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.

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