Pause: Breathe

Since I finished the Homeopathy chapter of Trick or Treatment today, I had planned to write a post about that. But there’s something else I should address.

I’ve been blogging a lot more lately. Most of this is an an honest effort to  practise writing more and carve myself out a “beat”. But a small part of it has another motive: I’ve been trying to bury this post – Cat rescue wrap-up. Why? Because in it I admit that depression held me back from true action, and following up on my words. I was ashamed. I wondered if I could really be a journalist if that kind of pressure and attention sent me into a drawn-out panic that kept me awake at night with bizarre concerns, like that the rescue association were going to take my cats away.

Then today I read this article by a journalist I really like, called Martin Robbins, where he talks about his struggles with online writing and his own mental health. The internet can be an unimaginably cruel place, leaving writers with a “profoundly distorted world-view.” Nearer the end of the article, however, Robbins has this to say:

That said, nothing is more irritating than the idea that because I’ve suffered from depression, because I’ve taken an overdose, I’m somehow unable to cope with the real world. I may be mildly fucked in the head, but I’m not remotely fragile.”

Am I fragile? I do sometimes find it difficult to cope with the real world. But I think that’s only when I’m having “episodes” (as many of you know, recent events have caused a relapse). One of the things that has always been the most difficult for me to accept with depression is that it will never be “cured.” Like my glandular fever (or “mono” for you North Americans), it will always be there, hiding out in my body, ready to take over when I’m vulnerable. Rather than defeating it, I have to find ways to manage it and minimise it and make the most of the time between episodes.

What’s the point of this post, in the end?

Martin Robbins gives me hope that one day I can be as awesome as him.

(P.S. Also, my thesis work will be published in The Tyee next week, so we’ll see what kind of reaction I get then! As you can tell from previous posts, I’m very confident in the conclusions of my work, and I’m hoping this will help me shrug off any irrational criticisms.)


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