Depression and Doubt Stole My Voice
And I’m fighting to get it back.
I lost my voice this month.
Depression stole it away, buried it under a mountain of darkness and lies.
Every time I came to this page, I told myself that I had nothing worth saying.
The few things I did write and publish this month, I have since deleted because they were scary and embarrassing, and I don’t want them to be part of my legacy.
Mental illness is something I’ve been living with for a long time, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that my life revolves around it and is ruled by it.
The dark times come in cycles, every six months or so it seems like, and for a while, I become something other than what I know of as myself.
I become this small, scared thing, balled up and unable to function properly.
I sleep for ten to twelve hours a night and nap during the day.
I cancel plans and appointments and refuse to leave the house.
I don’t shower as much as I should.
I don’t write.
As I sit here typing there is a voice in my head screaming:
What the hell are you doing this for? Do you really think this is worth your time and energy? Do you really think a single person in the world cares what you have to say?
But there’s something else I’ve been feeling in the last few days that brought me back here today anyway, and it’s this:
I am just thoroughly disgusted with myself.
Every day I sit down with my laptop and write on 750words.com.
It’s a habit I haven’t broken for over a year, and even when I’ve been in the throes of depression I’ve been able to get it together enough to log on and fulfill a commitment I made to myself.
Usually, I just spew out whatever is on my mind; it is my digital morning pages.
I write a lot about not writing and how ashamed I am for not creating anything worth sharing, and this month I wrote myself into a depression spiral, the same things every day, paragraphs filled with negativity and doubt.
Every day that I wrote there but not here was a day wasted not creating things worth sharing, and I knew it the whole time, but I couldn’t get myself to write here, anyway.
That’s why I’m disgusted with myself.
Because I didn’t just write anyway.
Because I didn’t just write through the depression and not let it rule my life and keep me down and caged in, afraid to come out and play.
I literally spent $350 on a class a few years ago called Write Anyway and still haven’t worked my way through my blocks and hangups and lies.
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. — Sylvia Plath
I just want to get back to writing whatever I want and not feeling like I’m taking up space doing it.
But then, I want to take up space with my writing, that’s the whole point, and that is the only way.
I want to fill volumes with it, I want to build a body of work, leave a legacy, make myself proud.
God, just once, I want to make myself proud.
The clouds in my mind feel like they are parting. I can only hope that keeps up and that I can keep coming to the blank page here and fill it with something worth reading.
I don’t know how I’ll be able to stand myself if I can’t get through this and keep writing anyway.
So, fingers crossed, I’m back.
Thank you for reading.
Cheney Meaghan is a single mom, homeschooler, and writer from Connecticut trying to make a living with her words. You could support her by clicking here to sign up for her weekly email newsletter, and she would think you’re awesome.