They say that if you’re stuck home, you should have lots of free time. They say that if you’re not producing something and you always said you would, the problem isn’t the amount of time. It’s the discipline. They say that now is the time to be creative.
I wonder if any of them have depression.
Since this whole pandemic things started, my free time has shifted. I do have a little bit more once I dig through all the various obligations both family and ministry give to me. So if my problem is simply not having enough time to write, well, I should be able to produce some more!
And I have produced some more. Two more short stories have gone out!
But this week… I’ve done very little in the realm of writing. According to what they say, the problem is all me.
They’re right, but not necessarily in the way they think.
We’re all living in through a national trauma. Some of us are getting through with grit. Someone of us are distracting ourselves with binge-watching our shows or burying ourselves in books. Some of us are so laid-back that it’s just not that big a deal.
And some of us are being hit with the reality of the situation in very difficult ways. Maybe we’re separated from loved ones. Maybe we’re extroverts, and quarantine really does disturb the mental equilibrium. Maybe someone we care for is sick – maybe not even from this disease, but from something else – and we’re not allowed to visit.
All of that takes up mental and emotional energy. And at the end of the day, caring about what’s going on around you isn’t a discipline problem. It’s being empathic. It’s not a problem of beating yourself up; it’s the simple truth that you’re human and you have limits. When the mental and emotional energy is gone, you can’t grunt yourself more energy. You need time to rest and recharge.
Which is a long way of saying: I’m not doing all that much writing this week.
It’s very normal for me to slip into a depressive episode after Easter. This year it’s worse than normal due to all the abnormal happenings. It’s nothing drastic, but it’s enough that I’m spending all my emotional and mental energy simply staying functional. That means… no energy for creating.
Maybe you’re in a similar spot to me. Maybe you’re fighting just to stay upright.
It’s ok if you’re not creating in all your spare time right now. It’s ok if you’re just getting through the day.
Get through the day. That’s enough.
And one day you’ll have enough energy to create again. I’m hoping sooner rather than later, but let’s just get through today to start with, all right?