I was honored enough to be asked to return to help Gail Z. Martin out on her campaign for mental disorder awareness, depression and suicide and last night had this brilliant post in mind.
Naturally, I can’t remember what it was.
But alas, I am a writer and have the solution thanks to my social media feed and the Fake News.
When we talk about mental depression, we’re really talking about a state of being that seems to many of us, a state we cannot control. Though, to some extent, via my second post from last year, we can. Thoughts that go in to our head can influence, and will influence us on a deep, subconscious level.
It’s hard to stop that spiral but is it easy to keep it at bay for as long as possible?
Sure. Yes, as writers we’re supposed to be accessible in this modern day and age but when things get out of hand on social media?
TURN THE FUCKING SOCIAL MEDIA OFF.
Focus on scheduling your posts ahead of time, handling all your business, and then turn the shit off. It isn’t serving you.
Yes, this may seem counter-intuitive as I stated above but what’s more important? Your career or your mental health?
I have a number of tricks I use to blunt what I think might be depression and they all involve some form of disconnecting from reality. Again, thanks to Tim Ferriss, Vishen Lakhiani and as of late, Emily Fletcher.
My first trick usually involves taking a solid day off and disconnecting from technology completely. I can’t go so far as Tim Ferriss where he ditches his phone except for texting and GPS, I have three girlfriends. But if I have my iPad in my hand, I’m reading and it’s fiction – romance usually. Or personal growth, but even that’s kept to a minimum.
This gives my mind a day away from ANY of the bullshit on social media that can create anxiety. I’ve also found myself eager to come back to whatever project I’m working on when I do return from that day off. I’ve also found my creativity spike. My ability to get back into a story explodes even as I say “I don’t know if I can do it.” Two hours later, 3k written. BAM.
Something that’s still having a long term effect on me is a commitment I made to not just The One in my heart, but the others who occupy room there too.
This is a snippet from an IM I sent. The IM that started that is in Italics.
“I am not about money and you don’t have to be rich for me.”
It’s made me think about the way I work as an author and my own financial goals. It’s made me question them and start to really untrain myself from HAVING to kill myself for novels and just write them the way I always should have – because I enjoy writing them and my growing base of readers enjoys reading them.
It’s made me think about my models of reality and the fact that, originally I had to prove myself by working very hard and showing proof, even at the expense of my own life, that I’m not lazy. It’s how I developed my heart condition. So, I have to untrain myself from that, and realize that I am truly happiest as an author, speaker, teacher, professionally.
An unexpected one was that for a long time
(before we met as adults) I had to prove myself, my worth to my loved ones, and ultimately myself. That simple statement she said, started to unwind in my head. Because she loves me as she does, unconditionally, I have nothing to prove. I only have to be me.
These all came from my teenage years and the brules I bought – IE the stories/lies I’m always telling you that humans buy. I’m choosing new stories, ones that are more conducive to a happier, more fulfilling life.
That commitment was made just after the Millionaire Mind Intensive I did last year. The reason that came about is because The One comes from money and I had this old brule in my head about what “I” needed to be, and now “how.”
Now I won’t lie, I was at a con recently and shit came up again I thought I’d buried – hence a problem. The suggestions I’m offering are not one fix solutions. They take time.
Think about it. You grew up with a system of beliefs that took 20, 30, 50 or more years to develop and SEAL IN. One meditation session or a weekend event on personal growth will only begin to uncover the dirt hiding the shit.
Zig Ziglar stated plainly. You don’t bathe just once to get clean forever.
Next tip: Seriously?
Once a day, watch this. It’s called the Six Phase meditation and is a brain hack that guides you into a more blissful state of being. Science is behind it. In 40 Years of Zen, Vishen, Dave Asprey (Bulletproof coffee/diet) and a few others hooked their brains up and spent 7 days all day meditating through various phases and watched brain wave patterns change.
You can read Vishen’s blog post here. The takeaway from this though is that doing something that takes you out of your SELF and connects you with Source (god, goddess, whatever you call it) has a profound effect on your behavior and mental state.
Last year I was out getting liquor and the bus ride was a pain because the bus runs only once an hour in either direction and I live in the hot state of Georgia and after starting meditating practices, I found myself feeling “bad” for bitching about the heat. That may seem like a small thing but you have to understand that for years, I ran on my anger. I LOVED it. I let it run everything in me from (unconscious) behavior to belief in my writing.
I have kept this practice up for most of the year (since April/May of last year actually) and have found myself just deciding to “have one less.”
I’m not making a conscious choice to drink less. I just find that I do. The blog post talks about the secret to enhancing brain waves as being forgiveness. That usually means all the pinheads and morons who have pissed us off, we release that energy. But, what if as I mentioned in a previous post that’s you? You bought the bad story. You bought the lie. You did the damage because YOU let them sell you shit?
Forgiveness runs both ways. It’s been a lesson I struggle with because I LIKE being a Type A person but nobody is born that way. I allowed them to create this in me. Now? If I use the hacks to be that Type A person, I’m efficient. But my dreams haunt me sometimes and there’s a younger version of me screaming at me. (He stopped screaming a few years ago when I started acknowledging him) and now?
Part of my six phase routine is actively forgiving myself for what I did based on lies and mistruths.
Truth be told? I’m actually a LOT lighter in energy and spiritual weight. Creativity comes faster, more often. I’ve come up with three story ideas since starting this blog post honestly.
I appreciate more out of life. From my bartenders (the greatest) to my girlfriends (I have the best girlfriends) to the deals I make in publishing, to the work I do, I have found that life just feels better. Again, disrupting the mind is something that should be done often and routinely but with inconsistency to keep you fresh and that may just help.
About the campaign:
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK),SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to http://www.HoldOnToTheLight.com and join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WeHoldOnToTheLight