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One of my favorite features of Facebook is “On This Day”.

I don’t think we can fully appreciate where we are unless we appreciate where we’ve been.

I love seeing the photos of days gone by, seeing what was going on in my life. In looking back, I see my growth. I see my daughter growing up before my eyes. I see where I’ve overcome certain struggles, and still battle others. I see patterns. I see the highest highs and lowest lows, and everything between.

Before I started A Penseive View, I went through a period of time where I published “Notes”. Remember those? 

Back then, I started a “Weekly Wrap-Up” on Fridays. I’m thinking about resurrecting it here on the blog because, 

  1. I don’t publish a lot of day-to-day stuff and I know other writers who do. I like reading their stuff. Their personal updates. You might like that too, I don’t know. But I’m just brainstorming a bit.
  2. It keeps me accountable and gives me a place to come back and see progress in certain areas of my life.
  3. I’ll be resurrecting Top 10 Tuesdays next week and regular features seem to be a winning idea.

When I was publishing notes on Facebook, I mainly did so because my dad was very sick at the time. Dad was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia in 2009, and “Notes” were how I updated friends and family and prayer warriors of his condition. 

We eventually started him a CaringBridge site and the weekly wrap ups faded out.

But I go back and read them every time they pop up. 

We often get so busy moving forward that we forget what is behind us. Sometimes that’s good. And necessary. But sometimes we need the reminders of those events and circumstances. It’s all part of counting our blessings, something I don’t do nearly often enough. 

Memories, both painful and pleasant, serve their purposes. Both, I think, put us in a more grateful state of mind. And gratitude is an area where I admittedly need more work. It’s not that it’s hard to be thankful, it’s just that I don’t often make the time to reflect on my blessings. 

I’ve continued in my writing slump for a while. Not writing every day – I needed that break. My 9-5 exhausts me mentally. My fellow introverts will understand what I mean when I say that my day job requires me to be “on” all day, every day. Often past business hours. I see the toll it takes on my mind and instead of using my writing as a way to handle that (which has always been beneficial), I end up not writing at all. Not a good thing. Not a good way to “be” a writer, or a storyteller. 

Writers don’t stop writing. They might stop publishing, but they’re always writing. 

And at the end of the day, this blog is me. It’s not just book reviews or top 10 lists or inspirational thoughts. It’s a reflection of me, “one woman’s perspective”. 

My writing has slacked because of how busy I’ve been and how much I needed a break from “extras”, but also due to depression. I’ve written about it some, but not to the extent that I could. And maybe should. 

I don’t try and pretend to be something I’m not here, but I do sometimes go into hiding so you won’t see the most difficult sides of who I am. 

I’ve always been more of an anxious person than a depressed one. Depression doesn’t make sense or pick on certain people. It strikes without warning, sometimes, oftentimes, in those we think have their sh*t together. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Medication is great. Meditation, prayer, these are helpful as well. 

But depression, for me, has never lingered like it has the last several weeks. And it’s frustrating because it robs me of my “want to”. I know what would help me feel better, but it’s physically making myself do those things that feel like an overwhelming, uphill climb.

I am better than I was a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago, I didn’t want to do anything but sleep. Didn’t want to get up. Just taking a shower and getting to the office felt like an accomplishment. 

I’ve slowly progressed to the point where I can get up and get moving without wanting to crawl back into bed and ignoring the world for days.

Part of that has come from making myself. Forcing myself to talk to friends, put on some makeup, fix my hair, write a book review, read a book. It’s in the pushing through that I am slowly coming out of my darkness. 

I know it probably sounds crazy to those who have never experienced it. But I can tell when my mind is headed in the direction of that darkness. Like a parent redirecting a child, sometimes I can redirect my thoughts and avoid it completely before it swallows me. But it requires effort. And, I’m learning, that it’s one of the reasons for my workaholic tendencies and my propensity to stay busier than is probably physically healthy. Because it keeps me from going to the darkness. As long as I’m distracted, I don’t have time to be depressed.

Maybe it’s the aging process, but those habits don’t seem to help me much anymore. That darkness will swallow me up now whether I’m busy or not. So the battleground has shifted. My defense systems have to change too. 

I liken depression to a cave of sorts. That darkness I speak of, it’s everywhere. The only way to get out of it is to find some light. But there are times when there is no match to be found. So you have to stay there, let your eyes adjust, and just feel your way out  

That’s part of what I’m doing here on the blog. Feeling my way back to the light. Learning the curves and angles and rocky sides of this cave makes it less difficult to maneuver the next time it pulls me in. And it reminds me that the light I need is within. 

And I have decided that I have to, I must, write through it. 

It might not be pretty. In fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t be. It might get pretty disjointed and abstract and weird and not so popular. But y’all, this is part of who I am. I don’t like it, but I can’t ignore it anymore. I can’t wait for it to pass before I write again. Getting back to a place where I WANT to write takes too long and I’d rather my pencil stay sharpened, so to speak, than for me to just look at it, day after day, and dread sharpening it. Allowing my insecurities to keep me from posting here, even if it’s crap. 

Because being a writer means writing more crap than we care to admit. But the drivel has value, if only to us writers. Because it allows us to remember where we’ve been. And in writing, just like in life, the painful and the pleasant and the good and the bad have their purposes. 

I want to look back at my writing and see the whole picture. That means writing the really dark stuff too. In order to do that, I’ll have to delve out of my comfort zone sometimes. But it will reveal it’s value, even if it’s a long time from now.