For those of you that don't know, I suffer from depression. It makes life harder than it should be. Why? Almost everything becomes a chore and, if not difficult, certainly less appealing.
Getting out of a warm, comfortable bed is made more difficult becasue you ARE warm and comfortable. A situation you'll only rarely have when out of bed.
Likewise when writing. When you're in the flow, it's much easier, but getting into the flow is the hard part. For example, I'm writing this blog just after I've written another for my own blog, taking advantage of the flow. Yet I haven't written a 'blog' as such (Friday Fun doesn't count as it involves little if any writing) for over a month, even missing last months slot on the 30th. (Apologies Wendy)
Yet despite that, deadlines can be helpful for a depressive, providing they are not so far down in the pit of despair that all they see is the gloom not the light above.
It's also why I haven't progressed a short story I began last month, even though I really want to. It's a good story, but when I get round to thinking about writing, it's too late to begin as I have work, or something else is going on.
When you're sad, you're feeling something. When you're depressed you fell nothing. Everything is grey. It's why I dislike November and grey days so much. The rain I don't mind, as something is happening and I know it will pass. But grey days are terrible.
I've learned not to persecute myself for not writing and have acknowledged this means I am unlikely to win any awards or even get fully published, at least for now.
The climb out of depression is long, hard and, mostly, lonely. I'm the one who has to let go of things, to make new core memories, to look at the grey and actually feel something. I'll never make it on my own, but I can climb part of the way.
Which brings me back to writing. It's a lonely calling for the most part, sitting with a computer, a pen, a piece of paper and no idea what you're doing. But it can also be a rewarding one when someone voluntarily reads something you've published either traditionally or indepentantly.
Sometimes all a depressive needs is a physical hug. Other times, they need to be rolled in a blanket, given tea, biscuits and allowed to just 'be'. A loving kiss doesn't hurt either. Other times, a word of encouragement will do nicely.
Depression is not sadness writ large, nor is it emotional or spiritual pain. It's emptiness, loneliness and greyness.
A depressive feels nothing, yet can write profoundly when the emptiness is filled, even if only partly.
If you know a depressive, give them a hug and a cup of tea....or cheesecake. Listen to their silence, be a friend, care. They'll rarely respond, but when they do, there'll be love in ther eyes.