ROW80

Still Scribbling in the Stables

The news and resultant media coverage of Robin Williams’ suicide have knocked me off my pins a bit, given my niece’s suicide last June, and my own history of attempted suicide.   For the most part, I am avoiding the discussions, except the sensible ones such as August McLaughlin’s post and associated links. Suicide is a lying, attractive beast I have to wrestle back to its cage more days than not. To listen to the rampant stupidity being tossed around on TV makes the beast that more attractive.

However, in some odd way spurred by self defense, I am still scribbling on any surface that will take fountain pen ink, still grabbing any keyboard I can to dump the flow of thoughts and words and craziness flooding my brain right now.

Very little of it is pretty, and it took a long time to scrape together an acceptable WIPpet Wednesday excerpt, but the neurons are firing in some amazing aurora borealis ways.  I had the sort of day yesterday where tracing a thread through the research actually led to some amazing connections, not the usual, “How did I spend two hours on the Internet and find nothing useful?”

Even the day job is going well, which is amazing since Monday was one of those, “Can I swim the English channel instead of going to work?” days. It says a lot when one would prefer to be slathered in lanolin rather than face the veal-fattening pen.

So, I am upping the ante to at least one hour of writing/outlining/communing with characters a day.  Yoga and meditation are firmly in place, in small, non-vertigo-causing stints.  And I might have an office to show off on Sunday, if I’m lucky.

ROW80 is a writing challenge that knows you have a life, the brainchild of Kait Nolan.  Check out the description if you think you might like to participate, and either way, cheer on the participants here.

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16 thoughts on “Still Scribbling in the Stables”

  1. I hear you on the Robin Williams media blitz. I’ve suffered from depression most of my life, and have come up with various suicide plans, but have not tried to carry one out (Thank God – I guess). People tell me all the time how I make them laugh or ask how I can be in such a good mood all the time. They just cannot understand the constant pain inside. Looking at the “comic genius” of Robin Williams, I can only imagine how much more pain he felt on the inside. Sounds like you are keeping busy, which is a must! Just don’t be too busy. I’m glad to hear that you keep yoga and meditation in your routine. Those are things to never be too busy for! Hang in there! And best of luck moving forward.

    1. Chris, I’m sorry to hear you wrestle with that beast, too. I’ve been asked the same thing as you about how I can be funny if i’m depressed, but as you say, most people don’t understand the darkness within. I think so much comedy comes from pain, the choice being to laugh or cry. I usually choose to laugh.

      I’m so grateful that I have the words coming back to help me with the pain. They will help me hang in there. All the best with the rest of your week!

  2. The whole Robin Williams thing came from left field. It was so unexpected. I think we’re still in shock. And you my friend, you’ve had more than enough to deal with over the past year. Depression runs in our family. Our youngest son struggles with it. But, what family has not been affected by depression in one way or another? And then there’s you. Fight the fine fight and writing your way through it. I have so much respect for you Elizabeth. You have awesome goals. You’re truly an inspiration! ((Hugs!))

    1. Depression has deep roots in my family, too. My mother’s postpartum depression deepened to an abyss soon after I was born, so I come by it honestly, I guess. My youngest son struggles with it, too. My heart goes out to your son.

      Thank you for the hugs, Karen, although I certainly don’t see myself as an inspiration. It is helping to write about the swirl of lost opportunities and grief and anger of the past year. I was going to say, “even if it goes nowhere,” but it does help to write it, own it, and let it go. And {hugs} back to you!

  3. I wasn’t “surprised” by Robin Williams’ death. I’d heard of him dealing with depression years before, and… I knew, as so many people in the creative arts (you, Chris, Karen, and so many others) how seductive and sneaky that particular monster can be. I’m sorry for his family, but I can’t help but feel a bit of … joy is the wrong word, as is relief… solace perhaps, that he won’t be hurting any more.

    There’s too much hurt in the world already.

    Many hugs and much love.

    1. I suppose my surprise was due to forgetting the unease I felt at his stand-up decades ago, when I would think he was laughing at a wound. I understand what you mean about feeling solace. I still weep for my niece’s family, and cannot imagine that pain, but I know she isn’t in pain anymore, and that does provide some solace. I agree completely there is too much hurt in the world.

      Thank you for the hugs and the love, and I send them back to you, too.

      1. About ten years ago, I was convinced that Robin Williams had killed himself (and that he was a lot older than he actually was at the time). I never saw his standup live, but some pieces were on tv once in a while. “Laughing at a wound” describes a lot of people in the comedy industry, but him especially. He also did cameo in Dead Again that really hit me.

      2. I don’t think I ever saw Dead Again. I think there is some comedy that lives on causing others pain, and I never find that funny. But I wince in recognition when the comedy clearly comes from an inner wound.

      3. Dead Again was… well, it was one of my favorite movies. Of course, I’m a sucker for a romantic ghost/past-life story.

        I hear you. I don’t like a lot of comedy for that particular reason. Too much of it hits close to home…

  4. I’ve often thought Robin Williams suffered from manic-depression because his comedy swings so intensely from light to dark. I agree with so many that we do not know what others suffer. Each day can take more courage than we realize. My dear hubby has suffered from this disease, but I’m so grateful we’ve shared these last 40 years. So I do appreciate the bravery your own tenacity shows and hope the caring thoughts of even virtual friends supports you — in your writing and each day.

    1. Beth, I value highly the caring thoughts of virtual friends, whom I often feel I must know “in person,” as I feel very close. I’m sorry to hear your husband has suffered from this monster. My own husband would say I’m at least as ornery as I am brave, but it works. Thank you for your kind thoughts!

  5. A friend of mine sends out daily quotes. I saved Wednesday’s because it struck a chord with me on many levels. “You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.” My father suffered from depression, and I’ve had my bouts. Not nearly as deep and dark as many. But it is terribly easy for people on the outside, who have never experienced it on any level, to judge those who have. “Oh, but you have it so good.” or “You always seem so happy.” And they can’t ever see behind the mask. Or perhaps, they’re too afraid to look.

    1. Thanks for sharing that quote, Kathi–it is very true. It fits with my own motto, which is “The truth shall set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” I try to focus on the “free,” not the “miserable.”

      I think the people who rant about how suicides are cowards are more afraid than ignorant, but anyone who judges without knowledge is irritating.

  6. You are such a brave and beautiful person, Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing my link, even more so for sharing your heart and insight. Depression and suicide are so tough for people who’ve never been affected to understand, and surviving thrivers like you provide not only sheds light, but helps do away with ignorance that hurts so many. Much love to you! I hope you know that you always have a friend and supporter who “gets it” in me. *hugs*

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