Writing to feel again

atsouthorn

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I wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience to mine... I'll start with the short version unless anyone wants me to elaborate. Earlier in the year, I encountered emotional (or lack of) issues in feeling joy, sadness, empathy, excitement etc...

I suppose covid was a massive driving force in being away from people and work/routine, but I noticed even when watching shows, reading books, or talking to friends and family over the internet that my level of emotional responses was muted. I laughed less at my favourite comedies, the urge to message and talk to others diminished, and even the sadness just left me feeling kinda... "meh". It spiralled pretty bad.

That's when I decided to restart writing. I wanted to try and make myself feel. I suppose I could have done this as a journal or introspective notes, but I decided to write a novel instead. As I delved into the characters' emotions, I found that I began to feel again. I began to feel the joy of my character's happiness and the empathy of a character wanting to feel loved. I didn't get this from reading, only writing. It unlocked a part of me that began to improve my mood and help me get out of bed. Now I'm back to laughing like I used to, wanting to talk to anyone and everyone etc. It really did save me.

Has anyone experienced something even remotely similar before?
 

msstice

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I'm not a psychotherapist but it sounds like you have/had depression. The measures we had to take for the pandemic either triggered it or made it worse. The great news to me is that you found a way yourself to work through the depression.

I probably have minor depression which comes in bouts. Physical activity, time with family and proper sleep help with this. I have also found regular writing helps with this, but not in a markedly better way than the other things.
 

DLCroix

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Yes, well, regarding that I stopped listening to the OST, which I created from various authors, while writing precisely because it influenced me emotionally and sometimes originated entire chapters that were too tearful. The bottom line is that it is good insofar as it helps if you are stagnant, but bad in the sense that you do not notice the intensity with which depressive feelings begin to catch up with you, so that deep down you actually shut yourself off and withdraw from the world. So now, for example, maybe it is more dispersed to be writing this same thing with my mother in the other room watching TV and commenting on one thing or another, but it does not disconnect you from the real world. And it is that we must not forget to live, right? After all, what we do is an art of entertainment, it should not be so intense or dramatic, because we already have enough with what is out there. :ninja:
 

Flaviosky

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Yeah, I can relate to that, not precisely to go from no-emotion to feel something but to inspire positive emotions from that empathy I feel for those characters you put so much effort not only to create but to develop, grow and feel.
 

atsouthorn

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Yeah, it does sound like a depressive episode given the current situation. Just found it interesting that of all things to pull me out, it was my own writing instead of external help. Everyone's different.

Mentioning art being so intense and dramatic compared to the real world is a feeling I think most of us can relate to. You finish a series of books or a great set of movies and for a brief moment you experience that bittersweet comedown as the characters leave you.
 

leorising

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I am very much in that space of writing to feel things. I have a tendency to intellectualize emotions to my detriment. It's almost as if my feelings coming to me through a filter so basically I always feel like I've sifted through the 'raw stuff' so to speak. Simultaneously I'm emotionally intense because I think all my feelings come out in the form of cerebral ping pong. Not everyone is willing to engage and I find myself drifting through my own thought-feelings constantly.

Anyway, the point being, I 1000% understand where you come from. Writing allows me to sit in both my states, feeling and thinking at the same time and not having to fear judgment and rejection from people who are clearly not ready for neither my feelings nor my thoughts.

It's like a friend. Truly, thank you for this thread. Thanks for making me write this down because I only now realized how much I depend on writing to keep me sane.
 

tinkerdan

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I think I experience quite the opposite of that.

I have been through two divorces, and for me those were as traumatic as deaths of someone close. The first divorce I stopped reading and writing and that continued well past the second marriage.

In fact, I didn't start reading until well after the second divorce--I had moved in temporarily with my second wife's first ex and it might be the irony of that that kicked me into reading again and somewhat after that I finally started into writing again.

Covid did slow me down a bit more than I already was slowed down and that's a shame since it is the opportune time to at least get in some extra writing. It has allowed me to get in a lot of reading.
 

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