4 Ways to Keep Reading and Writing When You Struggle With Mental Health

bitchlitblog writingMental health struggles have become a large part of my life in the last couple of years. Only this year have I started to take care of myself by naming the mental health issues I walk with, depression and anxiety, and finding the extra support I need to find more harmony in my life. But even though these are new ways to help myself, reading and writing have always been my barometer for where I stand emotionally.

I have been through short and much longer stretches of not being able to read or write due to depression. This often throws me into a spiral of shame and despair because reading and writing are what I love doing. Books help me learn and relate to new ideas or similar experiences. But in the depths of depression it becomes so much easier to lay down in front of the TV and blast through all the seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, again. Which isn’t to say that can’t be good or what I need at the time. But there is something about losing the ability to read that leaves me feeling hollow.

I’m still learning how to be nice to myself. I thought I would share a few ways that I try to keep reading and writing in my life, even when my mental illness starts closing doors. Continue reading “4 Ways to Keep Reading and Writing When You Struggle With Mental Health”

Standing at the Edge: How Depression Holds My Creativity Hostage

One year ago I made a decision to write a memoir. For many years I have thought about the idea. I have been encouraged by friends and professors who I admire. Last year I met with a writer who, after I explained my creative desires to, told me it was time to stop standing at the edge of the cliff and jump off it. A year later, I realize that I jumped, but not before tying a rope around my waist so that I could climb back up, taking two big steps back after reaching the edge again.

Or at least that is how it feels. Continue reading “Standing at the Edge: How Depression Holds My Creativity Hostage”

Ready Player One: Gaming, Gender, and Identity

Ready_Player_One_coverI need to talk about Ready Player One. I’ve needed to talk about it for weeks, nay, months. I’ve started and deleted a few posts because I am so frustrated with this book that I can’t get my thoughts together. So, I’m just going to jump in and I hope you’ll bare with me.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is one of the novels that my partner put on my sci-fi/fantasy reading list. It is a more recent novel, published in 2011 that captures nostalgia for 70’s and 80’s pop-culture, technology, and gaming. It also has a problem with gender and identity.  Continue reading “Ready Player One: Gaming, Gender, and Identity”