My Stolen Imagination

imagination photo

When I was a kid and a teen I had a huge imagination. I had so many story ideas I couldn’t write them fast enough. I kept

lists of novels I wanted to write, ideas that I wanted to explore.

I loved going to bed at night. I would close my eyes and daydream, usually about members of boy bands meeting and falling madly in love with me. Or I’d pretend I was one of my characters and mentally write scenes that were yet to come and exactly what I would write down the next day.

But when I got depressed, that all ended.

I stopped writing, except during November of each year, for Nanowrimo. But I never wrote new ideas, only ones I had come up with years before. I chipped away at my list of novels I wanted to write. When November ended, I turned off my laptop and never went back.

I didn’t daydream anymore. I genuinely couldn’t think of anything to daydream about. My life was so dark and colorless that daydreaming was pointless. Instead, when I went to bed I read fanfiction for endless hours. The familiar characters comforted me. I didn’t like reading original fiction anymore. The idea of reading about new people made my stomach twist into knots.

 

alone photo
Photo by My name is Randy

 

When I finally admitted my depression and went on medication to fight it, everything started coming back. First was my motivation. I wanted to do things again. I cared about my surroundings. People didn’t have to drag me out of the house. I had things I wanted to do.

When we moved here two years ago, I made a rule for myself that I could only read fanfiction at night. No more going back to bed after meals and doing nothing but read fanfic and nap. I had the ability now and I was going to take advantage of it.

Then came reading. I’d never stopped buying books, but they’d sat unread on my shelves. I bought books I knew I’d have wanted before I was depressed, and they were all sitting on my bookshelves, dusty and waiting to be opened.

Lastly, my imagination came back.

For the first time in years, I have new novel ideas. In fact, I’m starting to build up a list again of things I want to write. As I read, ideas pop into my head I need to jot down, complete scenes, characters, little blurbs for future books.

It hit me today how much I’d missed my imagination. Depression had come like a dark cloud, covering up all that was beautiful in my life. It had done so so slowly that I didn’t even realize what was gone until I came out on the other side.

Every day I see a little more of ME come back. And I swear on everything I love that I will never forget to be grateful. Because when the black days come back, I know that the bright days will return.

And the bright days make everything else bearable.

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4 Comments

  1. Excellent blog post, Lydia. Hope lots of people read it because I’m sure it’ll help them and give them hope.
    So glad you have confidence in the existence of brighter days.Hope there are lots of them lining up in your present & in your future. Good luck with your writing & have fun exploring your imagination. ((hugs)) xx 🙂

  2. I completely relate to this! I would only write during NaNoWriMo and then feel lost for the rest of the year until NaNo returned. I held onto NaNo like it was the only thing keeping me writing (maybe it was). It’s so encouraging to see a post where someone knew they were suffering and went to get help. Because I’m still struggling with actually seeking help when I feel like this (my good days make me push off doing anything about the bad days) but this gives me the courage to look into it. I hope your imagination continues to return and you write something incredible for all of us to read 🙂

    1. Don’t be afraid to seek help! Although I’m really one to talk. I spent almost five years seeing my psych every 3 months about my meds and saying I was fine. For some reason I pretended the depression didn’t exist, but I had no problems talking about my anxiety.

      It was worth it though. Meds and therapy have been improving my life since I was 17. I’d totally stopped functioning without them. People shouldn’t have to get to that point before they get help.

      I think Nano is the only time I was able to tune out the voices in my head and just write. When you have mental illness it makes those voices extra hard to turn off.

      Please feel free to message me anytime you need to talk. Hearing that my post has helped someone is why I put them out into the world. It’s far too easy to feel alone.

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