Sunday, 10 January 2010

Writing isn't a cure..

Popular chick-lit writer Marian Keyes posted a newsletter on her web site this week, admitting her ongoing battle with depression. She went on to explain that she'd be taking some time out, and unsurprisingly in the age of understanding, there was an outpouring of support on her web site.

Inevitably there'll be holier-than-thou types that berate her, and comment that depression seems to just be 'fashion' etc, these days. Believe me, I've heard it all over the years, and while they never stop irking me, I've come to expect that attitude.

But this comment from Margaret Drabble (Guardian) really rattled my cage.

"Marian Keyes, in speaking out about her current desperate state, is already moving on. She is a writer and she will probably write her way out of it. That's what writers do."

To use her own ludicrous logic, there are no words to describe this woman's ignorance. Someone already commented on the piece but I will reiterate it here - Sylvia Plath did well to write herself out of depression, didn't she? Yes, she put out some food for the family then put her head in the oven.

She also puts the current openness of depression sufferers down to fashion. Really? Audicity, much? I think you'll find that most people feel able to be open now because of the general acceptance level going up - NOT because there is a bandwagon to jump on. And even if there were, who the hell is Drabble to take away a chance for depressive people to feel better?

And anyway, anyone who has suffered with any form of mental illness, will tell you that there aren't words to describe how desperate the feelings can get sometimes. It's as simple as that, there ARE no words. And if it were that simple to get over, there'd be a very rich person sitting on a basic and powerful cure.

It just angers me that in a world that popularizes all sorts of cultures, a rambling, knowledge-less journalist would cheapen the chance that any sufferer takes to feel better.

I've never been a fan of Marian Keyes' books - but I feel thorough pity and empathy for her. Hope she's back in business soon.

Guardian article: HERE

Marian Keyes' blog posting: HERE

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New year, new promises

It's a truth universally acknowledged that with the arrival of January 1st, comes a hoarde of resolutions from far and wide, slumped into one huge pot of broken promises that suddenly seem more relevant because "time is renewed". It's annoying bandwagon, but one that I am of course going to jump on and bore people with. Though I don't call them resolutions. More... targets. Makes it sound a bit more fighting.

Write more.
Here, there, everywhere. I want to blog more, at least twice a week, more if possible. There is so much I want to say both in the fiction and reality arenas and the only way this is going to happen is by forcing myself to write a whole lot more.

Take care of myself
I can't work at the moment because of a health problem that has no current solution. I'm in pain a lot of the time and always tired. Wherever this ends up leading, I will tackle it head on, and manage my time so that I devote enough of it to finally getting my body in its best condition. And yes, this means quitting smoking and cutting right down on alcohol.

Learn and master a new skill
I don't know what this is yet, and chances are that I won't know until later on this year. I'm not going to be specific about it, for all I know it could be knitting, drawing comfortably with a graphics tab, basic photography, learn the world's capital cities. I want to be able to say I've put my mind to something and learned a new skill.

Don't dream it.
I've tried on several occasions to turn my hand at modelling. Shoots I have done have always come back with great results and fantastic feedback from photographers, but then I don't chase anything up. It's been this way for about five years now. I enjoy it, and I'm still young enough to try new things with regards to it. I'm learning to love the way I look, so I want to celebrate that and work hard to achieve something, even if its just getting my pictures printed somewhere, just a one off.

Stop obsessing about getting off my meds
It might happen this year, it might not. I've finally learned that the important thing is to learn to live with myself the way I am NOW, rather than spend too much time thinking about wanting to get to know the person I could be when I'm not medicated.

And as with last year, I hope this year brings me the opportunities to meet new people, some in one-off chance meetings, others might wind up imprinting themselves on my heart long enough to become a friend. But I've learned how to interact with people now, I'm not the shy, bullied little girl I was in school. I've come this far, and there is no way in hell I'm giving up now.

Happy New Year.