Hello friends! I can’t believe it has been so long since we last chatted! I apologize for my disappearance; I have been super busy with school and work and life. Also, and I’m about to get a little real here, I have been afraid. Afraid that I won’t be able to come up with content, afraid that no one cares what I have to say, afraid that what I want to talk about is too broad or all over the place, afraid that my writing will be lacking somewhere or uninteresting. Afraid that you will judge me. See, there’s all these resources out there to help you start blogging, gain and keep followers, what not to do, etc. I can’t help feeling like these “rules” only confine me to a box, and also feed my fear. This is my space that I get to share with all of you, where I have the creative power. Shouldn’t I be able to decide what that looks like? Do I want people to read my blog? Of course. But I’m not here to draw in followers , I am here to create. I started a blog because I wanted to talk about the things I love, and so I could “practice” my writing. Because when you are a writer, you just need to write-anything really-and this was supposed to be my outlet for that. Well, I’m back and I want to be intentional with my words.
I have been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. From the very first paragraph, I knew this was going to be a game-changer. I’m about half-way through this book, and I have been kicked in the ass more times than I can count already. So much so, that I have had to put this masterpiece down and step away from it for a hot minute. It is incredibly convicting as a writer, a creator. It is wondrous to me how something can be so inspiring and so fear-evoking at the same damn time. Gilbert challenges me in every sentence, speaking to that fear, and tells me to be brave. I have recently realized that I am brave every single day. Just getting out of bed in the morning takes more courage than I thought possible. I struggle with depression and anxiety. I know, more realness, but honestly, it is the only way I know how to be. Sometimes I can be too real and leave tact at the door, but sometimes realness is necessary for true human interaction and understanding. I feel everything more than most people, and I live in constant fear that I am not good enough, that something will go terribly wrong. Most days I feel like I am drowning; going to work is literally painful and simple things overwhelm me. Because of this, sitting down to write is often something I put off. These feelings of “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this” tend to be too overwhelming to push through, and contribute to much of my “writer’s block”.
I do not tell you this to make excuses, but to show you that the effect depression has on one’s everyday life, extends even into their biggest passions. I tell you this because after years of dealing with this and constantly pushing through the pain, I finally realize what has been holding me back. I’ve always known there was something off about me, and I’ve taken enough psychology courses (I majored in it at one point in my many years of college) and seen enough therapists to know what that “something” really is, but I’ve also always tried to deal with it on my own. That isn’t an option anymore. Not when it is keeping me from doing what I truly love to do most; write. I will talk to Elizabeth Gilbert as I read through Big Magic, saying, “You know, I would really love to just write through the fear, but I can’t. I just don’t know how!” Or, “Hey, listen Liz, I’m trying to be brave. I want to be brave. I know my fear is boring. But holy hell, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO!?” I am so inspired by her words, but my fear is BIGGER and SCARIER.
Are you still with me? I sure hope so. I want to begin a conversation. I have SO MUCH to say on the subject of depression and mental health, particularly the stigma surrounding it in the church and really, in our country as a whole. This is only a small part of my story; I am sure you can tell it is unfinished. Don’t worry, I’ll share more. This is only the beginning. It wasn’t until I started this very paragraph that I came to the conclusion that this is the start of my very first blog post series. What?! YES! How crazy that a post about fear would turn into a discussion, a passion, a safe place to share experiences and raise awareness. I am so excited friends (and a little scared), and I hope you will join me. I will be spreading this “series” out and probably making a mental health post once a month.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences! Share with me in the comments below, like my Facebook page and share there, or if you are uncomfortable sharing publicly, shoot me an email at FlexiblyNerdyBlog@gmail.com