Monday 19 June 2017

On Mental Health - The Creative Process


In the run up to my eleventh book being released, and approaching the end of both my seventeenth and eighteenth books I'm aware that I'm not really feeling how I would usually. Those who know me know that up until this year, I was quite happy releasing one book a year, but being picked to do my first signing in October 2017, I felt like I should try at least and see if I could manage two books a year. And I'm happy to say that I have. On June 30th, It's Not Always Rainbows will be released in both Kindle and paperback. On top of that, I'm writing daily, or almost daily and managing to speed my way towards the end of both the second in the Lights Out trilogy and the first book in a brand new series called Cramping Chronicles. So why am I struggling? Why am I not out there happy and cheering and all the rest that goes with that?

It's not something I talk too much about, or go into much detail about because I like keeping my personal life personal and my public life doesn't need to be bogged down by the lows of my health. That said, I do include a section in my Life Of Joey videos every month where I give you guys a brief overview of my health. And even that, I've been told by some, is too much. There are a few reasons I do this and I'll break them down for you here:

1. I am disabled and my conditions are nothing to be ashamed of.
2. I know that there are many aspiring authors as well as professional authors I admire who also have similar conditions.
3. I see no reason to omit a huge part of my life, and productivity from that video.
4. I'm a young adult author, so I know there are other teens and young adults who are also disabled and not hiding the conditions allows them to know that they have representation in me.

To break down my conditions, since I'd be here a long time if I listed them all. I have a lung condition as well as several other chronic physical and mental conditions. The ones I'm going to talk about the mental health conditions. I've had depression and anxiety for the majority of my life. They, like my physical conditions go up and down and I have both good days and bad. Right now, because of ongoing health issues and waiting for a new drug to finally get started, my mental health is on the bad side Normally when this happens, I power through, see my therapist and talk to friends and go from there. I plan to do that, I am doing that. Yet because this drug could be started from anywhere from next week to next month and beyond, my feeling is that this bad time is going to be here for the moment.

Now I know some people will say: But Joey, you're always so happy on your videos! Or: But Joey, it might not be so bad, look on the bright side. To the first I say, yeah being depressed doesn't mean you never smile, never laugh and never have fun. And to the second I don't have an appropriate response that's suitable for a blog. You can probably imagine it, it's two words. I get that people want to help and I get that if you've never had depression it's hard to imagine what that's like, but for me losing myself in my writing and talking to friends, losing myself in a good book, all of these help me.

So why not just do that? Why am I bitching and moaning here? I guess because I am very aware that if I have days when I feel like writing is not enough, then there are other people who might feel the same. I know I did a piece a few weeks back about when you want to give up writing (found here) and this is not a repeat of that. This is more a post to explain that while I am very positive and happy in my videos, in my posts and in general. I do have depression and I do have anxiety and I do work very hard to maintain that positive and happy side of myself.

And yet, right now I am struggling. I would usually have a writing advice piece on the blog today, but today I decided that instead, I would give you a glimpse behind the mask I wear. If nothing else, it might make someone out there know that they're not alone. It helps me to know that. As much as I wish that no one else had days like I'm having right now, I know there are. And for those people, I just wanna say, yeah I hear you.

So today, take a moment, take a breath and remind yourself that, even though it's a platitude, you have made it through 100% of your worst days so far, you got this one down too. I hope you have a happy day today and if not, then tomorrow. Keep going. Keep breathing and keep writing. I know I will.

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