So, in my schizophrenic attempt to rekindle the writing flame since my husband’s death, I have started therapy to deal with depression and other issues that are hard to combat without him, started reading a physical book called Outwitting Writer’s Block and Other Problems of the Pen by Jenna Glatzer, reading an ebook called Journaling: How to Write a Journal that Improves Every Aspect of Your Life by Kyial Robinson, and using a meditation program called Headspace – meditation by Headspace, Inc on my smartphone.
Honestly, not real sure the therapy is doing much to help, but I’ll keep going for a while.
The books are entertaining at least. I prefer to read through first and then implement as I can. Glatzer is funny. Kinda has my sense of humor. (Basically, she’s a smartass. At least, the right amount of smartass. I like that.)
Headspace is actually helpful. My husband had always advised (and admonish my reluctance) to meditate. It’s kinda hard to focus on your own when your brain is constantly bouncing around. Even in its silence, it avoids focusing on things especially when there is a high discomfort level.
The one thing I am grateful for in all of these avenues is that, save for one brief exercise thus far mentioned in Glatzer’s book, there are no “visualization” components. I really dislike those because, at least when I’m awake, I cannot see things in my head. It’s called aphantasia and it’s annoying as all hell. (And depressing because my husband avoided the camera like the plague and I can only see him with photos.)
But the thing that is annoying is that there is literally nothing out there that deals with creative slumps when something major/tragic happens. Oh, there are vague suggestions to “just do it,” and the “it will happen! Give it time,” consolations. The former makes me want to bite people’s Achilles tendon and the latter I refuse to disagree with but not without some worry that I might be wrong.
I worry for a lot of reasons. When you lose someone in your life, especially the one person you were supposed to spend the rest of your life with, you see your own mortality, and how fast time passes. I had already had a 10 year hiatus that ended when I finally finished and published The Raging One. As I’m edging ever closer to the half century mark (that my husband avoided, the brat,) and seeing all the celebrity deaths of those who lived long and well and those who left too early, I worry I will start again too late.
I worry because I don’t want to NOT be a writer, but the longer I am away from something, the harder it is to return to doing it. I used to do text-based role-playing for many, many years. You could argue that my ‘hiatus’ wasn’t that much of one given I would be “team writing” with others for hours upon hours, day after day after day, for over that decade. But for many reasons, that avenue is gone, and now my muse’s candle is snuffed.
And there is NOTHING out there to guide a grieving artist through this sort of things. Some use their art to work through their grief. Some find their art during their grief. But finding those few who have endured loss and still found their voice…I wish there was something. Even a brief suggestion. Even if it doesn’t work for me, to know that I am not alone, that it’s okay because yes, it’s hard to get through, but it is possible. Something to give me a little hope.
Perhaps it is something I need to do. Not that it is something I ever wanted to do. I’m not even sure where or how I would begin such a venture. I’m not even sure right now anything I would suggest would be useful since I’m still struggling to find my way. I won’t be a hypocrite and promise something that I can’t honestly say worked for me. I don’t even know how I’d find others to talk to about their experiences because….well. Grief and tragedy are painful things and few want to discuss those matters publicly.
Damned vicious circles. Annoying shits.