Friday, April 8, 2016


But I’m not! Since my last entry, I’ve had it in the back of my head that I need to do some serious blog writing, and time has passed and I’m overdue to post something. Then it begins to feel like a pressure or a duty, when it shouldn’t because I really love this kind of writing, and I’ve felt such gratitude for those of you who have left gracious and compassionate comments, either here on the blog or on one of my Facebook pages, or Instagram (horstbergwriter). So, why is it that it can be so difficult to do the very thing that will help us feel better? I think that is the ten-million dollar question associated with depression. If depression had rational answers to the difficult questions, those of us struggling with it probably wouldn’t be depressed.

I recognize that there are different types of depression, and I know very well that mine is a complex combination, however it is mostly situational. If my physical health were not such a dominating factor in how I live my life, I know I would feel better. That’s not unrealistic or any form of denial. I’ve been working on this problem for years, and I know that the two are definitely integrated. Although, there are days when I can feel lousy physically and still feel lighter emotionally and more motivated to accomplish something productive, so again, it’s difficult to find a rational answer. The obvious lack of logic is difficult for the human brain to process.

Another source of my hesitation has been in not wanting to make this blog depressing for those who read it. I’ve brought this up before, but alas, it feels like a concern to me. How can I write something uplifting and inspired when I don’t feel it? I’ve been managing to do some sorting and organizing in my bedroom in little bursts, attempting to make my surroundings more pleasant, and I came across a journal I had written in for a short time a few years ago. That’s typical for me. I have many journals that were written in for short periods of time. And my reason for stopping is usually the same. And that is all the sameness. It all just starts to sound like I’m writing the same thing over and over. I mention events with my family here and there, and other odds and ends, but mostly it’s just hand-written evidence of a daily struggle to feel well, and what feels like a losing battle to conquer this beast of poor health in spite of my every best effort. In this three-year-old journal (and I have similar ones that are much older) there’s mention of planning my son’s wedding and some details of life that I’m glad I recorded. But the overall tone of my writing there could be the same now. On some days I could only write a sentence or two to indicate that it was just another one of those days. 

The only real answer I can find is simply to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep getting out of bed. Keep taking care of my home and family, even if that means a lot of delegating and calling on others for help. Keep writing—both blogs and novels—little by little as I can. And right now I’m determined to make my surroundings more orderly and pleasant, because as someone dear to me pointed out recently, I spend most of my life in my bedroom (I also write in the same room) and it should have an atmosphere that will help me feel better. So, now that I’ve actually written a blog entry, I am going to force myself to sort through some accumulating junk, and I will at least feel like I’ve accomplished SOMETHING today. 

Thanks for “listening!” I wish we were all just gathered together in one room and could talk about this stuff face to face. But technology is great. It’s the next best thing to being there.

And as for spring, I’m really trying to enjoy its beauties, and as always I take time for a big dose of gratitude every day. I suppose the remedies to fighting this battle are in the little daily things that gradually add up, or at least they establish habits of being able to cope—as opposed to having a breakdown, or something. And I just don’t have the energy to recover from a breakdown. So I’ll just keep going, and try to be kind to myself, and I hope you’re all doing the same.

Love and God bless, Anita


Readbookworm said...

I love how you mentioned daily gratitude. Sometimes that is the high point of the day. I loved the idea that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father and He loves us so much he knows us by name. That is a great thing to think of, for me, every day.

Unknown said...

My dear friend - I may make it my mission in life to help you change your feeling about spring. Let me ask you this - how do you feel about Christmas? You love Christmas, you love it! I've seen you celebrate it in ways small and large, but always with such genuine feeling. You love watching Albert Finney's A Christmas Carol, as do I. (Who would have thought we even have the same favorite movie? That's just a kiss from God), you love the music and the lights and the children's eyes. Even when it's hard to do the things you want to do because of your health, you let the spirit in and it embraces you and all around you.

This is spring - just different flowers. Spring is Christmas for people who hate cold weather and without the commercial confusion. It's the kiss of warm breezes and sunshine. It's rain that brings up the grass and the tulips. It's TULIPS Anita - and you love tulips. I know what! You need a chair outside where you can write. A comfortable chair with a blanket until it's warm enough. You need tulips coming up and birds chirping and sun and shade and tulips - for an hour or two - even when you're feeling like crap. You can sit outside or inside when you're feeling like crap, so why not outside. Take a bottle of water and your computer and your sunglasses and go outside. Do you need me to work a deal on an outside chair? (That was a joke.) Because you most certainly must be comfortable while you're out there. I asked Aaron to please get me a lounge chair for outside this year and something for shade. We have a little deck in the back but it's so hot in the summer that it's only good for about 2 1/2 weeks without shade.

I'll stop rambling now. Just one more thing - think of every time you start a new novel (which is freakishly often) - it's spring. It is the spring of that book, the beginning, the rebirth or birth or ideas, fresh and new. Celebrate that spring, those springs, and think of them when you walk outside. There is more spring in you than you know.

I love you madly.

Michellothegreat said...

I hope you don't mind, Anita, but having been a fan of your books since the 90's, I took the liberty of creating this book blog in your honor
It's a work in progress but I am LOVING re-visiting all your old "classics" and watching the list grow.
Remember, there is no good writing, only good rewriting.