Some of you may know that I battle with depression/anxiety, some of you may not. Well, I’m here to say I do. For years, I’ve been on and off anti-depressants, always thinking “I’ve got this,” or “I don’t need medication, I’m stronger than that,” only to find out I don’t got this, and being strong has nothing to do with being on medication. Being strong is waking up, being strong is showing up!
I’m going to be completely transparent here. There are days, even while on medication, that the Idea of rolling out of bed is overwhelming. The thought of getting my kids dressed and on the bus too much for my brain to handle. So what do I do? Break things down into steps.
Step one. Get out of bed.
Step two. Take care of the dogs.
Step three. Take care of yourself.
Step four. Take care of the kids.
First, yes, the dogs get taken care of because I don’t want to listen to their wailing. Second, you might ask yourself, but why does Elle break things down into steps? It’s less daunting that way. I break things down in a way that isn’t overwhelming. Because none of these steps are that stressful [okay the getting kids ready for school thing is, moms I gotchya!] Sometimes looking at the big picture and worrying about all the little things can stress you out in a big way. I know it does for me.
But how does this help me with writing?
Easy peasy. Break the writing process down into steps. I love using Pacemaker [LINK HERE] to keep me on a deadline but more than that it helps me realize my deadline isn’t insane, and it IS doable! How you break down your schedule is entirely up to you, but it may look something like this:
Step One: Write chapters 1-5
Step Two: Finish the book
Step Three: Edit
And so on and so forth. Break things down and while you’re waiting for feedback or your edits? Brainstorm something you can do for marketing. Make graphics, keep yourself busy but also allow your brain to relax, too. Because I know you! You’ll be stressing about receiving those edits or feedback, but take a deep breath!
Did you know I’m a naturally shy person?
I’m also pretty social phobic but the way I deal with it differs from how it used to be [hint: I’d legit lock myself in a room and refuse to come out!] Now…I get chatty, and laugh, so it LOOKS like I’m outgoing, but it’s me sorting through my nerves. I also make myself super busy so I don’t have time to address my anxiety. It’s my coping mechanism and I know that. It also helps me to stay sane!
I still have bad days. Days I can’t leave the house, let alone show up somewhere. Days I feel too overwhelmed to open up my computer and look at my e-mails. Days where I want to pull my hair out, but tomorrow is another day. It’s exhausting, but it strengthens you to continue fighting and you learn different tools which I like to call armor and weapons. 😉 Just know–I get you.
I get your crippling anxiety, I’ve been there and some days I’m still there. I get the depression when you just can’t seem to pull yourself up out of that darkness no matter how much good is going around you… I get you, but there is a tomorrow, and you’re stronger, braver than you know.
I’ve got you!
One of my favorite songs from a Christmas movie is Put one foot in front of the other. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about? Here are some lyrics:
If you want to change your direction If your time of life is at hand Well don't be the rule, be the exception A good way to start is to stand Put one foot in front of the other And soon you'll be walking 'cross the floor Put one foot in front of the other And soon you'll be walking out the door
I hope that helps, and if you need help, I’m here for you!
Until next time, happy reading & writing.