Writing is hard. Writing that sentence was hard, and it wasn’t even a sentence – it was a mere three words. It took me about 1.5 seconds to put my fingertips to the clicking of a keyboard to articulate that emotion and I feel utterly exhausted. Literally, I could do with a nap right now. To say I’ve been creatively blocked is the understatement of the century. It’s like whoever holds the ability in the universe to distribute the gift to create anything is holding me down with one hand and calling me a bitch. With their free hand they’re obviously drinking a mojito because that’s how many fucks they give. So here I am, writing about how I can’t write hoping that it’s going to open some kind of portal, gateway, or hypothetical vacuum to suck me out of the black hole I’m in.
Perhaps it’s the fact that Mars is currently in retrograde, I don’t really know what that means, but it’s always fun to blame things on planets and outer space rather than take any accountability. For instance, the fact I am a triple Aries (meaning my sun, moon and ascending signs are all identical) pretty much gives me the freedom to be as crazy as I want. I could have a Charlie Sheen inspired mental breakdown and no one would bat an eye. “She’s just an Aries,” they’d say compassionately as I drank the tiger’s blood I claimed ran through my veins from a golden goblet.
I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, which you know I’m always super eager to admit to the world at large. The thing I hate about depression is that it comes without any warning; the least it could do is send you a text like: “Hey, I’m thinking of stopping by. Make sure you’ve filled your Xanax prescription.” Just a casual heads up would be nice – rather than showing up unannounced, trashing any semblance of emotional stability you had, than leaving you with a garbage bag to gather your life in. I’m aware of how dramatic that sounds, but remember – I’m an Aries, this is what we do. Feeling depressed is very difficult for me to mitigate for two reasons:
1.) I don’t want people to know. This is probably the dumbest thing in the world because I literally obtained a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling and couldn’t advocate more for people reaching out to their communities/therapists/shamans/witch doctors/whatever when they are feeling down. I prefer to wait until I’ve found some kind of resolve and let people know after the fact that I was really struggling than admit it within the actual process. I only confided how low I’d been feeling to my best friend who asked immediately “What do you need?” Unfortunately when I’m in this space I don’t always know what I need. I mostly stick to drinking as much red wine as though I’m a character on ‘Game of Thrones’ and patiently wait for it to pass.
2.) There isn’t always a reason for it. But shit you and everyone else wants there to be. When you tell people you’re feeling depressed often times they can suddenly transform into a psychological Scooby-Doo. But why are you sad Tanya? Is it because your girlfriend is away for the summer? Is it work? Are you being haunted by the ghost of your recently deceased cat? Are you sad because she’s not haunting you and you’re offended she might be haunting someone else? Sometimes there is a cause, sometimes there is not. Sometimes it’s a combination of things and sometimes it’s nothing at all.
My recent spell climaxed last Wednesday when I got home from work and immediately got into bed. It was 6:00 PM. I laid there with tears streaming down my face intermittently while ‘Bob’s Burgers’ was on idly in the background. Surprisingly it’s still possible to cry while watching Tina Belcher swoon over butts and even when the Burger of the Day is ‘She’s a Super Leek’ (served with braised leeks.) I hadn’t properly let myself break down until that point and as much as it was laced with a pain and defeat, it felt damn good. It was like I finally gave myself permission to realize I wasn’t okay, that that in and of itself was okay, and that I was going to be okay again. Crying is so naturally cathartic yet most human’s first response is to try and remedy it. They grab a tissue and wipe away the tears and snot. I say let it fall – I cry when I’m sad but I cry when I’m happy too. I cry over kittens that are too cute, sunsets that are too beautiful, and in almost every other yoga class I do (apologies to those around me trying to enjoy their savasana.)
To me being able to write, and to create is synonymous with joy. When I am not able to do those things, something is typically awry. I realized a lot of things over the past few weeks, the most pertinent thing being that I’m incredibly impatient. I’ve spent the last few years thinking that someday everything would simply fall into place: somehow I’d be getting paid to write, have found my perfect partner, and we’d live in a little teardrop trailer wherever we pleased. While I’ve managed to nail down 1/3, I’ve finally recognized that these other things are not going to happen unless I make them happen. They’ll sit as long as I stay stagnant. It’s been a challenging few weeks with a lot of ebb and flow and “WTF am I doing with this life?” but acknowledging and accepting that I’m not mentally in the greatest place has been the very thing that has begun to get me back on track.
I’ll get out of this rut one way or another, whether I have to drag my ass to yoga every other day or write a blog entry about not being able to write a blog entry. I am not my depression. Nor am I the physical manifestation of it on my body. I’m not sleepless nights, headaches, or my heart wanting to beat out of my chest. I’m going to be fine, I already am. My light is still on it’s just kind of dim. Self-care is everything. I don’t need to start over – I just need to get back to who I already am.
Maybe someday I’ll figure out where I fit into this big old world, but who knows – maybe I already do. And if I don’t? It probably means something’s in retrograde or I’m just being too much of an Aries.