This week I'm posting about the changes I notice in myself during a depression episode, and when it's over.
4. Blogging. When I'm depressed I find it very difficult to write this blog. The first reason is because my blog is entitled Wellness Writer, and I always feels it's somewhat hypocritical to call myself a wellness writer if I'm undergoing a depressive episode. A few months ago I wrote a post about this, and the answers I received suggested it isn't a problem for my readers.
But the second reason remains a real impediment. When I'm severely depressed, I need to marshal all my resources to aid in my own healing. So, spending a few hours a night writing a post, responding to comments, and visiting other people's blogs is exhausting.
During a major depression, I'm also unable to read about other people's problems (something Marja discussed in a comment from yesterday). A depression makes me feel so vulnerable that I can't set appropriate boundaries. So, if someone writes to me about how miserable they feel, I'm devastated for them. If they tell me about their problems, I can't cope with their unhappiness and my own. And if they write a comment I feel isn't sympathetic or kind, my feelings are terribly hurt.
In the same vein, when I'm feeling bad about myself, I focus far too much on the blog statistics. If my numbers are down, I feel unappreciated. If they're repeatedly down, I feel like I'm investing too much effort in a project that isn't giving me the returns I need. If I go through the blogroll, and read a series of posts that I find depressing, I find myself eliminating blogs from the blogroll.
If people reach out to me, and I respond, and they don't thank me, I feel unappreciated. If they don't respond to the comments I leave on their blogs, I stop reading them. If I can't find helpful tips and advice, techniques that work, stories that inspire me, and quotes that uplift me, I stop reading all the blogs that don't help me achieve wellness.
Tomorrow I'll write about how differently I feel about blogging when I'm well.