time I’m trying it on a treadmill so that I HAVE to jog or fall flat on my face since the belt is moving that much faster. I started on Monday, January 7th and felt incredibly accomplished after finishing the first day! I was feeling so accomplished that I decided to do a little strength training afterward. I did a few sets on a few machines and was on the last one before it was going to be time to head to the showers. IT was the Compound Row – one of my favorite machines! I can row like nobody’s business, doing 2-3 sets of 50. I was halfway through a second rep when I felt my back seize up and OMG THE PAIN!

I had a disc in my lower back rupture in 2005 that caused tremendous pain for about 6 months, as well as nerve damage to my sciatic nerve. I had back surgery that year, which cured the worst of the pain, but I have about 2-4 flare ups a year. This was one of those flare ups. By Wednesday, the pain was excruciating, so I went to the doctor, and she referred me to the spine clinic. I don’t know why I never looked into it sooner since I have had had major surgery on my back, but meh…that’s here nor there now.

The pain had mostly subsided by the following Monday, so I went for Day 2 of the C25K, and had an appointment with the spine clinic that morning. X rays showed that I had no major damage but have some “arthritic changes” in my lower back, and the flare ups are common for people who have had back surgery like I have, usually due to scar tissue. The doctor wasn’t concerned that the disc had ruptured again but suggested that I try physical therapy to build a stronger core in the hopes of lessening the frequency, duration and level of the flare ups that I am bound to experience.

Yesterday was Day 3 of the C25K, which technically wraps up the first of 8 weeks, even though my first week was split up into 2. I’m getting up at 4:30am MWF to get to the gym to do this. I am SO not a morning person! Yesterday was also my physical therapy consult. I’ll be doing that 2 days a week for at least a month. I’m also going to water aerobics on Thursdays after work, and also planning to meet a group of post-op weight loss surgery people twice a month on Saturdays.

Hopefully all this means I’ll be too busy to snack, be depressed and sleep too much! That’s my life lately 🙂

“Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it.” – Thaddeus Golas

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In the Quiet of the House

In the quiet of the house, the only sounds I hear are the clocks ticking. One clock is in the living room, the other in the kitchen. They tick almost opposite of each other but not quite. I never notice them except when the house is silent, but they still continue their conversation night after night and day after day.

In the quiet of the house, I can’t help but still have it on my mind. It’s been several days, but I still feel restless. I still feel like something is wrong or missing. Ignoring it and moving on doesn’t work for me, but I fear removing the patchwork that was silently put there. I anxiously wait for it to happen again and fear that each time will be worse than the time before.

In the quiet of the house, I contemplate the demons and how easily they slither into my thoughts when I’m not paying attention. They take over and tell me that I’m a failure, that I will never get better and will forever be imprisoned by my weight. When they visit, they bring me down with them, and I believe them. I believe their lies, therefore I act accordingly. Sleeping and snacking becomes the norm and the only activities I enjoy. I’ve been here many, many times.

In the quiet of the house, I look forward to the future despite my woes and worries. I know that it does get better, and that life needs the bad times so that the good times are much more appreciated. I go through life’s ups and downs and keep pressing on. Just for today.

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Sunday Scribblings: Heal


On Sundays, I am starting to participate in Sunday Scribblings, a weekly writing prompt challenge. There are no rules within the challenge, however I am imposing the same rules that I follow for Five Minute Friday: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Heal

START

How do you truly begin to heal when the pain on the inside has not been fixed? Sure, the wounds can close over, and the scars can begin to fade, but if it still hurts inside you will never heal.

What if you can’t find the remedy to heal the ailment? You’ve searched all over and every time you think you’ve found the cure, the wound tears open again.

When did the trouble begin? You try to remember when the hurt began but never seem to find the cause, therefore you fear that you’ll never find the remedy to heal.

Who caused the misery that you feel? Maybe you know, maybe you only have an idea, maybe it was a mixture of causes or maybe the memory is too old to remember.

Where does the tenderness reside? This you know, but you fear it’s beginning to spread.

Why does it still hurt? Until you can find the Who, What, When, Where and How, it will always hurt and never fully heal, but still you keep trying to find the solution.

Never give up fighting. Never give up seeking. Never give up trying.

Never give up. 

STOP

Read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic of ‘Heal’.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012