One of the most helpful mental health techniques I’ve learned is the importance of knowing how to get out of my own way. This article explains that technique in excellent detail.
‘You make problem, you have problem.’ – Jon Kabat-Zinn When it comes to problems, we all have them. Many problems, however, are self-imposed. Startling thought? It’s meant to be. If you want to narrow the list of problems you have, start with a firm decision to stop making problems in the first place. Already, the objections start, beginning with the problems that others create that have a direct effect on you. Surely, you didn’t create them. So, how can you stop those problems? Nice try, but that’s a weasel-out excuse that won’t work. While you don’t have control over the problems others create, you very much have control over your response, action or inaction. In other words, it’s what you do that counts, not what the problem is that you face. It’s the same with problems that you manufacture. Indeed, it’s all in how you regard the situation. If you think it’s a problem, it’s going to be a problem. If you view it in a more positive light, the problem is no longer a problem, but an
Source: How to Stop Making Problems for Yourself
Filed under creativity, Depression, Family, frustration, Goals, love, marriage, neurodiversity, parenting, perspective, Self-image, therapy
by Lillian Csernica on June 6, 2017
Yes, it’s that time again. Life’s daily stressors combined with two or three sudden unwelcome surprises have left me waging guerilla warfare against my own depression. This comes at a particularly bad time. I have writing opportunities to make use of, commitments to fulfill, as well as organizing the celebration of my younger son’s graduation from high school.
These things are very difficult to accomplish when it takes a massive effort of will just to drag myself out of bed every morning.
I am not alone. You are not alone. We are not alone in suffering the crippling effects of depression, whether temporary or chronic. In keeping with the Buddhist philosophy of “taking positive action for the good,” I offer this list of helpful ideas.
Why Writers Are Prone to Depression
Writing Your Way Out of Depression
Neurological Similarities Between Successful Writers and the Mentally Ill.
7 Ways to Help You Write When You’re Depressed.
The Writer and Depression (Chuck Wendig)
The important thing is to keep writing. Make lists. Brainstorm. Letters to your imaginary friends. Anything that keeps the pen moving. Suspend judgment and blow off the Internal Editor. Just write. One day at a time. Just write.
What do you do when depression gets you down? What helps you keep the pen moving? I would love to hear your ideas and coping strategies. Let’s see how many answers come in before Friday, midnight. I will roll the appropriate die, the winner shall be chosen, and that winner will receive a free ebook copy of either The Writer’s Spellbook or The Fright Factory.
Filed under creativity, Depression, editing, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, Goals, historical fiction, homework, memoirs, neurodiversity, publication, research, romance, science fiction, steampunk, sword and sorcery, therapy, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on May 13, 2017
Looking for inspiration? Technique? Some solidarity and comfort? Somewhere on this list you’ll find what you need, along with so much more. Enjoy!
Source: 20 Inspiring Pinterest Boards for Writers
Filed under classics, creativity, Depression, dreams, editing, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Horror, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, research, romance, science fiction, steampunk, sword and sorcery, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on May 3, 2017
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I live with Major Depressive Disorder. I take medication and I’m in cognitive behavioral therapy. There are a lot of blogs and articles and opinions out there right now about mental health, what it is and what it isn’t. I came across this particular article and was struck by how much sense it makes.
6 Things the Internet Gets Wrong About Mental Illness
Please read this article. People don’t believe me when they find out I have chronic, clinical depression. They see me writing and making sure my sons have what they need and they think I’m hanging in there despite all the stress. That’s because I’ve learned how to pass for cheerful in our relentlessly perky social culture. The fewer assumptions people make about those of us who suffer with any kind of mental illness, the sooner we’ll reach that point of compassion and support these articles might easily sabotage.
Thank you for listening. Remember, you are not alone.
Filed under Depression, doctors, Family, frustration, Goals, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, neurodiversity, Self-image, therapy, worry, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on January 18, 2017
Tonight I consumed my last pint of Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra.
Tomorrow morning I begin a medically supervised accelerated weight loss program.
When I was ten years old, my parents took me to see a dietician. I was already 5’6″, and already 152 lbs. Not good. Now I’m forty years older and 100 lbs heavier. Time to stop kidding myself about the health problems that are right around the corner if I don’t do something about my weight problem RIGHT NOW.
This is not a New Year’s Resolution. This is me deciding to act like a grown-up and stop indulging myself while blaming the depression, the difficulty of my life, some writing setback, or whatever other chaos afflicts me at that moment.
I have a plan. I have professionals backing me. I have a guidebook and a journal and a food scale and the necessary supplements. I’m going to do this.
There are so many stories waiting to be written.
There are so many birthdays and Christmases and personal triumphs ahead for both Michael and John.
There are so many places in the world I have yet to see, just in Japan alone!
There may be setbacks. That’s OK. I know how to deal with setbacks. You just take a deep breath, focus on the next indicated action, and start moving forward again.
I can do this. I will do this. For me, for the kids, for my writing.
Filed under chocolate, Christmas, Conventions, Depression, doctors, editing, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Food, frustration, Goals, Japan, Lillian Csernica, parenting, perspective, publication, research, Self-image, special education, therapy, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on November 13th, 2016
It’s a good thing women are neurologically wired for multitasking. Without that advantage, I would be a smoking pile of rubble right now.
In addition to cranking out seven pages of fresh writing every day on my NaNo novel, I’ve had to edit and polish two short stories. The first weighed in at 3300 words, the second at 5300. Both were due today. I sent them to my editor last night. Go, me!
As if all that wasn’t enough fun, I’ve had brainstorms for at least two new short stories.
This is all good, but it feels like Finals Week. I’ve been downing so much caffeine I’m surprised my arrhythmia hasn’t started up again. The only cure for mental fatigue is getting away from reading and writing for a little while. (I never really thought of grocery shopping as being therapeutic, but today’s trip to the market qualified!)
So this is what the Big Names do all the time. Wow. Let’s hope I can keep this up after the formal end of NaNoWriMo. It’s good to be preoccupied with my writing. That really keeps the depression under control.
Filed under creativity, Depression, editing, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, Goals, historical fiction, history, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, neurodiversity, publication, steampunk, therapy, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on October 12, 2016
Back in 2014, I won NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words of Garden of Lies, the second book in my Flower Maiden trilogy.
I have just signed up for NaNoWriMo 2016. I hope to get to the 50,000 word mark on the third book of the trilogy. 7 pages a day, every day.
I thumb my nose at the Forces of Chaos that beset me on a daily basis. Come what may, I shall write my daily quota. By December 1, I will have at least half of the first draft of my new novel.
(Then comes the Labor of Hercules known as Editing the Manuscript, but I’ll get to that when the time comes.)
I send my best wishes to everybody else
crazy dedicated enough to embrace NaNoWriMo!
Filed under Awards, creativity, Depression, dreams, editing, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, historical fiction, Humor, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, love, marriage, nature, romance, sword and sorcery, travel, Writing
“All men must escape at times from the deadly rhythm of their private thoughts.”
—Raymond Chandler, The Simple Art of Murder
Today was one of those days when I had to get out of the house to get out of my own head. I packed up my notebooks, a short story in progress, a fistful of pens, and I took refuge in the local library.
(It’s a sad state of affairs when the local coffeehouse holds more peace and quiet than the library does.)
I wanted something to read, something that wouldn’t tax my weary attention span, yet something that would nourish my writing mind and maybe even get me fired up again.
I roamed the Mystery aisles, where I found The Simple Art of Murder. The Preface is in fact the eponymous essay written by Chandler that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. If you have anything to do with the writing life, you’ll enjoy reading that essay.
The above quotation, taken from the essay, struck me as being a profound truth. Chandler said it in the context of explaining why “escapist literature” has just as much right to exist as what critics consider the more high brow type of literature. My preferred leisure time reading is a good mystery. Getting caught up in the puzzle and the characters takes me away from the stress of my every day life and whatever burdens are weighing on my mind.
Being trapped in “the deadly rhythms” of my private thoughts can trigger my depression or be a symptom of it. Writing in my personal journal isn’t much help then. This is when I need to plunge into the mind of a character. Sinking down to the bone deep level of want and need in someone I’ve created lets me engage in what I think of as primal scream therapy on paper.
There’s a lot of advice out there about how you cannot wait until you’re “in the mood” to write. That’s true. Take the mood you’re in and squeeze it for all it’s worth. Anger. Hate. Grief. Frustration. Despair. Negative emotions tend to be the ones we hold back, so they’ve already built up considerable pressure inside us. Cut the brake lines and ride that emotion down the mountain to whatever head-on collision awaits. It will be messy, but it will also be worth it.
Filed under classics, creativity, Depression, editing, fantasy, Fiction, Lillian Csernica, perspective, publication, therapy, Writing
This weekend Withteeth and I went to a writing conference. I haven’t talked about my writing in a while, but it is still something I’m pursuing. However, conferences are incredibly difficult for me. As such, I wanted to write a bit about the struggles with anxiety and how to deal with it both for people […]
via How to Deal With Anxiety — hessianwithteeth
I’d like to express my gratitude to hessianwithteeth for giving us all these insights into such complex and demanding experiences.
It’s so wonderful that people with visible disabilities are gaining recognition and inclusiveness. Life can be even more difficult for people with conditions that can’t be seen from the outside. My own Major Depressive Disorder has been gaining the upper hand these past two weeks, making this issue all the more immediate and important to me.
Remember. You are not alone!
Filed under autism, Conventions, Depression, frustration, Goals, neurodiversity, publication, Self-image, special education, therapy, worry, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on August 2, 2016
School is still out. Summer school is over. That means Michael is home all day every day with the exception of adventures such as the San Francisco Zoo and his latest specialist checkup at Stanford. When we have enough staff, we have two eight hour nursing shifts, resulting in coverage from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
We do not have enough staff.
This week I get to cover the a.m. shift. 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eight hours of keeping a vigilant eye on Michael, changing diapers, giving medications, and in general keeping him entertained.
At this time a year ago Michael was in the Oakland Children’s Hospital in serious danger of death from organ failure. All things considered, I should be overjoyed to have him home where the worst thing he’s suffering is boredom.
Taking the a.m. shifts with Michael is reminding me all too strongly of the terrors of watching over him in the hospital. It’s a strain both physically and emotionally. I love my boy and I will do right by him.
I must also be careful to do right by me.
This involves pushing onward with my efforts to edit Sword Master, Flower Maiden. Given that most mornings I don’t have two brain cells to rub together, this work demands rather more of an effort than usual.
I shall prevail! All prayers, good thoughts, and best wishes are most welcome!
Filed under Depression, doctors, editing, Family, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, historical fiction, hospital, Lillian Csernica, mother, parenting, perspective, PICU, Special needs, worry, Writing