Disclaimer: I am going to get real today, if you are offended by the F word, I apologize. I use it a bit in my post today mainly as a means to convey the seriousness of the emotion. I have prefaced most instances of its use with *pardon my french* so you can readily recognize where it is at and avoid reading the word itself.
It seems, often enough, that writers tend to struggle with depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. We see literary geniuses like Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe, Tennessee Williams, and Stephen King, struggle with drugs, addictions, and alcoholism. Why though? Is it a prerequisite of a writer to have a *pardon my french* fucked up life? One that would inevitably drive them to drinking, depression, and eventually abuse, in which I mean of themselves, their writing, drugs, and all other manners. I think not. If a writer is doomed to such actions then the same could be same of Police Officers doomed to be functioning alcoholics, or Lawyers, or Artists. No, I do not think it is a problem inherent to writers alone.
I asked myself this weekend why I’ve been feeling anxious, worried, and at times a bit depressed. It is not my writing that is the cause of these feelings. I used to have panic attacks in High School, but these were isolated events and had specifically to do with the lack of understanding of having asthma. For a bit of background I was on the Wrestling team and a ways into my Sophomore year of High School I began to struggle breathing while exercising, the doctors diagnosed it as exercised induced asthma. Exercise Enduced, ha. However, prior to this diagnosis I was passing out from panic and fear.
My thoughts would get the better of me, I’d imagine that I would stop breathing and as I walked I would fall due to the lack of oxygen, and due to the fall I would hit my head, which would in turn give me a concussion, and concussed I risked damage to my brain, and without air to breathe to assist in repairing said brain I would suffer further damage, and if I became brain dead I would then be living as a vegetable in a hospital bed the remainder of my life… and so on.
All this from a bit of hard breathing. This is a panic attack. It caused my heart rate to increase and my body to flood with cortisol. One fear built upon another and another until I was in a veritable panic because I had a lack of understanding of what was happening to me.
On a side note, Mothers and Fathers this is why your daughters need to know about the normal girl stuff, before it happens to them, that sort of panic is not good for anyone.
However, I digress. I came to talk about my recent struggles and why it seems so many writers struggle with alcoholism and drugs and the like. Here is my thought, writers do not struggle with the aforementioned due to writing, but instead due to the stress of life. Money, Family, Obligations, the list goes on. I think the reason we see this in conjunction with writers so often is not because they are ruined individuals, but instead because writing is an outlet, and a writer writes.
Writing is where even the most *pardon my french again* fucked up person can allay their fears, their worries, and the stresses of life through their writing. So I guess what I am saying is that even though I am not perfect, and I am a little *pardon my french yet again* fucked up, that’s okay. In truth, we all are a bit on the *pardon my french, last time I swear* fucked up side. Some work out, others play games, I write. Until next time.
Your friendly neighborhood author,