I have renamed my blog to The Dysthymic Writer because that is who I am. It's not all that I am but it's a part of me and I've decided to stake a claim to it.
As you all know, I write and have published three books. I have been a yearly participant in NaNoWriMo since 2005. I write in a journal everyday and my mind constantly comes up with ideas. However, there is one thing that shows up in my books and that is usually a character that has depression.
I have dysthymia and although it has been renamed in recent years to persistent depressive disorder (PDD), I am still calling it dysthymia. It's one form of depression hardly any articles are written about. To throw in the fun on my dysthymia, I'm all also high-functioning. In a nutshell, I get out of bed in the morning and go to work. There are different types of depression and none of them are fun.
I'm sure you're wondering what is dysthymia. Some would call a mood disorder but moods tend to shift and dysthymia is chronic. People with dysthymia think depression is part of their character, that its normal to be in the funk all the time and to be honest, that's how it is.
Long ago, long ago when I was a teenager on her way to college, I had a four year span where not only was I depressed but I wanted to end the pain. In a four year period, I tried to end my life seven times. Twenty-six years later after my last attempt I'm still here.
The depression has stayed but the suicidal thoughts have not. I did get a wake up call after my last attempt and did see the world differently and moved to a new level of depression. Where I am now and to be honest, being where I am now is far superior to where I used to be.
Do I ever think about suicide? Sure. I don't think about it with intent but think about it in trying to understand why I went there. What pain was I carrying that led me to death's door? Turns out I was carrying a lot and I still carry a lot, but now I have the tools to look at my inner self and my outer self and try to understand.
Please forgive me as this post has runaway from where I wanted it to go. I'm still me. I'm writing, working on my craft projects and sharing tips with you and music. My depression doesn't define me but some days I'm okay if it does. It's who I am but it's not all of me.
Today, I offer this - to simply be a good parent to yourself. If you need a break from the world. Take one. Go sit in a park and watch squirrels or go hiking or sit near a lake. Whatever you do, take time for you and ignore the world that is calling and texting you. Forget Facebook and Twitter and for 15 minutes or a whole day take care of you. The rest of the world can wait.