Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've Lost My Mojo

Things are getting me down. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it's depressing. It's probably a combination of things, but prior to my antidepressant change I was, despite all the other problems, enthusiastic and energetic. The final nail in my creative coffin was the email from my administrator, and I thought friend, who said, in essence, that I'm a bad writer. This is not an incentive to write. I spent my adult life either married to men or living with men who defined me as a bitch, and never lived with a man who took me seriously in any way except as a sexual object.

I grew up in a family that defined me as the problem, and all my family's ill treatment of me was deserved. I was the scapegoat in my family, and it took forty years of therapy to begin to turn the corner on that. I was told over and over to take responsibility for myself, even when I was a child. I was told that the terrible things done to me were my problem. So part of the reason I accept another's assessment of me as bad or childish or without talent is part of that legacy. My only value when I was younger was as an object to be used--either a good accessory or a piece of crap. So the bipolar roller coaster and the recent change of meds, the bad teeth, the bad ticker, the neurotic dog, are getting me down. I don't need anybody to feel sorry for me. I don't need pity or sympathy. But a gut kick isn't particularly helpful either. At my best I might be a bit of a drama queen. At my worst, I'm a limp rag, unable to think, or bathe, or feed myself. I nowhere my worst yet, but I could get there.

But I don't want to give this up. I want to get better at it. Bear with me. It may take awhile. And when I have the energy to write, I'll be trying to finish my last damn edit on the novel.

To Randal, Dcup, Diva, Liberality, DK Read, Enigma, Anita, and Unconventional Conventionist, and the rest of you, I'll be around, lurking and sulky for awhile. But once things settle down health wise, I'll be back wisecracking, and acting like a citizen who gives a shit again.


DivaJood said...

Big hugs to you, but don't let the Administrator get you down. You have a powerful voice, filled with color. Use it. Don't let a man silence you. And read what I wrote on that post two below.

denverdoc said...

I thought the administrator wanted to broaden your audience! Where the hell does he come off voicing an opinion anyway? Most of all, though, maybe this drug change isn't the right one for you.

Utah Savage said...

I did Diva, thank you. It's more my willingness to hear the words, "Bad Writing" in reference to myself that I buy into. I've been called bad so long, I buy it. I used to be a knee jerk apologist. It was all I could do to get out of a screaming, name calling fight that I would lose by losing or lose by winning.

I was really touched by your lovely obituary for a difficult friend. I have always been difficult or believed I was. In truth, I don't think it's easy to be around someone as passionate as your friend--and I am passionate and easily hurt and angered. I'm not easy to deal with in the "real" world. Yet I do have a handful of friends who seem to really love me despite all of the above.

Utah Savage said...

Oh femail doc, thanks for weighing in on the med situation. I've been on Zoloft in the past and done well, but now I'm on all these drugs for the on-going Atrial Fibrillation. I'm so tired and seem to be losing my ability to create. If I can't write, I have no passion for anything. I have to be able to express myself. I do have an appointment with my regular doctor on Friday to get my clotting factor checked again before I see my Cardiologist on the 6th. I'll ask her about the slide into depression, but probably need to let my Psychiatrist know--she's the one in charge of that aspect of my medical care.

I'm so glad you're still here. I don't follow you home, because I feel like I might not be "normal" enough to qualify for the comments/questions portion of your place.

Anonymous said...

Listen to me. You are an excellent writer. You have the skills to paint pictures with your words. You do dialog very well (that's the hardest part for many writers). You have wild, tension-filled stories to draw from. Just write when you feel like it and even when you don't. You know good writing when you see it, you know that you're work is good.

Email me what you think needs to be edited, I'll go get it and edit it for you. Tell me which pieces and where to begin.

I'm not offering to do this because I feel sorry for you or because I want you to shut up, I'm offering to do it because I think you have great stories to tell and the creativity to do it.

Seriously - consider it. I can't sit on my ass and plan vaginal rejuvenation tours for the spouses of my employers all damned day. Let's help each other.

- Lisa

DivaJood said...

Utah, fear is false evidence appearing real. The word "bad" in reference to your writing is fear. I think that when you are dealing with the level of health issues you are currently dealing with, it exhausts a person - and when exhausted we buy into fear.

I've believed this sort of negative lie about myself at times too, so I know how it feeds into itself. But you have not come this far, done as much as you have done, to give up without a fight. You have had a colorful life so far, and that is a gift. Use it well. Trust that your voice is strong.

In other words, choose to believe those of us who are telling you the truth - you have a gift - rather than someone who dissed you when he was having a bad day.

As for what I wrote about Joe - I left so much out - the spraying of food when he spoke, what he had for lunch on his shirt or on his tie - the god-awful jokes - his passion, absolute passion for truth and how he was unable to open the blinds in his apartment to let sunshine in. He was deeply depressed, and yet he had such light about him. As this day has progressed, I have become more and more heartbroken at his absence. Thank you for your kind words to me, because I truly loved him unconditionally.

Utah Savage said...

Thanks for the kind words. I have started the big re-edit. Dcup, if I get stuck I'll take you up on the offer since the two jobs, the long hot dangerous drive, the kids and hubby, the baking and entertaining, and the two or three smart posts just aren't enough for one woman to do. No kidding. I will ask for help. I might even ask Randal to help. Though he has the sense to avoid my long drawn out pity party. I am finally disgusted with myself sufficiently to move forward. Jesus, when I wallow I really do it up sickeningly. Maybe I did need that emailed slap across my face. I thought it might kill me at that moment. I have managed to live several days. Time to get over it and move on.

denverdoc said...

And Utah, I often don't feel exotic enough to comment on yours. I'm sure you don't require exotic anymore than I expect normal. I am, however, a fan of 'the mind and its matter' and anyone who writes well on the subject. So I'll keep reading and occasionally will comment.

SSRIs are big creativity killers.

Ingrid said...

Tsaaa! Whenever someone takes the time to tell you you are no good, then it's all about them. When they say here is how you could be better (because everyone can just ask Julia Cameron -The Artists' Way), then their care is about you. and of course, for my own writing diagnosis to be undermined, squooshed in a heap and thrown out is more than this egomaniacal wannabe writer can handle (yes, it's about ME!HA! hehe).. this was not about your writing and you probably know that.

And when you say you always got blamed for things..heck, in family terms that probably means you were the yellow canary in the mine..

just lurk about lovey, and soak in the luuuvvv that is out there for you..
if all else fails..check out the last lecture of Randy's not the cure all or anything, but perhaps a wee boost? I have my own 'issues' and it gave me some encouragement..not that I am out of 'my woods'.. but boosts are good. A few in a row even better![s]

I wanted to check in in case you thought I had forgotten about you but no..I have had my two kids at home for the first time this summer so we're adjusting to activities to get the tired, I mean, ehem..enGAGED and some sort of a routine..


Randal Graves said...

Bah, I love pity parties. I ain't going anywhere, utah, and neither are the rest of us. You're a fucking good writer, and if you could bottle up your skill at writing dialogue, I'd buy cases of the shit from you and chug like Bender. Then there's the fact that you're a good person too. If you weren't, think we'd keep on coming back?

There are days that are shit. They'll pass, then more will come, and they'll pass as well. But we'll wait.

Unknown said...

Well, I hope to hell that your Administrator gave you a bit more to go on than just "bad writer"! My opinion is very, very humble but I think you are a very good writer!

If he thinks you're not a good writer, he should give you more specific criticism. And if you don't agree with him - say so and tell him to fuck off and the horse he rode in on.

I'm not sure who and what he is, though. Can you find someone to replace him?

Utah Savage said...

My administrator is irreplaceable. He's been incredibly patient and generous. He sent me one snarky email and told me I could quote him and I did. Now I will be eating crow for ages. I'm an ass. I hope he forgives me. My ego has gotten in my way once again.

Freida Bee said...

Utah- Dear, take care of yourself and keep it simple.

You are not a bad writer. You are a fucking great one.