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Grey Skies

Grey Skies

If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.
— Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

"This is absolute crap... Utter trash."

For about a month, these have been my thoughts almost every single time I try to write. 

And not only write, but film, bake, paint, sing. Every artistic endeavor. TRASH. 

For over a month, all has been silent on the ABD front. And for that I apologize. 

I hear the crickets too. 

And to explain the silence, I have to be honest with myself, and say the thing that I'm not supposed to say anymore.

Not as a "delivered" Christian; not as a mom; not as a wife.

I still deal with depression. 

Inexplicable, nothing is wrong but nothing is right depression. The kind that shows up when all is fine with the world and makes everything trash. Skies go grey, and everything becomes an exercise in going through the motions, waiting for it to pass. 

My creative attempts seem to send my depressive thoughts into absolute overdrive. 

 I struggled with writing this, because, for all of my public confessions, I'm ultra private with the things that truly matter. I have an invisible line, and I'll tell you everything up and to the line, but you may not pass. 

 I don't like to let people see the chinks in my "super-woman" armor, which makes dealing with my bouts of depression even more difficult. I won't tell anyone, save for my husband, that I'm teetering. And I'm infamous for pushing harder just to avoid dealing with the dark clouds in my head. 

I don't do pills; I don't do "rescue."  I'm all for therapy, but with kids, a husband, a career, classes and the pursuit of all things covered in glitter, there hasn't been as much time. 

And so I was still struggling to write this.

All the while still, I couldn't review a thing or write one fluff piece about shoes or makeup until it was done. 

 I've thought, "This is crap. Utter trash" a thousand times, scrapped dozens of posts, it seems. 

So I decided to stop forcing it. I put the pen down, I closed the Macbook. 

I took a step back. I prayed. I even considered the thought that maybe I am not a writer, or an artist, in any form. Maybe I can't finish what I started. 

And then I remembered a quote from one of my favorite "art" related books, "The War of Art," by Steven Pressfield: "The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation."

I thought about the people who send me emails saying that I wrote what they're afraid to admit about themselves. 

My need to "make" has always been a source of weight. In fact, I've never met a creative soul who wasn't secretly tortured - filled with this sensation of constantly needing to express something that can never be fully understood. It's never fully out; it's like something you can't purge and so it drives you to keep making things always aiming at the mark, never hitting it. 

It's heavy. It's an obsession. 

The fight between what my soul needs and what life requires - not to be a glitter covered mess heading in a thousand directions - is daunting. And  when I stopped pushing myself for a moment, it became okay to say that to myself. It became alright suddenly that everything isn't alright and that I doubt my own work. At the height of this thing I created, I froze. Like you do at the top of a roller coaster, right before you go screaming over the edge. 

I second guess myself.  I hate pretentious titles. But I realize now, if I don't own my craft(s), if I can't be big enough to call myself what I am, how can I expect anyone else to do it?

And so I decided that I am whatever I say I am, and I've resigned myself to a little hell, some darkness at times - but nothing less than a genuine representation of life. And I'll continue to help the people who get it. I'll be misunderstood by those who don't. I will probably never hit my metaphorical mark. But I'll damn sure try. 

So I hope you'll forgive my silence, and agree to enjoy a grey sky or two with me in the future. 

 

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