Some of you may have wondered why I’ve been having to move back release dates and why I haven’t had as many books coming out as usual. I always replied with the same answer, that I’ve been sick or in the hospital.
That was true, but I never share the reasons for my hospital stays, other than when I had my gallbladder out. That one was true and I don’t care what people say about how it’s such an easy surgery. It hurt like hell and threw me for a loop for a while.
Now is the time where I’m going to lay it all out and share with you one of my biggest secrets. All the other reasons I’ve been in the hospital was because I was having mental health issues. I tried to hide from it, tried to ignore it, but late one night it finally exploded in my face. So, I went to my bedroom, woke up my husband and told him that he needed to take me the ER.
While I was there the doctor if I had any thoughts about self-harming to myself. Although, to be fair, I don’t think it’s fair for a doctor to ask writers that question. We all know that we have the idea of what would be the perfect murder, the perfect jewel heist, bank robbery….
Well as soon as I opened my yap off to the mental hospital I went. Let me tell you, those places are not fun at all. You do have some great staff, but there are plenty who are lazy and just go through the motions. It was my stays at these hospitals that inspires me to write Pretty Little Word in a Bottle.
When Robin Williams died, there were so many people called him a coward and being selfish for leaving his family behind. What they don’t realize is severe depression has a nasty habit of slithering through your mind and making you believe and think things that aren’t even remotely true.
I should know because I suffer from severe depression, anxiety panic disorder. It’s to the point that I have trouble being out of my house at times. Malls, movie theaters and other places where large groups of people gather can send me into a severe panic attack. Sometimes, I even go into an attack if I lose an article of clothing and can’t find it. In other words, the simplest of things could make it so I have a very bad day.
There was one acceptation, however. To my surprise I found that the only crowd I can stand is the one from GRL I’ve been friends with some of our wonderful group for several years. I, also, that you would all make a point of being there for me.
There are days where the depression kicks into high gear and all I can do is stay in bed and watch TV all day. Very often it will make my fibro act up and ever bone in my body will ache and set off my migraines. All of which had made writing a near impossible act.
I’m not telling you all this, so you’ll feel sorry for me. It was because of a conversation that took place at a convention. There was a writer who was talking about her latest release. She treated the male MC in her book with contempt because he had tried to commit suicide with his gun. Instead of dying, though, he lived, because, “he can never get anything right.” The comments left me so numb with shock that I didn’t even bother to tell that if he shot himself in the direction and in the position that she described, that there was no way the MC would have survived. I didn’t even manage to get out that one of my uncles had committed suicide and I still am very sensitive about the issue. I loved my uncle dearly and he was neither a coward or just seeking attention. He had just been so overcome by his disease that it had finally overpowered him, making him do something that never would have considered had he been in a stable state of mind.
People fail to realize that depression has a way of hunting you. Even though one can feel it coming, there is nowhere to hide or no way of avoiding it. I often liken severe depression to a parasite that makes you a prisoner in your own body. Once it gets inside you, it branches out through your brain, making you think things that are totally untrue and irrational. In short, it changes who you really are and makes you a totally different person.
After I cooled down a bit I decided that I would educate people a little bit. Maybe if I do so, it will be one tiny step in making the subject of mental illness less taboo or at the very least, help others more understanding.
- Depression is a disease, just like diabetes, asthma or even a common cold. It’s not contagious, it’s usually passed genetically. It’s a chemical imbalance in your brain and there is not one magic pill that will cure you. Each person is different, so the doctors have to spend months, if not years, finding out what combination of pills will make you stable.
- You don’t have to be sad to have depression. I know that may sound weird, but it’s true. I have a comfortable life. Great, family and great kids. Yet, while I may be smiling on the outside on the inside I am suffering.
- Which brings me to another point. Even though I have this condition it doesn’t make me a coward or weak. It just adds some road bumps in my life here and there.
I have heard people describe how depression feels like to them in several different ways. However, there is a music video that I feels really shows how it is to live with depression. It’s in such an obscure way that many who have seen it misses the message, but it’s there if you look closely enough. I’ve posted this song on my FB page many times. Now that you’re all in on my secret, you’ll know why.