Writing again

Hi Lindsay, I miss reading your blog posts. I hope you will start writing again. You have nice words to say. -blog follower

I was so touched to receive this email from one of my blog followers this past week. Writing is something I have always loved to do yet have done little or nothing of over the last eight months.

Last year, I would write and write but then in December it all just suddenly stopped. The words and thoughts still came but they would promptly float away, meaning every time I sat down to put pen to paper the page stayed blank.

It was aggravating and many times I found my inability to write fueling the self-hatred that darkness spews.

Because much of my identity is wrapped up in my writing, it is often one of the first subjects my therapist will ask me about as an indicator of my mood and how stable I am.

As you all know, most of what I write about has to do with loneliness, suffering, and pain as it relates to my own journey. I’ll often get notes from family and friends after they’ve read one of my more intense articles to see how I’m doing. I think for most of them its hard to imagine writing something with that much emotional depth unless you are depressed. Yet it’s the complete opposite for me.

Depression has never driven my creativity. In fact, it’s always destroyed it. When I am depressed, I don’t have the energy to write nor do I have the courage to share such vulnerable parts of myself. Plus, I have difficulty concentrating.

It should come as no surprise then that I stopped writing in December because I was, in fact, depressed. I had just started a new job that came with tremendous challenges and pressures in the first few months of my tenure. At the same time, a romantic relationship was coming to an end.

Those major life changes were happening at a time when I was still figuring out the right cocktail of medications to manage my illness. Thus, the stress of all that combined had deep impacts on my overall mental well-being.

By February, I was stable again and doing great but I gave myself permission to continue not writing if I didn’t feel like it.

I had come to realize that I didn’t always want to be a storyteller. Sometimes, I just wanted to exist and savor the moment without this expectation that in order for the experience to be real I needed to write about it.

The closest analogy I can come up with is if you’ve ever gone to a concert and spent more time taking photos and videos to prove to social media you were there and having the time of your life that when you got home it almost felt like you weren’t there.

Maybe that hasn’t happened to you but my point is this: the urge to write and tell a story sometimes overshadows my ability to appreciate the moment. Thus, my writing sabbatical has been a good thing for me.

I have a new job that I find meaningful and rewarding, I bought a house and enjoy putting in the work to make it my home, and now I’m embarking on motherhood alone.

Today, I wrote for the sake of writing. I wrote because I wanted to. And for me that feels like a really big accomplishment.


1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One response to “Writing again

  1. Kristen Esbensen

    Dear Lindsay, Thank you for letting us into your life and thoughts in this way. You write very well (as if I am the arbiter of this!), and I very much enjoyed reading this. You and I share many silly things in writing and in person, but this blog is something altogether different. Thank you again. Kristen E

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