The Heart of Life Is Good

It’s official. I’m depressed. Yes, I am back in the abyss once again after enjoying a rather long (it seemed like to me, maybe not to others) period of relative stability. I had physical ailments, but I had mental energy and positivity and all of that good stuff that comes with, dare I use the word, HAPPINESS? I had plans, I had a future mapped out, I was excited about my work, I was motivated. And now? Now I’m not any of those things. I’m forcing myself to write this because it’s been over three weeks since I’ve written anything and I’m ashamed. Worst of all, I had myself all worked up over NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, which begins today, a competition in which one attempts to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I was psyched. I have had a novel on the back burner for quite a while, just waiting for the right time, and I thought what better time than when thousands of other writers are pounding the keys right alongside me across the nation, motivating me, some of them my “buddies”, cheering me on? I signed up and told everyone I was doing it and talked up my novel to anyone who would listen. And then I started to outline it. And then I started to procrastinate. And then I started to panic. And it all went downhill from there. I started getting anxious about everything. I couldn’t stand to get on Facebook anymore, for longer than a few minutes. All the election stuff. It was too much. I didn’t want to hear Donald Trump’s name or see his face, no matter what he did or how newsworthy or bizarre. I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted the election to be over. And, as is inevitable for the depressed mind, I started obsessing about death. Death I saw on tv, or read about in the news, or heard about in passing. Anniversaries of deaths, my grandfather’s today, my grandmother’s coming up soon. Elderly family members who I am afraid may die at any moment. And just random thoughts of, what if something happens to my husband? My mother, my father, my brother or his family? My nieces and nephew? Their children? I’m sick all the time and my doctor can’t find anything wrong with me. I know he thinks I’m a hypochondriac. What if I’m not? What if I’m really sick and it’s not just all bipolar making me feel bad? Thankfully, I have not yet moved to suicidal thoughts yet. I don’t want to die. I WANT TO LIVE. I want to be happy like before, and excited about my writing and the future and content with my husband and friends and family and focused on LIFE and LIVING. And I am blessed. To quote  John Mayer, “the circle of your friends will defend the silver lining.” And they did. My friends came through for me. I sent out emergency texts and they responded in their various ways with love and caring and got me through the crisis moments until I could calm down and be rational. And fortunately, I already had a therapy appointment scheduled, though I don’t see the doctor for a few more weeks. The therapist talked about a possible need for a medication change and though I hate changing meds more than almost anything, I admitted it might be time. As I have mentioned in a past blog, Prozac gets built up in my system and stops working for me and has to be switched out with something else occasionally. This time we will do it right, gradually weaning me off one drug and starting me on another, not taking me off Prozac cold turkey like they did during my infamous hospital visit. (That’s a story for another day.) I told my therapist about the novel competition and we talked about the reasons why I put so much pressure on myself when no one else is doing so, and we talked about continuing to ease up on the political fervor. So I went home and talked with friends and decided not to drop out of the competition, but not to place so much significance on it. After all, most of the competitors are amateurs and professional writers take months, even years to write novels. I have great ambition for my novel. Too much to fulfill in 30 days. I’m just going to work on my outline at my own pace and just see what I can accomplish in 30 days and use this as a practice run and try to have some fun with it and cheer on my writer buddies. No pressure.  Once I made this decision with a friend, I felt immediately felt a weight lifted off of my chest and I could breathe a little easier. Why indeed do I put so much pressure on myself? No one else is pressuring me. A little later I got on Facebook and when confronted with endless notifications from political groups just started methodically removing myself from each group. It took two days to get them all and it was about thirty total. I could have just stopped notifications but I decided it was time to start pulling back from all that. I have my own political group on Facebook that I run and a few local friends that I have discussions with occasionally, and that’s enough. I’m not sorry I went on an adding spree and added a bunch of Hillary supporters. I have made some great new like-minded friends. But I have also attracted a lot of Class A weirdos (not the fun kind of weirdos) and lonely men whom I cannot help, so I will be doing a purge at some point, returning to my reclusive behavior, having friends, but being more selective.

So, I’m feeling pretty bad, but I’m going to be alright. It’s going to take a while. Medication changes are a slow, arduous process. I’ll have to take each day as it comes. They won’t all be bad, maybe.   As I said, I am blessed richly. I have a loving, supportive husband, a veritable team of friends, and family who all love me, despite my many flaws and screw-ups. I believe God holds me in His hands and I  believe the Heart of Life is Good.

The Heart of Life
I hate to see you cry
Lying there in that position
There’s things you need to hear
So turn off your tears and listen
Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won’t all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good
You know it’s nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
But then the circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining
Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won’t all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good

3 thoughts on “The Heart of Life Is Good

  1. My dear Heather, I am so distressed that you have been suffering like this. I value you so dearly as a Facebook friend and love to read your blog! I don’t want to pry or intrude on your rough times, but remember, I am your DIY MFA and your NaNo buddy, and will be there whenever you want to reach out.

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