Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Bactine for Writer's Depression - Part 1 (IWSG)


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.
Ever since I was a teen I’ve suffered from depression. It comes and goes but is never far away. Even during my best moments, it’s a teeny-tiny shadow in the distance. This does not make me a negative person during my best moments, though. Far from it. But depression never quite dissolves, even when you’ve been nothing but happy and content.

For a few years, from 2011 to 2014, I was in a tough place in my life. Very tough. I struggled financially and health-wise. And my confidence took hit after hit. I had published Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds during this time, but I felt like a failure in many other ways.

What helped me during this time?

Blogging.

I felt so alone, but the IWSG gave me a community.

I felt rejected by everyone, but the bloggers I got to know became my family.

The blogging world gave me something to be a part of. It gave me a purpose.
I shared my knowledge and experience to other writers. By giving to others I felt so much better about myself. Even if it was just for the moment.

In return, I received encouragement and friendship.

Blogging, in other words, was my escape, my refuge. I blogged 2-3 times a week (pre-planned posts) and visited many blogs and left comments. Back then, I was a lot more active with my blog. I dove into blogging, and it turned out to be my medicine.

If you struggle with depression and have a blog, I encourage you to let your blog, this wonderful community, and other people’s blogs to lift you up.


NOTE: Sometimes, blogging can be the problem or be hard to accomplish when you have depression, especially when blogging begins to weigh on you. My next post will reveal what I did most recently when I suffered from my strongest case of depression to date and blogging became an obstacle.



QUESTION: How has blogging helped you?



90 comments:

  1. I'm with you on depression. Mine started during my divorce. I became clinically depressed and because I didn't get help, I continue to have bouts of depression from time to time. Writing in any fashion has always helped me.

    Great post!
    Teresa

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    1. I continue to have bouts, too. I sought help last year and was given medication that didn't work. I have not spoken to a therapist yet, though. I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be about that. But speaking out through blogging and my Facebook page had helped shed the weight.

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  2. Writing is therapeutic, and writing a blog plus connecting with other is twice as good.

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  3. Blogging can be such a great way to connect with other like-minded people. I've "met" so many interesting and wonderful people through it, people like you :-)

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    1. I've "met" so many wonder people, too. I wouldn't be where I am without my blog and the community I found here.

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  4. This is such a great way to connect and feel we are part of something bigger.

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  5. I also suffer from cyclical depression, which often seems to be triggered by something instead of randomly coming on. This past November, writing my blog series on The Jazz Singer at 90 helped me to get back my writing mojo and feel excited and inspired by the process of research and writing again. It lit a fire under me for my regular fiction writing.

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    1. My depression is triggered by a few different things. I struggled to get back to writing about my last, harsh bout of depression. I started by writing down my memories from childhood. That helped me to get words down.

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  6. I can see how blogging could help - it's such an amazing community of people who care about each other.
    I can also see how the pressure can build (like so many other things!!!). Take good care of yourself! *hugs*

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    1. One thing I found out about this community is when I share my struggles, I find others who have gone through it or are going through the same thing. That makes me feel less lonely. :)

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  7. I definitely relate to this, Chrys. And I see both sides, how blogging/social media can be both a help and a hindrance, depending on certain times on our lives. We have to do what works best for us.

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    1. Yes. Last year, it was a hindrance for me, but before that it was a remedy. For me, it depends on the degree of the depression and what triggers it.

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  8. Blogging has been such a gift in my life. I cherish the people I have met and feel fortunate to be part of the community. I'm glad that this community was able to help you and that you have helped so many in return. I feel like that's what our little group here in blog land has always been about.
    I have struggled with depression off and on for a good part of my life so I can relate to your experience. Thanks for sharing what has helped you.

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    1. Absolutely. The IWSG community is all about giving back, which is why I love it.

      Thanks for sharing with me that you suffer wth depression on and off. I would never have been able to tell. Hugs!

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  9. You make a good point about blogging. It's not so much about your thoughts (though that's important) as the community around them. That's what's made such a difference for me. I feel like these folks are real friends. I care when I don't hear from them.

    Nicely said, Chrys. BTW, I love your Disaster Crimes series.

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    1. My blog has definitely expanded my circle of friends. :)

      Aw. Thank you so much, Jacqui!

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  10. I'm glad that in this day and age talking about depression is acceptable. Keep your chin up and know we are only a click away.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I still struggle to talk openly to family members about my depression. Only two people know some of the details about what I go through, but I am making an effort to try to be more vocal about it. I'm also glad it's acceptable to talk about depression now, as talking about depression can definitely help those who have it, or at least it helps me. :)

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  11. Blogging has definitely been a help to me. I'm not the most chatty person face to face, but being able to blog about things that are rough or bothering me has really helped. A couple years ago, I had a really tough time (a friend said it sounded like I had seasonal depression, but I recently learned situational depression is a thing and that seems to fit better) and blogging helped sooooooo much.

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    1. I am more chatty online, too. In real life, I'm an introvert. I have to work really hard to be open when I'm face-to-face. I was just at a book event last month and told a few authors I was with that I'm an introvert and saw one of them make a face to another as if I was lying. Since I caught it, I said, "I can fake it very well." Which in those situations, I can. In others, where I'm just me...not author-me... I can't.

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  12. Well, for one thing, blogging hooks me into great people like you. For another, I'm not much with chit chat in person, but I love talking about ideas and learning new things from my on-line writer's community. And blogging a great way to realize that we are not alone, especially in the tough times. :-)

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    1. I'm not chit-chatty in person either, but online I can open up in ways I never would face-to-face. That's where I love the invention of the Internet. lol

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  13. For me it wasn't blogging but writing that saved me from myself. Getting the words down purged the doom that was ever present. I'm glad you found answers that helped you. As you know, some days are better than others. I live from moment to moment and don't dare hope for more.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. That's great. Writing can be a lifeline. It's been the only thing in my life keeping me sane and giving me purpose, so I understand just what you mean.

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  14. I agree. The online blogging community is great, especially for authors. Lots of great, likeminded people who love books:)

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    1. Definitely. I'm glad I made the blogging plunge. I never thought it'd turn out this way...with a great community behind me. :)

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  15. I find writing to be cathartic, as well. I'm happy to sit and write, alone, for hours. Blogging, being more interactive, brings you closer to readers and other bloggers--a form of comradery. I can't imagine what you've experienced, but it sounds like blogging has been a great help.

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    1. Comradery is important. I really did find it here. Thanks, D.R.!

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  16. I enjoy blogging. It's how I got started. This group was instrumental in getting me back on track with my second book. The support and encouragement got me back in a good place to write again. I still look forward to the monthly hops to share and interact with everyone. Blogging lets you get things off your chest in a space that is yours. It's a wonderful outlet.

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    1. Blogging was a big part of how I started, too. The years, the blog hops gave me life. I've struggled a little bit recently with blogging motivation but I'm getting back to enjoying it again. :)

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  17. I'm glad blogging has helped you. Connecting with people in this community makes you feel like you're not alone. And most people here are very supportive. My thoughts are with you as you go through whatever struggles you are dealing with. Hugs!

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  18. Blogging has helped me find encouragement from other authors. Without blogging, I'm not sure I would have the knowledge or the courage to finish my projects and get my books published.

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    1. I know for sure I wouldn't be where I am today without blogging.

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  19. I know I enjoy blogging while another friend found blogging added to his depression. I'm glad you're finding it helps you!

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    1. Blogging can add to depression. The depression I had last year was actually triggered by something that happened in blogland.

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  20. Blogging has helped me, too but only after figuring out how to do it successfully. I wish you the best, and yes for sure, this wonderful writers community has been the best blessing. :)

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  21. I think that sense of community has always been my favorite thing about blogging, and I know the IWSG has been especially supportive of me when I've needed it. Glad that it's been able to help you, too. <3

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    1. It's my favorite thing about blogging and the IWSG, too. :)

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  22. Are we soul sisters? I could've written this post...but you already knew that. We share very similar journeys. I blogged to release and work through my emotional stuff too. 2010-2013 were especially tough. I had a few blogs that I opened and closed because of my cursing ;) Like you, I dove in and let 'er rip and also found such relief and a wonderful community filled with fantastic people. I have a family member who has depression. Their journey has been a learning journey for us. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

    Elsie

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    1. I'm glad blogging gave to you what it gave to me.

      It's nice that you and your family are there for your loved one with depression. I've been trying to be more open with my family about my depression. Just a couple of days ago I shared a trigger with my sister and didn't get the sort of reaction I had hoped for...understanding. It's tough when your family doesn't strive understand or reach out a hand. So I'm happy that you and your family do this for your loved one. :)

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  23. Thank you for sharing this, Chrys. I knew you had struggles at times in the past, but you always sound so upbeat and positive on your blog.
    The support I receive from bloggers keeps me going during the times I've felt like tossing my writing career away.

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    1. I strive to be positive and to be upbeat. One reason is because I didn't want others to know about my struggle, but also because being positive and helping others on my blog in turn helps me. :)

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  24. I've struggled with depression since I was a teen, too. Writing has always been a way to cope and blogging is definitely a part of that. It's a lot of fun to be able to connect with people and share your thoughts.

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    1. I didn't know that, Sarah. Thanks for sharing that with me. :)

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  25. Blogging has done a lot for me, giving me practice in writing, meeting deadlines (even when they are my own deadlines), and it's helped me to "meet" so many really wonderful and helpful people. And I think maybe it has been helpful when I've had some bouts of depression lately, because those tend to come with (or in part from) an inability to work on my books, and when I blog, maybe share some flash fiction, I can feel that I'm accomplishing *something* as a writer!

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    1. Blogging can definitely help you to feel like you're accomplishing something when it comes to writing. :)

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  26. I'm glad to hear blogging has been such a good thing for you.

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  27. I can relate to you in a way Chrys, Having Epilepsy many people don't understand the illness so I get the cold shoulder. My family have put me on the scap heap...lol so I am totally alone. I too have found lovely people here on the blogs and each one to me is precious. Take care and thank you for giving us this insight of your ups and downs.
    Yvonne.

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    1. I'm glad blogging had helped you with your situation and that you don't feel lonely when you blog. Hugs, Yvonne!

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  28. Bloggers sure are a great bunch, 99% anyway, always one turd or two lol, having that community can keep one going indeed.

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    1. I have come across a turd or two. lol

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  29. A blogging community can be and often is a fantastic support group. I know I've received a lot of encouragement, support, and positive feedback from online groups like IWSG. There's a feeling of acceptance - of "come as you are" and everyone's welcome among many of these fellow bloggers/writers. I'm glad to hear you found a sense of family there when you needed it most.

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    1. There is a feeling of acceptance in our community, which is wonderful and rare. I had joined a blog hop under my mom's name for hr blog, and while the participants were welcoming, the host was not. I quickly left that monthly hop after just joining in once.

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  30. Yes blogging has been wonderful for me too, I got my critique partner through blogging and I met wonderful and helpful writers all over the world through my blog.

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    1. I'd say that the few readers I have I found through blogging. lol

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  31. Blogging is my therapy. Right after I started my blog, sometimes I posted something two or three times a day. It kept me going.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. That's great. I'm glad blogging has been there for you, Janie.

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  32. Hi Chrys - interesting how we all find blogging helpful and takes us away from negativity in the world ... also everyone is so supportive and encouraging. When my mother was terminally ill - and there was a lot of negativity and challenges in my life ... I didn't bemoan them on the blog - but it was wonderful to come back to find happy thoughts and positive vibes.

    This blogging community is incredibly encouraging and thoughtful - also I've learnt so much about so many things ... it's such a helpful education!

    Happy 4th and all the best with everything - cheers Hilary

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    1. Your blog is such a helpful source of education, Hilary. I always learn something new. :)

      Thanks! I hope you had a great day.

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  33. Hi Chrys, I love visiting your blog and reading all the helpful posts so yes, even though you blog for yourself, you do post important things for other people/readers out there!

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    1. Thanks! All of my posts have other writers in my mind. :)

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  34. Thank you for opening up and sharing your expeirence with us. I totally agree that this blogging community we have right here is so supportive and uplifting. And blogging, even if it's only as frequent as once a month (*ahem* that's me these days), it does give a feeling of accomplishment.

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    1. It does. And I know what you mean. I'm blogging less these days. And next year may only blog twice a month.

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  35. It's great that blogging helps with your depression. Sometimes it's good to talk to others, even on the Internet. Everyone is so supportive they cheer you up. Some of my dearest friends I've met Online. Bless you and know that you are loved.

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    1. I've never thought that opening up in my blog (occasionally) or on my author Facebook page would help, but it does. :)

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  36. I have had trouble being a regular blogger. I wish I could do it more. Depression tends to steal my words. I agree it makes a difference knowing you are not alone in feeling this way. You are an inspiration. Happy IWSG!

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    1. Last year, I struggled to blog. The only reason why I kept it with it was because I already had pre-planned posts. Showing up to reply back to comments and return visits was tough, but I did it because I didn't want to lose this lovely community. :)

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  37. Thank you for sharing! I suffer from anxiety and panic. Running every morning helps me, and I love that blogging has given me a bit of a community. Artists are nothing without our people. Still, social media can sometimes give me social anxiety. Again, thanks for sharing. Great post!

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    1. I wish I was a runner. I've tried, but with the rod in my back and my heart (no real heart condition...just pre-mature heart beats), running is difficult. I have to do simpler exercises. And, yes, I need to do it more often. lol

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  38. I definitely agree with you about the blogging community. I've thought about giving up my blog several times, but I enjoy being part of the community and talking to people through our blogs. It makes me feel less alone.

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    1. I'm glad you haven't given up your blog. :)

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  39. Glad blogging has helped you with your depression. I know that it has helped me many times as I dealt with the loss of my husband and the struggles to write.

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    1. I'm glad blogging as help you, too, Natalie!

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  40. I'm glad you wrote about this topic this month. I too touched on the subject of depression this month. Blogging has been a great help for me too and continues to help me focus on the positive aspects of writing and the writing community. I'm grateful for the IWSG and all the other writing or blogging communities I'm active in.

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    1. I'm trying to be more open about my depression...even when I'm not sharing all the details. I've found that when I talk about it, more people share that they suffer from depression. They even say my posts are an inspiration and will help others. And, of course, that's what I really want to do...help others. :)

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    2. You are an inspiration to many of us. Whether sufferers of depression or not, you inspire us to blog, to write, to do, and to try.

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  41. I love that! I think the key to escaping depression is forgetting yourself and giving to others, which includes getting out and being social. I know that's not especially popular in our modern nose-in-your-phone society, and I think that's one of the major reasons so many young people are struggling with self esteem--along with the me-me mentality. Blogging gave you an outlet for both socializing, and giving. I love this supportive community.

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    1. It can be hard to forget ourselves in the midst of a heavy bout of depression...it's hard to even think about anything that normally interests us...but if it's possible, it does help tremendously. And being away from our phones and dramas that come from social media like Facebook and Twitter is a must, too.

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  42. I agree! The people I have met through blogging, have helped me in many ways! We have a great community!

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    ReplyDelete
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