At the beginning of this month I had a book come out. It's always a really exciting moment have something you've worked so hard on make it out into the world. I'm really proud of Cabinet of Aberrations and super excited to have it available to the world.
But lately, I've been feeling very much like a fraud and a liar. I paint an incredibly rosy picture online on my social media accounts where try to post encouraging things as reminders for people that they're not alone. I run a podcast, Ink and Brain Monsters, where I talk about mental health and the creative process. I share that therapy has helped me and I try always listen when people need to talk.
The truth of the matter is the rosy picture isn't at all accurate. A lot of the times, I'm struggling to get out of bed and into my day job. I'm overwhelmed by anxiety that all of my friends hate me, and that everything I write is garbage. There are days where I start to write emails to my publisher that I can't write anymore and I'm really sorry that I won't be able to finish the series.
And frequently I am ashamed to share those kind of thoughts with anyone. I know depression lies and I know that anxiety lies too. I know I frequently get caught up in catastrophizing things that will never happen. But in my mind, all of those things are the absolute truth.
There have been a lot of days in the recent past where I stop to wonder what am I doing. Why am I writing anything? No one wants to read this. You're wasting your time. You're tired and terrible, so Just give up writing and make things easier on yourself. I've listened to that voice before which is why Cabinet of Aberrations is my first book in several years.
I don't share this for sympathy or pity or complements. I'm writing this post because if I want to talk about mental health honestly and openly that means talking about the bad times and not just encouragements. It means admitting that sometimes you feel like shit and stay on the couch watching the Great British Baking Show while internally panicking about deadlines. It means some days I don't write a damn thing and hate myself for that for weeks.
What I'm reminding myself of, and maybe you too, is that all is a part of living with depression and anxiety. In as much as I wish and hope that maybe this year of the doubts being quiet, I need to realize it doesn't stop talking if I listen to it. So I'm trying to remember but it's okay to take breaks, to rest, and to spend an evening or even a day playing a video game that makes you happy. For a really long time a lot of myself worth his been tied up in my productivity and that becomes a dangerous game especially in moments when you're sick or you just have a series of bad brain days.
We are all we're so much more than our productivity.
There really isn't any one reason that I wrote this post for it except to share what's going on in my head a lot of the times and to help me remember that talking about mental illness and mental health sometimes requires admitting when you're losing the fights.
I’m fine. I've just had a rough few days. But even just writing this post out has already made me feel so much better.
Today, I'm going to eat some donuts and watch some funny videos. Tomorrow, I'm going to look myself in the mirror and remember that I'm a writer even on the days when my brain doesn't believe that.