I feel funny about writing this so soon after many posts about being grateful and optimistic, but the truth is, sometimes I get really down.
I think the word “depression” is overused, so I won’t refer to it to describe this feeling, as there is a big difference between being clinically depressed and getting a bit sad from time to time.
I’m generally a positive person, so these blue periods often catch me unawares. Since I’m analytical, I will spend much time and energy trying to figure out why I’m feeling this way…is it a lack of exercise? Too little meaningful connection with family or friends? Not enough vitamins? Who knows? All I know is that, most of the time, the sadness will leave as swiftly as it came on, giving me no further ammunition to fight it the next time.
Being sensitive is great for creativity and expression, but it can also bring on the blues. I will shed tears over stories of animal abuse or environmental woes. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make me sad: a missed opportunity, a harsh word from someone I thought was a friend, an inability to do something I’ve been successful at in the past, a cruel comment on this blog, or simply making a mistake. As much as I try not to “sweat the small stuff”, sometimes I just do, and I’ve had to accept that. On the flip side, I’m incredibly strong when a genuine crisis comes along. Go figure.
It’s difficult to enjoy the journey when you feel like you’ve been running in place for years. Yes, I’m out of debt, but because of our ambitious plan to save everything we can for a move, travel, and long-term savings, I still have to watch every penny. My rewrites are finally progressing nicely, but let’s face it–that road to publication is so long that I can’t begin to glimpse the end of it yet. I’ve been freelancing for almost 20 years, but I’m still paid peanuts for the work that I do. The list goes on…there is always a positive and a negative way of looking at things, and I’m very good at both. And knowing there are many people who have it much worse than I do doesn’t snap me out of a funk…it just adds guilt to the mix. I hope that one day, I will look back and be able to see a purpose and a positive result for how hard I’ve worked to make things happen, but when you’re the hamster on the wheel, it’s difficult to have that perspective.
Sometimes it just helps to talk about it. Thanks for listening.
Do you ever encounter the blues? How do you battle them? Do you think it’s just the price we pay for being creative, and therefore sensitive?