Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG January 2016--Pushing through the Depression

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

I'm currently #62

Okay, so it's time to come clean. You know that old adage, "Fake it 'til you make it"?

That's the life I've been living online and in public for the last year. Our family has been under constant stress for that long with various things--debt, kids struggling with physical and emotional health issues, moving, remodeling, renting out the other house, new church environment (which has been wonderful but requires more of our time {which we wanted}), my own struggles with insecurity as a writer, wife, and mother to name a few. But I kept telling myself, "Keep smiling, be positive, don't give up and you'll get through all of this. You can do it!"

It worked, sort of. It always does. The problem is you can't live that way indefinitely. I thought I could be strong and bully my way back to the life I wanted eventually. The one thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want anyone to know how worn out and down I was. Not even my own family.

In the end it all piled up until the first week in November found me getting out of bed to send the kids to school and then crawling back into bed until noon or later. I didn't clean. I didn't cook. Netflix became the only reason to get out of bed. My husband finally begged me to go talk to someone.

So I did. Turns out my daughter gets her OCD from me. Looking back I can see that I've always had it, but it's very mild and I've been able to cope with it on my own. Until now. My OCD isn't about germs or all the bad things that could happen, but it's centered around scheduling. Mostly it's about me feeling like I'm in control of my own life. For the last year I've NOT been in control of any part of my life. At least it didn't feel like it. That's why I shut down. In my mind I think, "Why bother making goals when I can't do any of the things to achieve them? Why get out of bed at all? If I don't, I won't fail."

If I don't cook dinner, my family won't complain that it isn't what they wanted.
If I don't get out of my pajamas, I'll have less laundry to wash.
If I don't ask my kids to clean their room, I won't be disappointed when I have to fight with them for hours to get it done.
If I don't sit down to write, I won't get interrupted and frustrated.

To be honest, it was a relief to talk to my doctor. Even though I already knew what he told me I needed, it felt good to have someone else say it. I needed help. A low dose OCD/anxiety med has helped me get out of bed each day, set a few goals around my house and actually work on it.

On the writing front I had to concentrate on simple things. I gave myself permission to wait on finishing Talia's 3rd book so I could work with my editor on the 2nd one. The only other thing I worked on was getting FADE INTO ME and STELLAR CLOUD make into audio books. These were things that didn't rely solely on me. Someone else was there to encourage me to keep moving to the next step, or in the case of the audio books, they did the work.

These successes have helped build my courage back up. Now I'm ready to dig back in a little at a time. Sadly, I still have to substitute teach, which is horrible for my brand of OCD. The weird part is when I'm at school, I enjoy it. The hard part is getting the call 10 minutes before school starts and having to readjust my planned schedule. *sigh*

To celebrate a new start, I'm giving away a copy of each of the new audio books. Just sign up below and leave a comment as to which audio book you'd prefer. You can hear a sample of them on Audible.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Glad your sought help, especially after fighting it for so long. No one wants to feel out of control and helpless.
    Cool that the books are in audio now!

  2. Charity, I don't know if you have this option but I'm able to book sub jobs online in advance. I book the days I need and don't take calls.

  3. We're never alone, Charity. That is what's so wonderful about this new age of blogging and messaging. We're only a click away. Sending positive thoughts and some strength too.

  4. I'm glad that you got the help you needed. Congratulations on the audio books!

  5. Glad you got help. It rough to ask, but you'll be better for it now. =)

  6. I'm so sorry for the rough time. I think you're amazing, and I'm glad things are looking up for you!

  7. Depression can be seriously hard to overcome. And your form of OCD a maddening affliction. I hope the new year, and having an actual diagnosis, helps get you feeling better about all things again. Sometimes being strong IS asking for help.

  8. Beth's right about scheduling sub days ahead. If you can, you might want to think about doing that as much as possible. Also, I've found that making two plans helps. The "if I get called" plan and the "if I don't get called" plan. Which plan gets used depends on whether or not the call happens.

  9. I think it's wonderful that you took charge of your life and got help. I hope 2016 will be a good year for you!

  10. You've had so much on your plate, Charity, it's a wonder you didn't explode. Instead you kept it all inside. I'd glad you got help. This will be a better year!

  11. It's hard to talk about the important stuff, and I'm glad you got the help you needed. We all struggle, and I think it's important for people to talk about the big things. Hopefully, 2016 will be all great things for you.

  12. I have started sharing a lot more of my personal struggles on my blog, and I really do think it helps. If one person can take heart that someone else understands what they're going through simply by reading my blog, then it is worth it. I, too, struggle with depression sometimes (and I have OCD; my mother has it, and my daughter has it). It can be absolutely debilitating. I'm so glad you got some help on that front.

    Happy New Year!

  13. I'm so glad you went and got some help - it sounds like your hubby is a wise man too.

    I know this is a crazy idea, but maybe you could have one schedule for if you get a call, and one for if you don't...but obviously 10 mins before school starts is very late notice!! I would hate that.

  14. So good to know you got the help you needed and are now feeling better.

    May your new year be full of blessings!

  15. Hi Charity, So brave of you to share your troubles online, sometimes accepting that you can't do it all yourself is half the battle. I'm a bottler-upper too and had a similar realisation recently. I like the sound of the alternate plans that a couple of people have suggested and I hope you find something that works for you. All the best, Angie

  16. Thanks for such a candid post. Our family understands the struggle with mental health issues. I'm glad you're on the mend! Keep up the good work.

  17. Charity, I'm grateful you have found some help. I understand the pain of depression and am glad you found some medication that is helping you. Losing a sense of control during a move must have been so difficult to manage with OCD. I'm glad to see you are feeling better and treating yourself with compassion.

  18. So happy to hear you are taking steps in the right direction and feeling slightly better. One day at a time. You have accomplished so much throughout 2015, no wonder you were feeling a little bit lost and bedraggled. But rest assured you will come out the other end soon and the light will eradicate the darkness. Many congratulations on all your writing accomplishments. I wish for you joy, peace and happiness throughout 2016 and onwards.

  19. I am so glad you are on the road to recovery. I deal with OCD and have since I was a kid. I found it was a lot easier to deal with once I really understood it and where it came from. Keep moving forward!

  20. So glad that you found something that is helping. It sounds like you are walking in the right direction, which means you'll get there! (wherever you decide "there" is)

  21. Glad you got help Charity and wish you all the best. Lay me down by Tamara is still in review on Kindle Scout. Right now she is the only one left in my January 2 pile from the ended vote that has not been rejected yet. I wish her luck. No one has won a spot in January as yet.

  22. Congrats on the audio books!
    Your health is a priority - so glad you sorted it out.
    Everything of the best for 2016, Charity!
    Sending a boost of positivity your way.
    Onwards & Upwards!


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