Monday, June 10, 2013

Writing from the Doldroms

Writing when I'm emotionally all over the place is impractical on most of these occasions.  I'm being pulled in too many different directions (most of them down), and focusing on a story that takes good deal of concentration is a no-go.

My writing takes a back seat to the upheaval going on in my mind.

And it's not like I can use that as a channel to reflect what's going on with me in what I'm writing. I can barely get my fingers on the keyboard, or around a pen, to get a story down in the first place. I'm distracted with my attention wandering from worry to worry, from fear to fear.

I feel helpless during these periods, trying to get through but stuck in a thick funk. The more I fight, the more I sink and the losing battle just makes things worse. I'm currently climbing out a minor downswing and I think I'm learning to fend off the valleys a little bit better than in the past.

Things I turn to to keep my spirits up:
  • Prayer
    I don't know why I don't pray more. Usually, praying stops my downward spiral in its tracks. I have to learn to let go of things that I really have no control over and give it all over to the One who has everything in His hands.
  • Fasting and Meditation
    My body is a weak, decaying, faulty thing and I'd be a fool to depend on it or to think it won't fail me. Realizing that mood shifts are a part of my body's weaknesses helps me to put my situation into perspective. I will have low tides as well as high.
  • Finding a purpose
    Not just long-term, "what do I want my life's meaning to be" purposes. But daily, moment-by-moment purpose. Why am I writing this? Why do I need to write this? Questions like these keep me focused, willing, and eager to write because if I have good answers then I know I'm not wasting my time on something trivial. At the end of it, I will have something worthwhile that I have accomplished, and that makes me feel more worthwhile.
  • Keeping up the daily routine
    The temptation to just sleep it off or take a break is overwhelming. Sometimes it's necessary, but not as much as I'd like to think. I could stop exercising, eating right, cleaning, reading the Bible, or writing every day, but though I may feel a momentary reprieve, breaking the good habits I have set up just pushes me into a depression in the long run.
  • Recommitting to my goals
    Sometimes I just want to throw it all away because of a temporary feeling that will eventually ease. When I am feeling bleak and pessimistic is definitely not the time to reconsider my goals, but to cling to them even more. Once I'm stable again, I'll be able to look over at what I set to see if I'm doing too much or too little or if I have made my goals tangible enough. 
I don't like being sad and moody for long periods of time, but I have to accept that sometimes it will happen. That doesn't mean that my life has to come to a standstill, and that realization has made these periods of my life that much more bearable.

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