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Writing Depression

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  • #136994
    TanyasCreative
    @tanyacreative

    Good weekend everyone! Hope you’re all being silly and having fun…

    I have a mental hurdle with my WIP 1 and it’s possibly one of a handful of reasons I haven’t been able to write for quite awhile, Instagram and self appointed unrealistic goals being the other. Do you feel you can write a MC if they’re in severe depression and not have them in bed sleeping for chapters? Originally I figured I’d just rotate from her to her would be significant other, who has become a much different character then she and who he was. This would likely be when she’s in those deep depression isolating in bed sleeping sort of times … or other wise unconscious. How do you write such a depressed and hurt character without it becoming severely boring and repetition?

    I think I’m still trying to meet the polished goal of a writer without doing and accepting that fact that we all need to do those bad drafts and writing. And ONLY plan the big pivotal scenes so I can write where the stories feel. I NEED to be okay, get it in my head – accept that it’s okay write badly and not perfect.

    Okay. There writing my thoughts and feels out loud.

    <3

    May God bless you!

    #137000
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @tanyacreative

    Hi Tanya,

    I’m Brian.  I do have some characters going through some very tough mental and emotional challenges too.

    Do you feel you can write a MC if they’re in severe depression and not have them in bed sleeping for chapters?

    Boy, that’s a tough one!  I think if you make the psychology of the main character authentic, and give us a sense of the internal struggle she is facing, it could be interesting, but you need to keep her struggling against the nihilism and the thoughts that lead her back under the weight of the depression.

    I think of the Apostle Paul’s personal struggle where he writes:
    For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but [how] to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will [to do], I do not do; but the evil I will not [to do], that I practice. Now if I do what I will not [to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [Romans 7:18-24 NKJV]

    In this passage, he is very near despair, but there is that internal struggle that pulls him back to seeking deliverance, not by his own self-effort, but the one who ransomed Him.  Paul was a Pharisee of the Pharisees.  A great scholar and enthusiastically persecuted and hunted down the Christ sect, for the crimes of spreading blasphemy.  As a murderer of Christians, he had much to account for, after his Damascus road conversion.  His guilt tore at him, but also magnified the great measure of mercy he had been given to be called to be an Apostle of Christ.  In his life as a Pharisee, he dutifully followed all the law thinking that alone gave him favor with God, but when all of that was proven to be false, he was devastated.  His whole life lost its old purposes, and he had to be given a new purpose and a new mission, which he carried out, not with the zeal of being the enforcer as before, but with the humility of being a servant of the One who gave him undeserved grace.  He acknowledges that the old nature, still tries to rise in him, but his present walk is learning how to submit to the new nature.

    This type of psychological struggle in your MC could be interesting if explored authentically.

    The prophet Elijah also struggled with depression.  Research him and see what you can mine there.

    God Bless!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #137041
    TanyasCreative
    @tanyacreative

    I love that scripture very much as it’s so true! <3

    Keep it authentic! The ‘but you need to keep her struggling against the nihilism and the thoughts that lead her back under the weight of the depression.’ is something I need to think and examine on how to do this with this character and where I would like her be.

    Adds a entirely different level researching depression in the Bible 😉

    Thanks your help has been crucial.

    <3

    May God bless you!

    #137061
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @tanyacreative

    Hi Tanya,

    I am so very glad I could help.

    Depression is something so many people struggle with because, too often, there is an identity crisis involved.  People try to find their worth in so many other things, rather than in the love and acceptance of their Savior.  It is important that we understand that God sees those who have accepted Him as fully justified and from a perspective higher than our perspective (Isaiah 55:9). When God looks upon His children, He sees them fully justified by the blood of Christ.  (Romans 3:20-28) What was done at Calvary satisfied the “wages of sin” debt in us for all eternity. (All of our past, present and future sins were dealt with and cancelled there when Christ declared from the cross that “It is finished!”) God is never surprised by what we do or say for good or bad.  His love holds us to Him.  (Romans 8:35-39)  The distance we feel from Him is when we clutter our relationship with our inability to yield to Him and draw strength from out of His power in The Vine. (John 15:5)  We lose ourselves in believing that God wants and needs our efforts to do good the be pleasing to Him. (Isaiah 64:6) We empty ourselves out in service that we think please God and drain all of our resources until we are spend and undone.  But God never said He needed our self-sufficiency.  He wants our yielding and obedience to the only way the outworking has any Kingdom effect and import.  If we allow Him to work through us as surrendered vessels, bathed continually in the flow of His Presence.  Scripture says:

    He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. [2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT]

    The idea is that of a cup placed under a running faucet.  If the cup remains under the flow of the water, it will run over.  If it is removed from the flow, it can only fill another empty cup with as much water as it was filled while under the flow.  But that cup cannot fill another empty cup without emptying itself…UNLESS…it remains, open-end up, under the running water, and invites another empty cup to come in directly underneath it, to catch the overflow that is constantly filling them.  In this way only do both cups overflow without emptying.  This is the principle many good-intentioned Christians face when they try to help others, without remaining under the flow of God.  We attempt to become someone else’s Savior, with good intentions, but that is a role only God can fill.  We must no lose sight of God in constant fellowship, allowing Him to love us through His Grace and to work out to overflow what He pours into our yielding and opened will in alignment to Him.  Scripture says:
    Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” [Luke 6:38 NLT]

    Sometimes depression comes from our thinking that God doesn’t like us, but we forget His love preceded our trusting Him as Savior.  (Romans 5:8)
    The only distance God’s children experience from Him is of our own making.  We turn up the world’s noisy distractions, rather than seek a quiet place to crawl into His lap and be loved by Him as His precious child.  Each of us was purposed by Him before we were ever born. (Psalms 139:14-17)  God wants us to come to Him for cleansing, not spruce ourselves up to be counted worthy for it.  We don’t clean up to take a bath.  God wants us in a relationship, empowered by Him through His Root that brings rest, peace, and nutrition to our very being. We were made to walk in fellowship with Him primarily above any other relationship. His ways lead to light and life in abundance.  Those trapped under cloud of depression may have lost sight of that truth.  God doesn’t need our strength. On the contrary, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) All He wants is our honest surrender to allow Him to bring glory to Himself but what He will do through us to the shock and amazement of the outside world.  We are worthy because He is worthy in us.  We are accepted, ransomed, and being perfected by Him as we walk in surrender, rather than trudge along under our own steam. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

    This outworking of a suffering individual coming to these realizations of the truths that set them free is a powerful character arc badly needed to be told, especially in the times in which we now live.  God spoke to Elijah in the still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).  Look carefully at Elijah’s stages of depression in 1 Kings 19. He has a death wish, he sleeps, fails to eat, laments his miseries, feels isolated and alone, and fearful. Yet God is patient with him. Provides for him and allows him to work through these grief stages until God gives him a new task. He gives him an understudy to take up the mantle of prophet, and He tells him to make a disciple but also allowed Elisha to be a comfort to Elijah as the two men served together under God’s calling.
    God loves us even when we are stubborn, or forgetful, or find ourselves wrapped up in our own folly.  He seeks His lambs out even when we go astray. (Hebrews 12:7-14)  He walks with us even in the Valley of the Shadow of Death (Psalms 23:4) to teach us and demonstrate to us the power of His rod and His staff to protect us.  He is a good father. Loving and desires to give His children good gifts that will enhance their life and fellowship with Him.  Our lives are meant to bring Him praise and glory, for He alone is worthy of all of it.
    May God Bless you in your writing and exploration of these things.
    In Him,
    Brian

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Brian Stansell. Reason: missing a word

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

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