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Community Discussion: Blog by Fuhjem | How to Write When You Have Terrible DepressionDestructoid
How to Write When You Have Terrible Depression - Destructoid

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About
I'm Frank "Fuhjem" Margarella. I create flash animations and work on games as a hobby and am going to college to learn Game Design.

Right now, I'm going to try to submit some reviews for free flash games (mostly from Newgrounds) and see if I can try and earn some cash that way.
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I don't write much on these c-blogs. I'm usually writing on this hobby gaming blog called Analog Addiction. They're getting pretty popular these days, usually without my help. I write maybe one or two articles every few weeks, usually out of guilt for not writing anything at all (and because I have a full-time job and college, and AA doesn't pay me to write, hence 'hobby'). It's not that I don't like writing. I love writing, actually; it's one of the few things I consider myself to be good at, besides fighting boars.

I suffer from depression. Nothing diagnosed, though, because I'm good at hiding it from my loved ones and my schools growing up never gave a damn anyways (I've been to school therapists plenty of times, but that was because I got in a lot of fights). But it's true. I haven't had a single day in the past seven-and-a-half months without some sort of soul-crushing depression sneaking its way in to my life to ruin the day, and I've been depressed off-and-on for most of my life. I become unwilling to do anything, including schoolwork and hobby writing. When I'm at work, the first chance I know I'm alone I begin to sulk, and if it's a particularly frustrating day, I kick the walls and stamp my feet and scream at the computer screen (I work in a small shack directing mentally challenged truck drivers. It gets very taxing, very quick).

But I still have to write. I need to. I've been an artist all my life: drawing, animating, writing, and even a bit of game design are the only ways I've ever been able to talk properly to people. When I speak, my words don't fit in my mouth and they come out like misshapen play-doh. I need to write. How am I supposed to put fingertip to keyboard when all I can think of the moment I do is, "Fucking christ, you suck. Kill yourself, you're no good! It's not worth it! You'll die, the world will end, you will be forgotten. It's not worth it." But, I need to write.

It's why I'm writing right now. Artistic expression is all I have, so I've been trying to find ways to toss my depression to the side, or at least tuck it into the corner where it can't bother me for now.

I'm not claiming to be an expert in the field of depression and how to beat it; this is just what I've done in the past to get me started with writing while under heavy depression.

Here's my advice.

Go for a walk

Okay, so maybe this sounds less like advice for curbing depression and more like a way to get some exercise, but it works for both. I made this discovery about a week ago. I was at home and the dark tendrils of depression had me bedridden and close to trying to see if I can hang myself with my own hand (I couldn't). But my conscious mind knew it didn't want to die, and I remembered a neat little webcomic I read a few months ago, quoting the great British comedian, Stephen Fry, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself."

Well, who the hell is going to argue with Stephen Fry? I grudgingly slipped on my shoes and a pair of pants (though not in that order), and stepped outside into blinding light, the smell of winter assailing my nostrils. I began walking in the snow, still visibly depressed. I was staring at my shoes and some footprints almost the entire way, until I came upon this forest near my house. I shrugged my shoulders, and entered.

Quiet. That was the first thing I noticed. The wind didn't exist in a forest; too many trees. It was the middle of the day, so animals were not going to be happening by my way. I wasn't near any busy roads, and there weren't any other people strolling around. This was my forest.

I strolled around on a path for a while, coming to a small bridge. I opted to travel down a lesser used way, following a small river and listening to it when it bubbled over rocks and fallen trees. Then I abandoned all paths completely. I was walking through raw, wintry forest. I balanced on dead trees as I crossed rivers, watched a flock ducks get scared shitless by a single sparrow, and simply removed myself from my old world of technological overstimulation.

It was a break from my usual life. A refresher, to wipe clean my accrued data-lag. I needed to experience the opposite of my lifestyle to better appreciate it more. When I returned home, I finished my week's worth of homework in one sitting.

It's good to just get away from it all every once in awhile.

Do something useful

Immediately before I started writing this post, I finished doing my parents' taxes. This year, at the fresh age of 20, I did the taxes for my entire immediate family, and we're not small. I did mine, my sister's, my grandpa's, and my parents' taxes over two weekends, and each time I finished one, I was ready to take on the world.

I felt useful to my family; as an artist, I rarely get the chance to do anything that actually helps people. It was after this revelation that I understood that my happiness can be attributed to how much I can contribute to others' well being.

Nowadays, I'm trying to get into the habit of doing more chores around the house as well as trying to learn useful skills. I might start working with my grandpa on his carpentry projects, and I even became an atheist Minister earlier in the year so I could ruin the sanctity of marriage with straight marriages as well as gay ones.

It may not be in your bag to do anything other than your craft, and that's fine. We need people like that. I just need to keep my hands busy in order to get through a day.

Just start writing

Obvious and sometimes overplayed, but just sitting down and writing a pageful of complete nonsense is a great way to start writing more constructed articles.

It's really easy, too. You just get a pen and paper, or a computer and start writing. Make sure it's complete nonsense and that you don't stop once until you have a full page. Just let a complete stream of consciousness flow from your hands without thought, and the words will eventually start making sense and you'll gain your sea-legs (in writing terms, that is).


Now, I'm not some sort of beloved or talented writer whose words will have any far-reaching effect on people at large. I'm not even sure if this will help a single person. But I need to write. It's thoughts like, "No one cares about what I write." that are the main reason I stop. I told myself that, no, the fact that people don't care are not a reason to stop writing. There is no reason to stop writing. Whether this turns out to just be a reminder for myself, or a guide to help other people, I don't regret writing this. I needed to write, and I wrote.



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