Recovery

by Ashlynmathews on March 25, 2013

Recovery

If I told you everything was normal, I’d be lying. If you’ve followed my blog, you know I crashed and burned recently. I like to blame my diagnosis of clinical depression on my type A- obsessive-compulsive-instant-gratification-people-pleaser-avoidance-of-conflict personality. I’m not ashamed of the diagnosis. Someday, my being so transparent with the public might come back to bite me in the ass. But for now, I’m okay with disclosure. Call it my therapy.

I didn’t write for over two months. The thought of writing exhausted me. I felt numb, blunted, unemotional, flat, living but not. My doctor said to give the medication two to three weeks. My therapist said to take a break from writing for a month and then set a day or two out of the week to write.

I decided on Wednesdays and Sundays. That first Wednesday I sat in front of the computer but didn’t write anything new. The Sunday, I wrote five pages, but was exhausted the next day. By mid-week, I called in sick to my day job and slept the majority of the day.

Six weeks after the medication, I feel better, but not quite normal. I write but I pace myself. I look at the reviews of my books and whether the rating is a one star or five, I don’t ride that roller coaster ride of highs and lows anymore. I’m very even keel and I like that. I don’t feel blunted, numb, flat or unemotional. I’m living, laughing, loving and enjoying my crazy life.

When I do write and I feel myself getting carried away, I remember what my husband had said to me after I was ready to give up writing. I’m an all or nothing kind of person I reminded him. He said, “You and I and the kids, we’re for eternity. Your writing is another piece in the bigger picture of your life.”

The hubby wasn’t minimalizing my writing. Rather he was telling me in his own romantic way that writing doesn’t have to be an all or nothing part of my life as long as I realize what will always be important—my marriage and my family.  

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina McKnight March 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

WOW! This post really hits home for me! Yes, writing is only a part of our lives and should not be all or nothing.

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Mary Merrell March 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm

If we didn’t live, how would we write. I am continually scanning the scenery, watching people, noting their mannerisms, how they talk. My life is fodder for my stories. I wish I had more time to write, but know, that then it probably wouldn’t be as fun.

Ashlyn – glad your are doing better. Mary E. Merrell

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Ashlynmathews March 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Thank you, Mary. I’m glad I’m better too 🙂

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Maggie Jaimeson March 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm

So glad the medication is starting to work for you. It is truly a life saver for many people. I echo your husband’s thoughts. I would also add that having that forever foundation also provides a great backbone for your stories as well. So embracing that part of living is important to being able to get back to writing.

I also wanted to share that I recently viewed the recording of your talk and reading at Bards and Brews. Of all the recordings I watched I liked yours the best because of how you shared your writing journey to publishing Shadow Watcher. It was honest and real, juxtaposing the pain of rejection and edits against the reality of rewrites in a somewhat humorous manner. I think when my turn comes up, I’m going to take a page from your example.

The more we share with others our true selves, whether in relationships or through our writing, I believe the more we offer opportunities for other people to connect and see possible changes in their own lives.

Hang in there, Ashlyn!

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L.T Kelly March 26, 2013 at 1:53 am

So sorry that the monster got you.
I’ve suffered from depression on and off all of my life…..it’s true that most creative people do.
Writing isn’t an all or nothing type of thing, you either feel like it or you don’t!
I’m glad you seem to have your ‘mojo’ back.
Great respect and hugs right at ‘ya! xxxx

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Melia Alexander March 26, 2013 at 5:02 am

Hugs — tons of it!

-Melia

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Diane Carlisle March 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Writing is therapeutic for me as well. I wrote a blog entry about “Why I Write” so that people can join in to answer this question for themselves. The article does mention my brief stay in the hospital “loon” section, but hey, that’s me.

If you want a link to it let me know. Or search my blog for “Why I Write”. I would invite you to join. I have a really supportive husband, too. And I have OCD and ADD. Glad your medication is working for you! Take care.

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