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    Blog for Mental Health 2014

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Tough Timing, but then you know, Poetry

I’m glad it’s Poetry Month, even if I can’t devote as much time as I would like to.

It’s been a rough few weeks — and I’m what the docs call an “under-reporter”, so by that, please read: very hard.  I’m depressed, and my confidence is shot to hell.  I’m half-nervous, half-apathetic about an upcoming art show, which is a terrible mindset to have going into it.  I’ve mostly kept my head above the depression, but I anticipate an even bigger crash once the show is done.  That’s the usual pattern.

That’s the problem with putting so much energy into masking the symptoms of mental illness.  I’m already short on energy, so I need to burn “borrowed” fuel to pull it off: to hold casual conversations, to remember to start the dishwasher, to keep from bursting into tears until I’m safely behind closed doors.  To pretend I’m not terrified about my pending (looming) job-search.  I’ll burn even more playing the “cheerful productive professional artist” at the art show, instead of feeling my art career to this point has been a waste.

(Remember: depression lies.)

But having the poetry to distract in measured doses has helped.  Reading what everybody’s coming up with. And the NaPoWriMo “prompts” give me a framework to muddle about in.  I’m not trying to push myself too much this time around — no scrambling to make up lost days — but even eight or ten poems this month is enough to make me feel I’ve done something productive with my time.

I’ll enjoy that while I can.  The crash will come later.

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