Depression, Anxiety and the Creative Writer

Creative writers often jokingly refer to the strangeness of the writing experience in terms of a mental illness. Multiple personalities (Characters that talk back? Say, whaaat?), obsessive behavior, the “tortured artist” stereotype, all the feels, etc. But there’s a darker underbelly beneath all the joking. The sensitive, artistic personality types who tend to express their…

Be brave enough to tell your hard stories

A year ago Sunday, my beloved aunt tried to take her own life after a long battle with depression and anxiety. A year ago, I received a phone call from my younger cousin telling me her mom shot herself and would I please come and stay with her and her siblings. A year ago,  I…

When you have no words (and that’s okay)

I ask my friend in the Dillons parking lot, shoppers passing by with carts full of riches untold for most of the people in this world. “Do you ever feel like you don’t have any words left, or maybe that there’s too much to say for words?” Like you just need to be with the people you…

When you don’t have words

“Do you ever feel that way?” I ask my friend in the Dillons parking lot, shoppers passing by with carts full of riches untold for most of the people in this world. “Like you don’t have any words left, or maybe that there’s too much to say for words?” Like you just need to be with the…

When your story hurts

On Friday morning, four days ago,  my beloved aunt tried to take her own life. She shot herself in the stomach after a months-long struggle with anxiety and depression. At 11:00 a.m. my phone rang and Lauren, at 22 the oldest of their seven children and more my little sister than cousin, came on the…

Spring Always Comes

It’s one of my favorite times of year. Everywhere you look trees and bushes are budding out, ready to burst forth in celebration of spring. A grey, monotone winter begins to give way to green and new shoots pop through last autumn’s blanket of leaves. But my favorite part about spring in Kansas is the…