and I can't say "better than ever," but I can certainly say "better than I was."
Hello, my name is Teresa Noelle Roberts and I suffer from occasional bouts of depression. And this summer and fall, even though many good things have been happening (book releases! short story publications! good friends getting married with me as matron of honor or, as we preferred to call it, Awesome Head Female! great vacation to Williamsburg, VA! highly successful garden! ongoing super-happy marriage and amazing friends!), I've been in a fairly bad place. I've been able to do what I had to do, but after that, my will and energy failed and I let a lot of projects slide, including this blog and my personal LiveJournal.
The good news is I'm coming out of the depression. The vacation helped, just a little time away from job-hunting (a task that these days is enough to send even Pollyanna into a funk, let alone someone who's prone to the blues) with good friends and focused on fun and geeking about food and history and often food history. I'll tell more vacation tales later, maybe with pictures.
Oddly, I think another thing that helped was the death of our beloved elder-kitty Measanan. It was terrible to lose him, but he was ancient by cat standards and obviously starting to fail. He wasn't in pain, but all summer, he's been at the point of being old and frail that if he didn't stir when I walked into the room, I'd run over to check that he was breathing. While his affectionate, purring black presence is much missed in the home office, I think waiting for the inevitable was more of a weight than I realized until the inevitable arrived and I could cry and let him go.
What does this all have to do with writing? Why am I sharing my struggles with depression on this blog? Partly it explains my absence. But there's more to my reasoning than just that. I'm not huge on revealing a lot about my personal life, at least the less than fun and positive bits, here. But I think this is important.
When I was a pre-published writer, I was sure that all my troubles, or at least my tendency toward these nasty slumps into darkness and inertia, would be solved upon publication. As it turns out, that's about as accurate as a single person thinking all problems will be solved by meeting the right partner. In case any pre-published writers (or single people, for that matter) who read this blog are subconsciously harboring that delusion, I'm here to say it's not true.
It's great to be published. It's a source of joy to me. I look at my bookcase full of print books and my files of e-books and I grin, even if I'm having a crummy day. Not to mention that it legitimizes spending time making up crazy stories. I'm going to make up the crazy stories one way or another, but getting paid for it is even more fun and keeps my mother from worrying she's raised a delusional slacker.
But I'm still occasionally depressed.
I adore my husband. Meeting him was the best thing that ever happened to me and I don't care how corny that sounds. We've been together for seventeen years and while I can't say it's always perfect, there hasn't been a day in those seventeen years when I haven't thanked whatever powers helped us find each other. We're stronger as a unit than we are separately. And that's not even getting into the parts of the relationship that inspires me to write naughty, sexy romances.
But I'm still occasionally depressed.
I have the best friends a woman could want, great cats, a comfortable home, a career I love. I also have something subtly odd in my brain chemistry that makes me have periods when, despite all the good in my life, I can see only the darker parts, the worrisome parts, the fears that, during these periods, grow all out of proportion. I've mentioned it to my mother before and she says "it's called being Irish," which may have some truth to it, or at least a narrative slant I prefer to defining it as a recurring sickness.
But whatever you call it, I've back from that unpleasant mental place now and I plan to be here more often, sharing good news.