Mental health, Writing Updates

Writing and Depression

I haven’t been writing for a few days. I must admit that depression has rolled in and I don’t feel like doing anything. I struggle to think straight or care about anything. I’m really indifferent, or numb to what goes on around me, or what I do during the day. I could stare at a wall or just sleep all day and it wouldn’t matter to me.

But there is a part of me that is still thinking about writing. Even thought during a depression I struggle to physically write, my mind is still working on projects, or trying to at least. This is when my depression hits its deeper levels.

There are times I’m depressed but not deeply, so I can still function enough to write something. Those are the days I go easy on myself when I do decide to write and just try to get something down. I don’t force myself to do a lot because I know it won’t take much to make my depression worse.

Writing and depression…how do I make it work? Well, it’s tough. When depression is bad and I am so exhausted I just sleep or stare at the TV I don’t bother to write on those days. I have to wait for the depression to abate a little to a point where I have more energy and more clarity of though and then I sit myself down at the computer and type out a blog post, or try something that isn’t so labor intensive. Then on days where I’m feeling really good, I’ll dive right into my latest project. It’s about working with my body and its illness and trying to make things work. So I have to really be receptive to how I feel, which I’ve been told that I am anyway so it works out.

If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I’m happy to hear from my readers. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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highly sensitive person, Secret Anguish

Mental Health and Being a Highly Sensitive Person

As you all know I am back working on my book Secret Anguish which details my story of having mental illness. Well, what I forgot to tell you was that it also mentions that I am a highly sensitive person. And because I’m an HSP, I had to stop and research the symptoms of being and HSP again because it had been so long since I had done so. Well, I was reminded that HSPs are more emotional people and react more to situations and to interaction with others than those who aren’t HSPs.

This made me think, “Could being and HSP also have some bearing on my mental illness? Like could being so easily overstimulated make me feel anxious? Can it make me just want to crawl into bed and hide under the covers mimicking depression? Can it exhaust me and wear me down so that I feel depressed? Is the reason for my anxiety just depression and anxiety stemming from being an HSP?”

The answer to the last question is “no”. It’s not just being an HSP that has me feeling depressed or anxious. It may have some contributing factor, but I was born into a household with a very moody parent where I couldn’t do things right no matter how hard I tried. I was always criticized and the things I did well were never rewarded. I became so afraid of my father’s moodiness (including anger), that I was afraid to breathe around him because if he heard me breathe then he might remember I was in the room with him and then he might start unleashing his anger again.

Now, something I do remember reading about being an HSP is that, having gone through trauma like I did with my dad being the way he was, that you can become an HSP because of that trauma. However, I do remember having some traits of being and HSP as a child anyway, so maybe I was just born with it. Either way, whether I was born with the HSP trait or developed them, doesn’t matter. The end result is that I am and HSP now and that does have some contribution to my mental health.

I am a mom of two, a housewife, and we have one chinchilla, one chihuahua, and three parakeets. The noise of everything gets overwhelming, I get anxious and several times a day I have to flee into my room with the curtains drawn to rest. I also struggle to get out of bed because bed is comfy and quiet. If I get out of bed, I will be subject to all the noise and chaos of life again.

So now I have a decision to make. Do I include being an HSP into Secret Anguish or do I create a whole new book?

What would you like to see? Would you like to see the HSP trait as a book on it’s own, or included with Secret Anguish? Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Also, if you’re an HSP and have mental health issues like I do, I’d love to hear from you too! What do you find is the most difficult for you to deal with every day with being an HSP and how does it affect your mental health?

Reflections of the Heart, Secret Anguish

And Around We Go!

Just last week I wrote a post about shutting down work on my second book Secret Anguish. Well, there have been a change of plans, which I didn’t foresee.

Just yesterday morning I heard back from a literary agent I contacted just last month, and they want to see the first three chapters and a synopsis for Reflections of the Heart (my first book). So what does this have to do with Secret Anguish? Well, I kind of mentioned that I was working on a second book in my query letter, so now I’m like, “Well, what if they want to see work on the second book too?”

And I kept praying about Secret Anguish and if God really wants me to work on this book or not. I keep feeling a draw to write it no matter how difficult it may be emotionally. (I’ll still have to keep a close eye on my mental health.) And I have a LOT of work to do on it. I’m still in the phase of gathering my sources.

So this whole literary agent contacting me asking to see more of one book, has really motivated me to move forward with another book.

We never know just how things are going to turn out when we have several projects going. It’s just amazing how God can turn things around just when you think you’re done with a project, he says, “No, you’re not finished. I need you to work on this and finish it.”

So here I go. I’ve sent off the email to the literary agent with what she’s asked to see. And I’m back hard at work, on Secret Anguish.

I hear my son in his room. He’s up so I must go for now.

Take care and God bless!

Secret Anguish

Shutting Down “Secret Anguish”

This has been a long arduous task for me to work on a mental health book on and off for over the last couple of years. For many days now I have worked on my book and almost every evening I have been dealing with intense emotions of anxiety, anger, depression, irritability. I have been in tears and curling up in my bed most every night just trying to get this book written. I’ve wanted to share my story thinking it would help other people but…

I must confess that I have decided to give up writing this book. It is overwhelming me and bringing up such intense emotions my therapist has suggested I stop writing so I don’t make my mental health worse.

I’m sorry to all those who were expecting to following me on this journey through writing my story and then buying the book.

May God bless you all as you go through your own mental health journey.

Secret Anguish, Uncategorized

Secret Anguish: Update

Months have flown by without a new post springing from my fingers. Life has been pretty busy with the holidays and all. But I have some time to update you all on what my current project is.

I’m working on Secret Anguish which at one point was going to be about gluten sensitivity, or what we thought was gluten sensitivity until we later found out I really didn’t have one. So now I am recycling the title and using for my story on mental illness.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD, unspecified bipolar disorder with psychosis,  generalized anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, and depersonalization. And I have been going through journal entries since 2005 trying to piece parts of my life together to make this book.

Well I discovered this morning, a journal that I had handwritten and yet typed up like I had done the others to make copying and pasting sections easier (when I needed to do so such as what part is PTSD related, or anxiety related and so forth). So now I have more work to do on top of what I was doing.

Once I get these journal entries typed up and sorted, I’ll be able to go back and work on piecing my book together. My goal is to have my book out before the end of the year. I’m going to work hard on reaching that goal.

Something else that has come my way is teaching my daughter how to create characters because she would like to write her own books. She is 9 and in third grade so I’m curious to see if this is just a passing phase, or if this is going to grow into something more. Whatever the case, I am having a proud mommy moment for the time being.

What are you working on right now? Is it a new novel or short story, a poem, maybe planning a new blog post? I’d love to hear what your’e up to. Or even if you have questions about what the story I’m working on I’d be happy to answer you.

Have a great day and for others who live elsewhere in Maine, be safe out there. Winter Storm Grayson has started unleashing his fury.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNo Day 17

It’s 2:46AM Eastern Time and I am making headway on my second book, which I am not sure of a title yet. But it’s about my mental health journey. I slept most of Saturday due to med changes but it helped with my creative energy and I’ve been working for almost two hours straight on my writing and making some great progress. It is the 17th day of Camp this time around and I think I may finish the first draft of this book this month. I’m super excited! So far this book is titled God Never Forgets.

I have my first book out in paperback and kindle and will work on getting that into other formats in the near future. If you’re interested in that book it is titled Reflections of the Heart and you can order it here.

How are you doing this time around? Making any headway? Having any setbacks? I’d love to hear how you are all doing on your writing project.  Feel free to chat with me in the comments section or send me an email at jisoucie@hotmail.com.

Happy writing!

Camp NaNoWriMo

CampNaNo Day 19!

It’s early in the morning. The sun is coming up brightening the sky. My one-year-old son is watching Goldie and Bear on the Disney Jr. Channel, hubby is making breakfast before he goes to work. And my daughter is home from school this week due to vacation. She’s still snoozing away with her radio turned to KLOVE. She listens to it every night.

My dogs are lying next to me on the couch as I sit comfortably writing this blog post. I’m contemplating the events over the weekend where I passed out at the wheel. Thankfully, my hubby was able to stop the car before a major accident happened. All I can say is I’m thankful everything turned out alright and that I’m doing okay.

And I’m back here working on my novel. The inner critic is butting it’s head in and I’m trying not to go back and edit my story yet. Really need to just get it down first. But  should start with rereading what I’ve written to get back into the groove of things.

How are you doing so far? I’ve got about 19,677 words…and counting. Have you run into any roadblocks on your journey? If you have, what have you done to get past them? I’d love to hear your stories. Please feel free to leave comments or send an email to jisoucie@hotmail.com.

Happy Writing! 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo, God Never Forgets

Camp NaNo Day 6

Day 6 is upon us and I admit I have had a slow start. The pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia have slowed me down for the past few weeks. Usually I can work through them, but during a flare it’s all I can do to function.

So I am working on my second book, God Never Forgets, which is about my journey with mental illness and how God has been helping me through it. I have chapter one finished and I’m currently working on chapter two which will be done soon.

So where are you on your novel? Making any great progress, or are you have a slow start like me? What kind of story are you working on this month? What motivates you to write?

I’d love to hear from you. Please leave comments below or you can email me jisoucie@hotmail.com

 

Happy writing!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Quiet Evening

My hubby is putting our youngest to bed, and my daughter is on the couch munching on popcorn and watching Caillou. Our dogs are lying on the couch as the night slowly drifts on.

Early this morning, and I do mean early as my son decided to get up at 1AM not go back to sleep until about 4AM. I had some time to work on preparing my novel for Camp NaNo. I’m going through an old manuscript and tossing out most of it. I’ve labeled my chapters and now working on a document that gives me a summary of what I want each chapter to be about. It’s just so confusing taking snippets here and there that will still work in the book, but tossing the rest. So now it’s like putting a jigsaw puzzle together though many of the pieces haven’t been written yet.

I have so many ideas and they sometimes render me immobile. I’m sure I’m not the only writer to experience that. If it’s not writer’s block it’s having too many ideas at once.

So tonight, I am going to try and make some progress on the chapter summaries.

Where are you on your Camp NaNo prep? Or are you preparing? Are you going to be a pantser?

Camp NaNo starts in just 9 days! Are you ready?