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Prophecy Six Blog

Sharing My Unedited Writing Experiences & Life Experiences.

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mental health

Thinking Thursdays: Depression, Suicide and Writers (TW)

Hello World Out There World!

I am going to start off with stating that there is a Trigger Warning for this post. We will be discussing depression, suicide, and mental health in this post which may bother some of you or affect some of you. With that said, you have been warned.

The discussion below is a combination of two questions I was asked to answer during an author’s interview a few weeks back for Serious Reading and I thought that sharing some of what we discussed would be both something different and give you my view on these issues. If you want to read more of my interest with Serious Reading CLICK HERE.

All right, now that that is out of the way – let’s begin:

Writers are permanently depressed; how true is that?

I can see how some people would believe that. There are writers that have written about their depression or have become victims of suicide. Many of the greats we study today were depressed, or suffered from some mental health issues. But, just as there are writers that suffer from permanent depression there are those that have never and will never suffer from a mental health disorder.

To answer your question, I don’t think it is true because it depends on the writer and every writer is different.

Personally, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety. The important part was that I recognized the problem and got help. I spoke with people that helped me find ways to cope with my mental health but there are those out there that never seek help or never require the help they need.

Being aware of your mental health and looking for ways of educating yourself or getting help with managing your mental health is important. It saddens me that in a time where we have so much knowledge we have yet to really approach the subjects of mental health.

Sure, there are brief mentions of it when we lose someone famous we admire to suicide. Their loss sparks a short discussion but there is so much we as a society need to do to change the way we think about mental health.

 

Poets and writers in general, have a reputation of committing suicide; in your opinion, why is that the case?

I think poets and writers are empathetic people that are tuned into the world. That could be both a good thing and a bad thing. The good out of being one with the world is that you see the beauty and the potential it holds. You catch the connections between people or the environment and find ways of creating that emotional connection through words. Many writers (Shakespeare, Poe, Wolfe, Bronte) all have a way of putting humanity in their works and painting this world that is so close to our own while still giving us a sense of disconnect. This is a talent some have naturally, while for others – like myself – work at building.

The bad part about being connected to the world is that you see the horrific truths many aren’t aware of. You catch sight of the darkness in people and some writers even confront the darkness within themselves. Everyone has demons that whisper in the back of their minds nasty realizations, but writers tap into those whispers and sometimes don’t have the strength to stop listening. It is at that point that writers can’t see that beauty but instead see the world in a tainted light where only pain and suffering thrive.

I think every writer/person is able to deal with the negatives in different ways. Some are able to find ways back to the rose tinted glasses world that the majority of society lives in, while others aren’t so lucky. It’s those unlucky ones that don’t see hope and don’t have the strength to pull themselves out… who think they’re alone… that add to the reputations that writers/ poets generally commit suicide.

I want to know what you think.

Do you agree with my answers to these questions? Do you disagree? If you disagree, tell me why. I would love to get a discussion started in the comments down below. 🙂

Today Marks One Year

Hello World Out There World!

About a month ago I wrote this around the anniversary of my mother’s – wait… she hated how I called her mother – mom’s death. I was hesitant to post it unsure how my readership would react, but since I want to be honest with all of you and show you the true me I think it best to share with you how it feels after one year after losing someone that formed my world and was a big part of who I am today. This is free writing, which means I did not edit I just let my train of thought take me wherever it wanted to go. I wanted this to be as pure as possible even though my emotions may have gotten the better of me at some parts. Forgive me for that…

So, without delay here is Today Marks One Year:

It feels like years some days and just yesterday on others. There is a piece of me that breaks whenever I see a mother and daughter laughing together. A part of me pings with jealousy when I listen to a conversation on how a daughter will have their mother for their wedding or for their first child. I feel angry when I overhear a daughter ignore or insult their mother because they will have the time to make up for it.

You always will think you will have time to make up for it. You will always think there will never be a time you won’t have her there to support you, to love you, to laugh with you. You will always have that time until you don’t.

Today marks one year.
One year since I lost my best friend, my biggest support, and my selfless protector.

I will forever remember the moment my heart was ripped out of my chest. That all those walls that had protected me for all those years crumbled leaving me to stand alone amongst the rubble to rebuild from the pieces left behind. It is not easy. It will never be easy to take the memories that had brought you so much joy that now make you collapse into a pile of sobbing tears. The memories that made you laugh and in some way still do while your eyes water when you realize that you won’t be making new memories with her.

Time will pass, the pain will fade but there will be moments where there will come overwhelming emotions you didn’t know you could feel.

They said I would hate her. They said I would be angry.
Maybe one day I will be.

Maybe one day when I’m standing at the alter saying ‘I do’, I will have that pinch of anger that she wasn’t there to help me get into my dress or give me advice that all mothers give to their daughters on their special day. Maybe one day when I have gone through hours of labor and I’m holding my little one in my arms, I will have a ping on anger that she isn’t there to help me like she promised she would be. But right now, right at this moment a year from the day she left me I can’t hate her.

I cannot be angry.

It wasn’t her that took her life but the demons that kept her awake at night. It wasn’t her that took her from me but the thoughts that she would never be herself again. She believed she was a terrible mother. She was convinced that her illness was destroying us. She believed ending it all because that was the only way she could be at peace. She is gone because of the lies that filled her head from the whispers of the monsters that we couldn’t see, from the demons the doctors didn’t believe were real, and from the fears she never expressed because of the way society views mental health.

Today marks one year since my mother died.

How easy it is to be so quickly defined by one actions. You could be a famous comedian, a musician, a government official, a mother… but what you only hear about is their death. My mother was creative – she could turned stockings and wire coat hangers into fairy wings without a template. She was selfless – always trying to find a way to better the world and the people in it either through volunteering or helping a single mother at the place where she worked. She loved nature – let it be hiking, swimming, or just spending the day out in the garden. She was a great mother – fighting against the school for my education, giving up all her free time to ensure I had a well-rounded/ event filled childhood with dancing, soccer, swimming, horseback riding, and summer camps. She read to me every night, taught me the importance of being myself and allowed me to explore the world always knowing if I needed her she would be there.

Today marks one year since my mother was a victim of mental illness but her illness won’t be what I will remember about her.

Writer Tales: Always Do Your Research (Quote)

Firstly, I love writing quotes. I’ll be the first person to tell you that I get a lot of inspiration from quotes when I’m suffering from writers block or just need a little push. Many of these quotes I’ve shared with you in hopes of helping you feel the same inspiration or motivation to work on your own projects. The thing is, with most of what I put on my blog or website I make sure to research to ensure I am sharing correct information. This is a habit I’ve formed from my teaching days and I’ve only gotten better/ worse (depending on your point of view) since I’ve been researching for my book series.

Today when I was browsing Pinterest one of my suggested pins was a quote with the word HYPERGRAPHIA. I was familiar with this word, since it was in one of my lists somewhere on my computer. So, it was a surprise for me to find that the definition for the word was cut short. Now, this was the pin I had on my front page:

hypergraphia

Beautiful, right? The word that describes the overwhelming urge to write. We’ve all felt this way about writing at least once (or maybe more than once), but there is a problem with this: there is so much more to this word than those pretty four words.

Hypergraphia is an actual symptom for a brain disorder. People suffering from hypergraphia have the urge to write sometime incoherently due to them having epilepsy that causes changes in the temporal lobe. Sometimes those with this symptom will write in amazing detail, beautiful poetry, or utter nonsense. Their styles can change without warning and they won’t stop until the symptom passes or seizure ends.  It isn’t that they want to write but that something in their brain is telling them they have/need to write – even if part of them doesn’t wish to.

I understand that having that as the definition doesn’t get you reposts and people are less likely to like it… the word also doesn’t have that sense of motivation or inspiration as it had moments before but the truth sometimes is better than spreading false or – in this case – limited information. That’s why I edited this quote to add a little more truth to it:

NEWDEFINITIONS

I’m not looking for reposts or repins… I just want to make sure the truth is out there.

I know I’m strange, that hasn’t escaped me. I still find this word fascinating even with this edited definition. I think that has more to due with my passion for psychology and English. The point to this post isn’t that someone decided to post a half-correct definition of a word, but to help you understand that it is up to you to question what you find online to see if it is actually true.

Do your research – it will save you a lot of embarrassment in the end.

 

Suffering a Quarter Life Crisis?

qlc

Here’s a list of things you may be feeling if you’re suffering a Quarter Life Crisis (QLC):

  • You feel like the world is moving and you’re standing still.
  • All your friends appear to have their stuff together and you’re wondering why you don’t.
  • You’re questioning if what you took in uni/college was what you’re supposed to do.
  • Being a bed burrito sounds more fulfilling than going to work.
  • Refreshing your Facebook every minute in hopes there’s a new post.
  • Wondering what your purpose in life is.
  • The temporary job you got in school has lasted 2+ years.
  • You’re brain is telling you to do better but your body isn’t willing.
  • Apathetic towards everything but your true passions.
  • Wish it could be the 90’s again… the 90’s were great…
  • Jealous of the fuzzy animal in your life.
  • You want to travel the world but are crippled by debt…
  • Contemplated changing your middle name to Debt…
  • You apply to jobs that:

A) You’re over qualified for and don’t get

B) You’re under qualified for and don’t get

C) Are related to the job you hate but have no other choice because you need money.

  • Are suffering from OCD (Over Comparison Disorder).

 

If you feel all or half of these then you’re likely suffering from a QLC. Welcome to the club! You’re joining the other 20 somethings ripping their hair out and questioning all their life choices up to this point. I feel your pain. It isn’t fun – I know.

We are a generation of comparing. We see people bragging about how great their life is on their social media but in reality they think their life sucks just as much as yours. People rarely post about the terrible things in their life – unless they are looking for that type of attention. We compare ourselves to our married friends, thinking we should be in their shoes. We compare ourselves to our working friends, believing they are happy where they are working. We compare ourselves to our free-spirited friends, dreaming that we could backpack across Asia. We are so busy comparing ourselves that we don’t stop and enjoy our own successes. We don’t take the time to see our good moments in our lives.

So, if you are suffering from a QLC here are some tips to get through this moment in your life:

  • Find a new job that includes something you’re passionate/ interested about.
  • Go on an adventure to somewhere new in your city or town.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
  • Take a class you never thought you’d think of taking.
  • Make a personal change: hairstyle, clothing, tattoo…
  • Move to a new place.
  • Make a list of small attainable goals and try to complete one each week.
  • Complete a goal you made years prior that you still think of.
  • Join a club in your city that fit your interests.
  • Make something for yourself, (DIY something).
  • Talk to friends, or start a conversation with a stranger on a bus/ coffee shop/ store.
  • Take a media break – if you can. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

These of course are only suggestions – I understand if you want to keep being a bed burrito – but just know that if you’re having a Quarter Life Crisis you are not alone.

Snippet of Child of the Water: Mind Demons

demonsofthemind.jpg

A snippet from book two. Do I sense a little empathy coming from the brutish king of the North? 😛

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 23 – Letter

Write A Letter To Someone, Anyone

Dear Readers,

I know I haven’t been updating you on book 2 – Child of the Water – but life takes over, forcing us to focus our attention on other things. At the moment I’m still working away on chapter 15. I’m planning each chapter the best I can and I’ll try to keep you more informed of what’s going on. That, though, isn’t why I’m writing this letter to you.

As I mentioned before I like covering complicated/ big issues in my stories. The first book focused around a girl displaced by conflict who has to leave her home and learn to adapt in a new environment. You listen to her conflicting thoughts of her wanting to be back home but the inability to go back. You experience the racism those of her new home place on her because she’s different. You learn about one of the bigger issues: Them vs. Us.

These are all problems we are seeing today in the media. We have people being displaced by conflicts, forced to leave their homes to go to other countries to seek safety for themselves and their families. You hear about the fear the media is feeding about people and we listen assuming that everyone is a threat – which the majority of the time isn’t the case. We have children and families having to adapt to places that aren’t familiar and be reminded every time they want to go back that they can’t because their home is not home any more… that there is nothing left for them. We listen to politicians debate about mental health – using Them vs Us again; as if those suffering from mental health issues are in a separate group within society and therefore should be treated as such. That isn’t the case as mental health touches everyone’s life somehow – just like conflict, abuse, abandonment, othering… and so on. We may not all suffer the same degree as someone else, but we have all experienced something that would categorize us together under the all consuming title: THEM.

Why don’t we stop using the word THEM and THEY? Why don’t we look at people as what they really are – people. Every country has their issues. Every country has their threats. Every person has their secrets. Every person has their scars. It is not just one people behind these problems, but a mixture of people and issues bottled together that create these problems. It is the conflict, the hatred, the othering, and a much longer list of things that created what our world is dealing with today. We are as guilty for what is happening in the world as everyone else… but we aren’t told that. We are told it’s their problems. Their issues. Their fault.

Last time I checked we were all homo sapiens and we were all living on earth… so where is this their, them, they coming from? Yes, there are those that follow a different religion. Yes, there are people that may have different traditions, languages, cultures, opinions, appearance, sexual preferences, genders, experiences than you or I. But, I hate to break it to you – there are over 7 billion people in the world – there is bound to be diversity.

All right… let’s calm this rant down a little since I’m sounding like I’m becoming hostile.

*Breathes in. Breathes out.*

I know I’m just one person ranting about the world. This letter wasn’t supposed to go this way, but one thing about writing… you can plan it but that doesn’t mean that’s how it will end up. This is a passionate topic for me as I find it important that everyone has the right to be safe in their home. I think its important that children get an education and live in a loving community where they can be themselves and not have to worry about insults or harsh comments, or even physical violence because of who they are, what they wear, or what they believe.

I’m just one person… but even one person can make a difference if they use what they have in a good way. Like Uncle Ben from Spiderman would say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I may not be able to climb walls or shoot webs but I do have the ability to write and that can be just as powerful. I wrote Child of the Light the way I did in hopes of creating a conversation among the younger generations. I wrote the book in hopes it would get people thinking about the connections between Liora, Caldor, and other characters to those being treated as Others in society.

I know this letter is deeper than most of my writing… but I hope this letter helped open your eyes or consider looking more into what is happening in the world. I also hope that if you have an opinion or share a common opinion that you won’t hesitate to share it in the comments below.

Now I must part as I have some LGBTQIA sub-Reddits to explore and a character to develop.

Toodles for now,

DMWiltshire

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 8 – Struggle

day8.jpg

Share Something You Struggle With

I think I’m not alone when I say I struggle with anxiety. I think everyone in the world struggles with this at least once in their life.

Anxiety can manifest in many different ways, but for me it’s my writing. The thing I’m so proud and so passionate to share with the world turns into my worst nightmare.

‘You wrote a book – awesome but here is everything you could have done to make it better. Here are all the things that are wrong with it, or that are missing. You forgot to add this part, or make this character do as certain thing that would have made this scene so much better. Sure, you wrote a book… but for all you know it’s the worst book in the world.’

I’ve touched upon this touch many times before (Imposter Syndrome For a Writer & Keep Calm. It is only a First Draft), and this will probably not be my last post in regards to this subject because this is something I struggle with… and sadly will probably always struggle with.

I know even if by whatever happen-stance I become the next J.K Rowling, I will still think my work isn’t good enough. In truth, it probably isn’t. In truth, there will always be things that need to be changed… and I’m sure there are things Rowling wants to change about Harry Potter even to this day no matter the success she’s had in regards to that series.

Unfortunately I’m not Rowling, and all I can do is speculate that she went through the same writer’s anxiety I have.  Imagining my favourite authors suffering the same way I have has helped me push through and continue writing. To believe I’m not alone and to write/ share this in hopes of helping someone out there feeling the same way… letting them know they aren’t alone with these feelings also pushes me to post.

The more you write the better you get. I believe that and eventually I hope to get to the point where my anxiety won’t stop me from writing. That’s a struggle I have to live with until that day actually comes.

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