My friend Kim and I have been meeting every Tuesday (when possible – sometimes not at all, other weeks on different days, depending on schedules. We do what we can when we can, get off my back!) at a coffee shop where we attempt writing. Sometimes we spend several minutes to an hour of our meeting talking about our lives and respective relationships. Other times we open our laptops and do our best to put some words to the page.
You can see how productive this has made me.
I have enjoyed our conversation because it has offered a sort of connection that I need. It’s a relationship with a fellow writer, to talk about process or feeling stuck or breaking open to spill our words all over. Rejoicing and offering advice to one another. I’ve had a long progression of harping on how I feel so stuck, supposing it could be this reason or that. It has been so nice to have someone who can understand the difficulty in that.
I have written blog posts quite often, later deleted because I didn’t like what I was reading. I’ve only recently started to realize how the depression has lingered in strange ways. While my mood is quite good and stable – I’m feeling all the feelings without being overwhelmed! – there are some things that haven’t quite been ironed out. I have some issues with my short-term memory. Occasional bouts with lack of motivation. A certain kind of stupidity that I can’t quite put into words – which is a part of that stupidity – an inability to use words in the ways I used to be able to. I do , however, feel this gently floating back into my life. Taking it’s sweet fucking time, sure, but arriving bit by bit. The words are filtering back in, and I’m finding myself better able to express myself in words that aren’t fuck, shit, stupid, good, bad and whore. In therapy this week my counselor told me he had noticed these changes, too. He didn’t say I was stupid, but he did say he notices a significant uptick in my cognitive abilities – I’m responding without taking as much of a pause, my thoughts flow more easily, I make better eye contact, I speak more clearly and concisely.
I find that certain routines or pleasures that depression took away from me – the ability to read a book and take in the words, the chance to hear music and let it take me to a different place – are returning. As I write I’m listening to Yo-Yo Ma and as it blasts through my headphones I can feel the notes vibrating through my body, as if they’re bouncing off of my bones – crashing through my ribcage. I’m transported to a place that doesn’t feel like the coffee shop on whose uncomfortable wooden bench I was sitting on only a few moments before. This is not new to me, but has been absent so long it almost feels unfamiliar. A pleasant and wonderful surprise that leaves me wanting to explode in the same ways the music does. I’m not there yet – but the wanting is filtering back in and that’s something important. It’s a notable occurrence that will, in time, lead me to that well of creativity that I’ve shut myself off from.