I was in a funk, something haunted me for weeks. This unsatisfied feeling in my gut was seeping into all areas of my life. Things were, gray. I would wake in the morning and have this feeling like I was unnecessary, like I was doing something wrong. I couldn’t place my finger on the feeling. I had to fake it through the day, something that is very unlike me. I’m one of those obnoxious people who is always happy. Even when I’m flat broke, even when my car broke and I have to beg for rides, even when I’m fighting with a friend. I may be irritated, but at my core my happiness is there. I can feel it you know, like a glow emanating from my spine.
I know what you’re all thinking, this must’ve been depression. We all know it can creep in so suddenly. We’re all warned about it. We’ve seen friends, idolized musicians and pillars of our community succumb to it. I took time to examine my feelings. I let myself feel this discomfort for weeks. Working my way through it, not talking myself out of it, poking it with a stick. It still emanated from my spine, like my happiness, it was simply different.
One morning as I packed my computer into my laptop bag, readying to meet to a writing partner, the realization slammed into me. The feeling making my soul ache was guilt. I hadn’t worked on my novel in 2 weeks. My husband and I hadn’t worked our website in much longer. I even had an enormous pile of unfinished projects on my desk. Guilt for my un-pursued passions. The gray vanished the instant it dawned on me. That fast, no lying. I was so happy to have identified the feeling plaguing me, that my spirit decided to forgive me my wasted time. Now I could fix it.
I was already headed off to a writing meeting which helped pick my spirit up further. It helps to schedule in advance. I even made myself a game plan to help me with my goals. As an artist we all need to express ourselves through whatever outlet suits us best. We know this, we know we get moody, angry, even oppressed when we’re not creating something. I had gotten so caught up with keeping up with the Jones’, that I forgot the thing that kept my soul breathing. Writing. Not to mention all the backup passions I have! I was silencing myself for the sake of my to-do list. Only me, nobody else was stopping me from creating. I was getting lazy.
I’m a mother so guilt is always nestled in me somewhere. I had neglected a part of myself and unconsciously allowed that guilt to grow a little more. It will always be there in some way, I have to watch it. I’m in no way saying that someone who does have depression should ignore it. There is however, nothing wrong with a thorough examination of your spirit, and your feelings. Find the process, medication, or outlet that let’s you balance. Once upon a time I let a couple of people convince me that I may have had depression, so I have complex feelings about it. If you could do something for me, and remember that there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to examine yourself. That’d be great. You might be happier for it. Don’t let anyone put you in a box. Oh, and get your Ish done so you won’t feel that giant monster of guilt on your back.