i suffer (i sUfFeR) with depression and i am a writer. i am a writer who likes to share their work and sometimes that can become draining causing burnout – sharing on social media, updating a blog, Patreon posts, readings, sending subs out to publications etc.
if you’re a writer who likes to share their work, self-promotion is very important. It can consume you. i don’t do much of it anymore because of my aforementioned depression.
When i am depressed i do not want to share my writing. i don’t even want to write. i don’t want to do anything.
It can be difficult to recognise when you have stopped sharing.
i only notice when i have edited some of my poems, i have liked them, and i felt like sharing them. Then i’m like wait i want to share something new? and i realise it has been a while since i really wanted to do that. For me, sharing my poems is about connection. One thing you don’t want to do when depressed is be connecting with people. There’s a disconnect. And wanting to share signifies i want to be vulnerable and open again.
i feel with depression so much shit builds up – it’s like a dam waiting to burst. And it’s a relief to be able to finally let it out. Which with poetry is a great combination. Any writing.
The toilet flushes. The plumbing is sound. That’s good. I get diarrhoea. My poop is yellow.
I worry about it, but it’s faint now. I drink alcohol because of all my worries and that’s another one to toss into the big old bag of shit I carry around with me everywhere. You experience so much and then you find a way to cope and it numbs the pain. You might be a zombie but at least you can function.
I exist. I don’t live.
People were concerned, now I’m sure they think what an asshat, what a pain in the backside. Where is Jude going to reappear in my life next and will they even be sober, will I have to bail them out of a situation.
Depression makes you selfish. I think that is after so long neglecting yourself, depression moves in and it makes you into a vile person. A pity party of one. An angry, furious flaming ball of hate. It’s asking for help, for those needs to be met. But depression stinks and no-one wants to help someone who seems like they don’t even want to help themselves.
Addiction makes you selfish. All you want is that thing that will distract you, make you feel better.
The thing that is slowly destroying you. Destroying every opportunity. It will kill me. I don’t know if I care about that. I think about my funeral, and how many people will show. I think Steve would. I don’t think anyone else would. I wouldn’t even bet on them crying for me. If they did, that would be stupid. How dare they cry when they wouldn’t stick around. Sometimes I think I stay alive to spite them. Imagine if I rose out of the ashes, victorious. Imagine if I achieved happiness.
Depression AND addiction. It’s a good thing that I have my lighter moments.
i have a new prose/poem called BITS up at Foxglove Journal. This is one of the poems in my newest wip abt home, belonging & connection. It would mean a lot if you read it. You can read BITS at https://foxglovejournal.wordpress.com/
I didn’t follow any particular process writing Here Comes the Sun. I wrote the poems in this book on loose pieces of paper, while I was in different countries in Europe. Some of the poems were my reflecting on things and others – scenes that were unfolding at the time. I think this was one of the first chapbooks I put together that had a strong theme. I had written a lot of love poems previously, when I was a baby poet and posting on Tumblr. There are still poems on love in this book, but not as many. There are poems that have humour, are silly and a section of micro-poems too.
When I was putting together the poems in Here Comes the Sun I took care in editing the poems and, in saying them out loud, making sure they sounded right too. I find the movement in traveling, from train to subway to airport etc, exhilarating, so I tried to capture that.
People say ‘oh, you wrote a book,’ and treat it as if it is an achievement. I used to shit on that and say ‘it’s nothing,’ That’s BS. Writing a book takes a lot of courage, a lot of I don’t know what I am doing but I want to be able to communicate with you, the reader, and cause you to see something in a different way or feel emotions. It takes a lot of emotional labour. There is trauma in my poems on travel and I don’t talk about it. Being vulnerable can lead people to use that as a method to hurt you.
Here Comes the Sun, as a phrase, means all the good stuff to me, like hope and being alive and sunshine and summer and beaches and stepping out of an airport into a different country and feeling fresh air.