|Yes, this was a pitcher of beer
And then this year, I attended AWP in Chicago. Margaret Atwood was a keynote speaker. She made a joke something along the lines of:
I've been around so long people are starting to question whether or not I'm still alive.
|Brilliant woman. Still alive.
A few months after this I was invited to a middle school in Maine to talk about depression, cutting, eating disorders, etc. During my three week invasion, the option to kill myself became revoked. I fell in love with the students there. I told them they could have a future, and each day by querying, by putting myself out there, I am trying to prove to them that you can grow up in a shitty environment and come out swinging.
I'm not saying that every day it's easy to drive my car to work without the urge to veer it into oncoming traffic or off the cliff I drive by. (I actually had this conversation with one of my managers the other day.) Some days it's harder than others. But I don't do it, because I can no longer do it. I have something to prove to those students.
I may not live to make it to thirty. I may not make it to see 25. Who knows? But every day, I am alive, I fight the burden that many of the creative minds have. I am not mentally well, I've known this since I was in sixth grade. But as I said earlier, there are happy days. If live long enough for people to question my existence, I hope it will be a life well lived. I pray that I'll be able to stand in front of a room full of strangers and make fun of my age and the things I've been through.
The moral of all this is that as writers, we have an occupational hazard. We feel more than most people, and sadly those feelings aren't usually happy ones.
Don't give in to it. Don't die from your own hand. Seek help; support groups, therapy, psychiatric wards, friends, family. Live to joke about paramedics coming to your house and asking if you're still alive. Live to tell youngsters about paper back books when they existed.
Happy Monday :) (I know it's not Monday, but I didn't say Happy Monday yesterday, and this is how I roll)