Writing as Escape

Writing as escape is something very familiar to me, and it is a comfortable sort of escape, at least in my book.

I’ve been told that I seem to process everything I feel or experience through my writing – I suspect that goes doubly for when the things I have been experiencing (or putting myself through, even if unintentionally) are making me feel like hell on toast.

Some of the worst times in my life, I have retreated to creating new worlds and characters, or playing within existing ones. (Now that means fanfiction – mostly – once upon a time it mostly meant playing out what was basically live-action fanfiction, sometimes convincing other people to play out the storylines I created with me.) It gives me something else to focus on – distraction! – or work through, or both.

When I’m stressed out or have too many things clamouring to be handled (this past week presents a fairly minor example of that, for me, unfortunately) I will start yearning back to my keyboard and pen. Even if the stories are difficult or if I have something I’m too stuck on to be quite as passionate about writing, that represents problems I can solve and a world at my own direction to lose myself in. Continue reading

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Managing Anxiety – When Doing Everything Right Still Isn’t Enough

As you may know – I’m not too terribly close-mouthed about it, at least in some respects – I have a list- well, a tangled knot of . . . emotional problems, or mental illnesses or disorders or what the hell ever the ‘correct’ term is. ‘Glitches’, as Captain Robert Brown said last week.

Chronic depression, several flavours of anxiety disorder (probably social anxiety is the one that rears its head the most, though they’re messily interlocked), a handful of other things. I mostly have a handle on them, these days. Mostly without pharmaceutical assistance. That doesn’t mean that they’re not a problem, that I’m ‘cured’, or that I don’t have bad days. It means . . . I know some ways to manage myself and my problems and stay functioning. I have an excellent, though small, group of people who are awesome and supportive to whom I can say ‘I am facing this everyday task and I want to cry thinking about it’ or ‘the thought of going to this necessary event makes me feel like I’m about to throw up’ and they understand, even if not from the inside. They encourage and comfort and never say things like ‘there’s no reason to be upset’ or ‘nothing bad will happen just calm down’. (I understand the people who offer these are trying to help; it doesn’t.)

Recently I got a rather unpleasant reminder that ‘I have figured out how to handle my problems’ doesn’t mean ‘I can negate the ill-effects of my problems’. Continue reading