I’m a binge watcher. I can’t watch just one episode…or ten. I want full seasons and if a show only has one season, I will wait the full year so I can binge seasons one and two.
Recently, I began watching ‘You’re The Worst’ on FXX (It’s streaming on Hulu). All three seasons took me a little over three days but, there were three episodes I watched multiple times.
In the 2nd season, the main character, Gretchen, confesses to having clinical depression and the writers of the show, I will single out Stephen Falk, did this brilliantly.
Gone were the grey sweats, rainy windows, crying while eating ice cream, or on the flip side, a great sunny day walking down a tree lined street as a depression cure. This showed a living depression. I saw myself in her so deeply. She screamed that she felt nothing. She just lied there, staring into a void, waking up in the middle of the night to drive miles to cry alone in her car and lashing out at those around her.
Of course her boyfriend gave the typical response of many who do not understand depression: Snap out of it, it’s just a bad day. He soon realized it was much deeper than that.
I felt vindicated. I felt seen!
Luckily my husband knows how to handle me in these moments and I am blessed beyond measure that he handles it so well. What confounds me every time, especially with the advent of Google, is people STILL not understanding that depression, be it major, manic, etc., is a disease. There are thousands of stories from depressives trying to articulate clearly how they feel nothing and or everything. How they want to live but not be present in life. How they want to die because it’s the only place they feel they fit. The way we articulate it doesn’t always make since to other people.
We aren’t looking for attention or a pity party, in so many cases, we are looking to be alone.
Writers such as Stephen King, Anne Rice, and J.K. Rowling have spoken about their depression and while they are a huge sucesses and they use their writing as a cathartic outlet, not all of us are as lucky.
As an author and writer, I find being a major depressive stifles me. Sure, I can write a quick ditty while in my dark moment but a manuscript, a short story? No, I simply cannot. I don’t care about myself, I damn sure don’t care about my characters. I have developed so many plots, arcs and pitches which never make it to paper. When I go dark I just don’t care, and sometimes I leave darkness only to go grey and that, my friends, can last months. I may not be brooding and yes, I can function in the real world during my grey moments but write, I cannot.
I’ve only published 3 books since 2015. I have friends and associates who have published 15 in that time. While I know that’s not the best litmus, it’s embarrassing at times to watch these authors plow through, receiving great reviews, moving on to bigger projects and me, sitting on a short story for a year because I’d rather stare at a wall for days.
Writing is a talent I’m so lucky to have and I would never give it up. I thank the small pool of fans I have for sticking with me, and waiting patiently as I write slowly. I have so much to say and yet depression slits my throat for a span of 5 to 7 months a year.
My upcoming project is titled I Guess I’m Out, a story centering around a middle aged married mother of two who realizes she is bisexual. I’m writing a book and screenplay for this as well (I am still deciding if it should be a script for TV). This may take me ages to write or it could be out by Christmas, who knows. One thing is for sure, I’m still alive, and I wrote this post in one go.
Progress is Progress