(First off, my apologies for any rambling or bizarre incoherency in this post. I may have written it while under the influence of Nyquil.)
As a kid, I was obsessed with the written word. OBSESSED. I was reading at the high school level in second grade. I wrote constantly. Most of it wasn’t very good, but I did it. I practically lived and breathed fantasy and science fiction; I read whatever I could get my hands on. I remember just about salivating whenever we’d go to a library, which was frequently, as no matter the size of the stack of books I took home, they were done the next day and I wanted more. Working at the library was my dream job (which I actually applied for, but was turned down, as I was exhausted from working a close at Wendy’s the night before and it showed.) My best friend had a job at the library, and I was so jealous.
I can remember several times I would disappear from events to go read a new book. Once at my own birthday party. When I was in middle school, I was allowed to take a friend with me to the family’s cabin, but I became weirdly obsessive about it and didn’t talk to her in favor of reading the stacks of books I’d brought for the first half of the vacation, and forever weirded the relationship. I couldn’t figure out why I was so oddly angry about her being there, but looking back, I think it was feeling a loss of control and not knowing what to do about it, so I buried myself in books.
I’ve been writing a series of novels spanning a huge universe I created to escape my childhood and the hell that my mind was becoming, for most of my life. The earliest writings I have are from around seventh grade. The whole universe has evolved dramatically, and the characters constantly surprise me with little tidbits about themselves. Once upon a time, I could sit and write for hours, and I would take pages with me to class to edit because I would get so bored. (Most of my high school teachers found this more amusing than anything, as I sat there scribbling with my red pen. I still had straight A’s so it’s not like I wasn’t paying attention.)
Everything changed when I went to the hospital in college, and was prescribed a mood stabilizer for the first time. Lamictal. I’ve been on it almost eight years now, and it’s been eight years since I was able to sit down and really write like I used to. I realize now that most of my writing jags were hypomanic episodes, but when I get hypomanic these days I clean the bathroom until I pass out or do something bizarre that I don’t remember later.
College has a way of turning the most prolific reader away from books, and I fell victim to that as well. I still devour books when I sit down with one but I don’t crave them like I used to. I can sit and try to write but the words don’t flow as easily now, though the story’s still there, in my blood, pulsing beneath the surface. This blog is the closest thing I have to writing continually again, and my attempt to publish something M-F is making it easier to sit down and write, at least about myself.
Someday I’ll be able to write again, but there’s just this… fog there, that refuses to lift. I know a lot of people find that fog disturbing and quit taking their medication to get the hypomania and mania back, because damn those feel good, but as I spend most of my time too depressed to function, I guess it’s worth it to me.
I can still create. I can still write, I can still create things with my hands, it just takes longer, and is harder to sit down and start than it ever was. Even after eight years it’s still hard, though my dosage has increased over that time.
I do miss those bursts of creativity and inspiration, though.