Photo by Debra Lopez
_"I have had the worst writers block in my whole life, for as long as i can remember, writing was a way I could understand myself better. Whenever I was confused or frustrated about a situation, I would just write and it would help. But I havent written something I truly feel is a pure reflection on how I feel in almost 6 months. I am usually a strong-willed and motivated person in nature but ever since we’ve had to stay home because of covid, I’ve lost all sense of motivation and creativity."_
Does any of this sound familiar? I was in Morocco when the quarantine took effect. The very first thing I did was email my therapist. Because while America was complaining, Morocco went full out quarantine because as a country with less than 100 respirators, it was quarantine or death. Staying at home wasn't an option.
So imposed loneliness while BLM marches were being attacked while while innocent black people were murdered by the police during the first global pandemic of my lifetime is a recipe for depression.
Anxiety and hopelessness are the some of the ingredients that I was dealing with.
As a person who has dealt with depression in the past, I am uniquely adept at identifying my triggers and getting ahead of them.
Writing everyday was one of the things I learned must happen. Setting up levels of accountability and support was another. I scheduled weekly writing meet-ups just to stay engaged.
So what does that kind of depression look like?
* Waking up each day to horrible news of death and destruction can totally cause you to stay in bed. For days on end, I mean, what would be the point of getting up only to be shattered?
* Storm eating to feel better. Or cravings-based eating as opposed to eating for nutrition or a sense of well-being.
* All attempts at creating something have fallen by the wayside because there's an overwhelming feeling of being blocked or stuck?
* A complete lack of motivation to do anything. A feeling of why bother showing up for anything or anyone. It's a kind of melancholy brought on by dire circumstances from which we have no escape.
So, what do you do with this?
I went back to what I know:
1. Doing one thing each day that made me feel good:making lists.
2. Asking myself questions about what I wanted to feel.
3. Creating grocery lists of things that would get me closer to those feelings.
It's what I talk about in my TED Talk and what I'll be teaching in the next
"Get UnStuck: How to Write to Heal & Transform Your Life"
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April Yvette Thompson