Friday, December 5, 2008

Writing as Therapy, or Why I Write Part 2

Consider this a "behind the numbers" post.

I started writing, in earnest, in July of 2007. I've written a little about my reasons for writing in a previous post. I'll try not to rehash, much.

In that previous post, I explained that the post Harry Potter blues led me to start. That, and 2006-07 had been a hard year at my house.

Our second son, Max, was born on April 30, 2006. Everything went fine: Max was healthy, Aimee was healthy, Owen proud to be a big brother. I was a bit nervous, of course, because Aimee had a pretty serious battle with postpartum depression after Owen was born.

The summer of '06 cruised along until August 1st. I woke that morning to find the postpartum was back, in a scary way. My wife didn't recognize me. She threatened to take the kids. The police were involved.

Aimee had two stints in the hospital that year. We had some rough times. Scary times. She is an amazing person, and fought the depression as well as she could. We all hung together; we all fought together that year.

There were moments when I was sucked dry. Exhausted. Spent.

We all have struggles. Everyone that reads this post has struggled with something life-changing. No one escapes unscathed. I emerged on the other side and examined my life. I had wanted to write for years. What was I afraid of? Rejection?

Been there, done that.

So I wrote a book. Then some stories. Pretty soon, I turned off the TV (I can't even tell you what's on a major network any night of the week). I stopped playing video games (I know--I'm 33, I shouldn't be playing them anyway). Once the kids are in bed and Aimee & I have our "five minutes" (we make time to talk about work, the kids, etc. each night--usually ends up being closer to an hour rather than five minutes), I write.

It's my therapy. It's a drug. I'm addicted.

And it keeps the monsters away.


Jamie Eyberg said...

Wow, that was powerful. I'll tell you my families life changing story but not yet. Not ready just yet. Had nothing to do with why I started writing but it has a lot do do with what I write now.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Hearing stories like that makes me worry for people who don't have an outlet like writing. It also makes me realize why some people are such amazing writers.

katey said...

Your personal honesty says a lot about why your fiction rings so true-- calling it admirable doesn't really manage to make the point, but it's the best I have.

Writing is similar for me. I picked it up again after a too-long break only when things went beyond bad. It's a powerful thing and I, like Natalie, hope that others who need it can find an outlet like it.

Catherine J Gardner said...

A very powerful post. Post-natal despression is a terrible thing, back in the 1960s they treated it very differently and my poor mum ended up having electric shock treatment after she had me.

Heather S. Ingemar said...

I write to keep the monsters away, too. :) It's a good thing.

BTW, from one short story writer to another, I read a few of your stories, and I must say, great job! I particularly loved "Snow," and "In Green Water."

All the best,
Heather S. Ingemar

Carrie Harris said...

PPD is a scary, scary thing. I'm glad you guys got through it okay.