First, a disclaimer. Sometimes I pretend I’m an MD who has specialized in whatever medical issue happens to be going on in my midst. Last week at church, for instance, when my friend mentioned that earlier that day, she had slipped on her stairs and bonked her head, I became a Head Injury Specialist. As such, I proceeded to scare the ya-yas out of her when I noticed one of her pupils was a little dilated. That’s when another friend stepped in—an actual nurse with actual training—and assessed that my head-injured friend was fine. Indeed she was. Mea culpa.
So, as I discuss my recent realizations on mental health, neuroscience and creativity, let’s remember I am a fiction writer. I make up stuff. Thus, take everything I say with a whole shaker of salt, perhaps even a salt lick.
All right. Let’s begin.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling bad or sad or mad, I like to shake my fist at my own mental health issue (chronic depression) because I really DO NOT LIKE having depression. While I do all the “right” things—see a Zen Buddhist mechanic (i.e. my therapist), take meds, meditate, exercise, eat mostly right, get almost enough sleep, blog about mental health in very public forums—the fact remains: my melon has fragile wiring.
But, as my mechanic reminded me just this past week, this irritating wedge of my DNA, this weak link that makes my melon more of a lemon, is probably the very trait that allows me to be a fiction writer. [Read more…]