Down the Rabbit Hole by Barbara Edwards

Barbara Edwards
Barbara Edwards

After finishing the edits and sending them back to my editor, I had plan. The next book in the series is more than a spark in my eye; I have several ideas for another holiday romance and am planning the promo for book three.

So what happened?

What happens every time I finish a book? I shouldn’t have been surprised. Writing is like giving birth and just as exhausting. I slept for twelve hours. And I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. For three days I accomplished nothing. The fourth day I finally vacuumed the rugs washed the dishes and cleaned the counters. Whew. Got on the computer and cleared my email. Went to bed early and slept late again. For another three days.

Someone might call this depression. I might have at one time, but it’s not the classic diagnosis. It’s the writer’s version.

Any writer puts heart and soul into finishing that book. It is draining and foolish not to recognize the need to recover. The first time this happened I believed I had writer’s block and panicked. Oh my goodness, would I ever write again—

Well, I did. And the time after that, etcetera.

This time I recognized the need to let my mind go blank. Only it didn’t. I had dreams every night. I had plot ideas fluttering like butterflies through my head. I let it all happen.

Today I didn’t jump onto the computer and check my email. I decided to write this blog and let you know it isn’t unusual to fall down the rabbit hole. Like Alice we come out with a different perspective.

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Depression is a writer’s curse by Barbara Edwards.

Storm Cloud

Depression is not a moment of sadness. Depression is a vicious beast. Depression wipes life from your spirit like a giant sucking sponge.

People who have never been depressed don’t understand. Shake it off. Cheer up, take a walk, do something –fill in the blank here- and you’ll feel better. What a bunch of crap.

I’ve had the luck or unluck to have survived bouts of depression several times in my life. I say lucky since it was intermittent. I say unlucky because it takes a big chunk from my life before I recognize I’ve fallen into the black hole again. Many people aren’t as lucky and suffer from a chronic condition.

I’m not going to give you a clinical description. I find myself tired for no reason. I have trouble focusing, yet am irritable, short-tempered, but the temper doesn’t last since it takes too much energy. I overeat, but I’m not hungry. I can’t write. And that is the big tell for me.

This time I asked my doctor about it. To my surprise, he took the time to ask me about my symptoms. After a few minutes in thought, he suggested I think about a prescription. Something short-term to snap the cycle. Hmmm. Since I hate medicine, I said maybe. When I return for my check-up we’ll talk again. Just knowing he listened, helped me. So does writing this.

Sunset in New England

I noticed on my various loops other writers’ blogging about depression. Sharing emails about the pain and loss. I realized it seems to be insidious with creative people. Are we more vulnerable because of our imagination? Is it because our lives are spent in a world no one else sees until we create it? Is it because we are by nature loners?

I don’t have the answers. I did get up this morning and worked on a project. It made me feel good and I savored that feeling.

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