Sunday, February 20, 2011


Regression … It’s not quite the word I’m looking for, but it’s the word that comes to mind. It dangles about, as if trying to snag me — tempt me into some forbidden lair. After leafing through the Gage Canadian Dictionary, I stumble upon this definition: “the act of going back; backward movement.” Perhaps it’s the right word after all.

I’ve been trying to treat myself gently in the face of my depression. I’m sleeping again, and in combination with my medication, I’m feeling 80% better than I did a month ago. I can see the improvement: I can read a magazine article from start to finish without feeling agitated, like I have to get up and do something else. I’ve made it back to the easel after a long absence. I’ve eased back into my morning writing routine. Despite the progress, I still feel as though I’m not moving forward — that I have in fact regressed.

It comes with the territory — the mood swings, holding me hostage to the past and heralding an uncertain future. At first it was the insomnia that was insufferable. Now it’s the roller coast ride of shifting moods. Take for example Thursday of this past week when I felt on top of the world. I had just finished a long season of rewrites, and quickly shifted gears, getting down to work on a new project. It seemed like I had once again found my footing — held on the verge of a bold new vista. Then to wake up Friday … the spring in my step was gone. I moved about on autopilot. I couldn’t really see myself in this world.

Let me be honest … What’s really eating at me is how long it’s taking for me to get back on track, to once again be “my old self.” I like to keep busy, going full tilt as it were — working on several projects simultaneously. That’s when I’m at my best, focused, and prolific. The sluggishness that lingers, the agitation, the mood swings — they’re a deadly combination for me. Deadly, yes, because they slow me down, telling my body to rest when my mind says, “Go, go, go.” Deadly, yes, because I have “lost” my self, and have to find a new way to move forward.

As I write this morning, I look out my studio window and am held captive by the leafless trees. Bare, they look sickly but they are not. When winter gives way to spring, the trees will bud and then bloom again. But for right now, they are resting. And that gives me hope for I, too, shall bloom here where I am planted.

1 comment:

  1. Don't be hard on yourself, my dear. These things take tie, but I am glad you are undergoing the creative effort as well. We love you!