I am depressed. Sort of. Sort of not. It’s always there. Lurking like a greedy motherfucker. It wants my time. My attention. My energy. I fight it. I write to fight. Today’s weapon of choice is my son’s letter journal, a book I started when he was just a few weeks old in 2000. Today I’m writing about first love. First love is hard. I’m so glad I write letters to him. I’ll never stop. I re-read them sometimes and know that these letters are as much for me as they are for him.
Fifteen years ago, he raged colic and chronic ear infections like a boss. It was hell. I was profoundly lonely and depressed. I didn’t think I’d survive it. What did it feel like to be happy? I needed to remember.
My mom inspired this writing. My baby book is full of her emotional and descriptive writing about my childhood. I saw her love for me in the words and it took my breath away. Her words grounded me. They still do. I was loved. Wanted. Seen. I cherish her words. I hope my kids feel the same way about my words.
Depression is a soul sucking demon. I wrote my way out of postpartum. Pills and counseling and exercise and nutrition helped too, but writing seemed to help the most with the worst, loneliest, scariest moments. I’d plop down and scrawl.
Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep fighting. That’s what I did.
Fear. Would my son struggle with depression? Damn genetics. Damn depression.
Writing it out. Figuring it out. Not giving up. I went to counseling. I wrote. I took my medication. I wrote. I took care of my body. I wrote. A month after this entry, I got pregnant with my daughter. It couldn’t be that much harder than dealing with all these imaginary friends. Especially Nick. That fucker. He showed up in August. My daughter was born on May 14th, 2004. That made my son happy. Nick was no longer necessary.
Writing, writing, writing, and more writing. Fighting depression with words.
I wrote to my daughter and I wrote to my son. I wrote in my own journal. Time between letters grew farther apart, but I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. Sometimes I was too tired to finish a note. Sometimes he wanted to write in his letter book, so he did.
I’m still fighting. I’m still writing. I don’t know that I would be writing the way I do without having the connection to my children. I’ve always loved to write, but my the power and clarity that comes from writing to connect with them and stay with them is my secret weapon for fighting depression, to stay. I want to stay.
The words will come. Or not. Butter love and an empty brain on a page in February.
I share this with you today because maybe you are fighting? Maybe you should try some writing? There’s some good research on this and even if there wasn’t, what do you have to lose?
P.S. You can read more about Nick in my book. You can get the book on Amazon by clicking the image below. You can also find it at your local bookstore.