Prolonged Absences And Unexpected Returns

It may or may not be clear to some, that I’ve not posted in many moons. This is for a number of reasons, but primarily due to a crippling, bottomless, despairing self-doubt and a resurgence of my depression. I’m still battling the depressed moods, but that’s a story for another time. The reason I decided to post again is simple; I need to get into routine. I need to get back into positive habits, and I suddenly found the motivation to do something useful today. I decided to draw a map.

Anybody who knows me will know that I am not an artist. My creativity lies in the realm of words. It is at this point that I notice the self-doubt reappear. Automatically, I find myself thinking ‘creativity? What creativity?’ or other things like ‘hah! Yeah right.’ Sometimes the doubt is more pronounced, more rounded, but by and large it’s merely an encompassing sense of things not being good enough. Anyway, I thought I’d do a map, because I like to sellotape half a dozen pieces of A4 together, and stitch together whole continents. This time, I thought it would be fun to do it for a city instead.

I’ve struggled through this ‘sketch’, noticing with every line that I am truly not an artist. The lines are uneven, the circles squashed, the shading patchy and scratchy, the buildings are to scale but the paths/trees/gardens aren’t, so they’re ‘representative’. I found myself thinking, with all the maps I’ve done, how is it that I’ve not improved at all? This is foolish, of course. I have improved. And this is where I caught myself out again, this is the moment where I realised that depression is truly a senseless, pointless state of mind. I thought to myself; ‘the maps I did when I was 18 are worse than these ones’, not ‘these maps are better than those I did when I was 18.’ The devil really is in the details.

That, in my eyes, is depression at its very core. It is a senseless, irrational state, that twists and corrodes the way you think until it becomes almost a parody of good sense. It’s in the details. Things are better now, they weren’t worse back in the day. Be positive, and move forward. Tomorrow will be better still.

So I’ll push on with my map, and stitch together a great big city full of uneven paths and squashed buildings, lines that aren’t perpendicular or parallel at both ends and so on. I will persevere, because I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.

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