Adventures in Zombieland: The Guilt of Not Creating

Hi everyone!

So I think I've figured it out - something that's been irking me for quite some time now, but that I couldn't really place my finger on until today.

All this time, as the whole anxiety/depression situation escalated, I've been so focused on mustering up the energy to get out of bed and go to school and stop worrying so much and avoid triggers for panic attacks and try not to be so self-conscious - and, and, and, the list goes on.

Which, on one hand: it's understandable, of course. Rationally, I know that the fact that I'm actually able to get through the day and function properly (or at least, most of the time) is quite a big deal. A victory, even. And I've tried to remind myself that I shouldn't be feeling guilty for focusing on me for a little while.

But still, when I look back and realise how much less I'm writing songs, practising guitar, fooling around with Photoshop, editing Frozen Hearts, writing poetry, drawing - just creating something - it does make me feel guilty. I feel like I should be able to do ALL THE THINGS. ALL THE TIME. (Which, granted, I probably wouldn't be able to do even without mental illnesses, but at least I could do more things than I'm able to now.)

Yesterday I opened Frozen Hearts, for the first time in a month. I can't even remember the last time I went a week without editing - but here we are, and it kind of hurts to think that my productivity levels have decreased so much. I've talked about feeling inadequate before, but I think this is something even worse - because art has always been such a big part of me, but now I feel like I've put that on hold indefinitely so I can deal with all this stuff.

I'm trying to be okay with not being as productive, but whenever I miss Friday Poetry because I'm too busy trying to not fall apart over a car door slamming, it's a stark reminder of the fact that I'm letting you guys down, too - and over something that is not insignificant, but sure feels like that sometimes. Frozen Hearts was supposed to be out in December - it's now April, and it's looking like still more months will go by before it'll see the light of day.

And of course, I know that you are all lovely, kind, understanding people who will most certainly not hold these things against me - but I think this is really more a matter of my own brain battling with itself (as these things so often turn out to be). It's two-fold, I suppose: not only do I feel guilty for myself, but also for you - because I want to share all of the things that I used to, but I just can't do that anymore.

I do know this won't last forever, though, and that is one of the few good things about this situation - as horrible as they are, at least I know that mental illnesses can be treated. I need to focus on figuring out how to be okay - but I do think it's only a matter of time before I'll be able to get back to creating things. Right now this feels a bit endless, but you know, I'm still looking forward to publishing Frozen Hearts and, eventually, releasing the album. (Remember that? It's still a thing, in case you weren't sure. ;))

It's just a matter of getting through all this other stuff first - however long it takes.

love, Topaz