Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Dark Man

I'm coming at this post with more than a little trepidation. It's not easy to talk about your own problems or ailments, especially when it's something that is not entirely visible or obvious to everyone, except those closest to you. Before you all start thinking I have some nasty STD, I should probably explain that I suffer from depression and anxiety. Medicated with Lexapro, all is well, but when I decide I am fine and no longer in need of a prescribed pick-me-up, the dark man arrives.

The dark man is the unpleasant fellow that lives inside my head, and makes an appearance roughly 2-3 months after I come off the meds. He turns me into a short-tempered, agitated, nervous wreck that has a difficult time getting his feet out of bed and onto the floor in the morning. This past little stretch of 6-7 months is the longest I have been medicine free (other than the years before being diagnosed of course), and also marks the best I have felt in recent memory. In the past couple of weeks though I have felt the crash coming, and yesterday, it did......HARD!!

There are a few good people at work who know about all this, and they were able to help me get through the day without having a complete emotional crash. It's an odd feeling to be opening boxes of shoes or cosmetics (I work for Avon), and fighting back the urge to burst into tears and head for the hills. I am getting back on the Lexapro next week, and normal service will re returned then. As much as I despise that vanilla, neither up nor down feeling, I owe it to those who care about me to get back to that point.

I have gotten to know a lot of writers over the past decade or so, and am constantly surprised by how many suffer from the same bouts of depression as I do, as well as a host of social and mental disorders. It makes me wonder if that is somehow the key to creativity, if being a little off somehow fuels the creative process. I know that some of my best writing comes when down, and the lack of ideas comes when mellowed out on medicine. It's a delicate balance, but my family life is more important than any story or world I can create in my mind, no matter how compelling.

Thank you Penny, I love you!!


C.E. Hart said...

Wow. The honesty and transparency in this post is touching. You've revealed a delicate part of yourself that makes you You. Thank you.

We find our creativity from various places - whether an ailment, insecurity, event, or just plain quirkiness (among many other things) within us. The different origins of our inspirations are what makes the myriad of genres and styles so interesting.

Thank you for this moving post.

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