Sunday, June 20, 2010


I am conforming to a stereotype. I have, slowly and subtly, turned into a mad elderly woman writer with cats. My eldest son says I am turning into a recluse. I am depressed. And I STILL haven't finished Murder Imperfect.

This, of course, may have something to do with the depression. It's a long time since I was diagnosed with clinical depression and it was due to external reasons (can't remember the official term now) so I'm guessing it might be now, as I am not naturally a depressive. But the symptoms are vile. And the sense of persecution is appalling.

I have some experience of the illness in family members, and I have learnt the hard way not to believe everything you see. Some people are brilliant at putting on the good face. I used to tell my children when they were young that if they pretended they were being good, that's how it would look to the general public. "Play at being good while you're with Auntie Thing, and she'll think you really are!" Perhaps this is not necessarily a good thing, although if you go about with a face like a kite and refuse to talk to anybody, those around you will walk away. Possibly for ever.

So I must get myself out of it. Now, don't you go saying "Pull yourself together, Lesley, look at what you've got to be grateful for." I know, I know. And I'm sure, when I've finished the book - nearly there, now - and started going out and seeing people again I shall return to my usual self.

But there, you see. I'm conforming to the picture of the tortured writer. Who knew?


jfb57 said...

As you can't show me the handles you can't pull yourself together! I'm sure it is a bit of anxiety about finishing the book.Try to get out in the sunshine when it comes & yes, have a moan. Better out than in!

SarahSiddons said...

Lesley I can identify with everything you're experiencing (apart from the writing aspect). You are NOT moaning, being self indulgent or unnecessarily negative. It all comes with the territory of having had the cr*p which life dumps on us.

No one's superhuman. However, I have found that 'Carpe Diem' is a pretty good maxim to live by.

Sending love


Lesley Cookman said...

Thank you both. Carpe Diem's good - but only if the Diem's got something going for it!xx

Talli Roland said...

I'm glad to hear I've shamed you into updating your blog! :)

I'm conforming to the stereotype (minus the cats, as much as I'd love them), too! I have to force myself out of the flat and to interact with people.

But I always do feel better for getting out.

Liz Harris said...

I'm so sorry you have problems with depression - it's a horrible thing. Hopefully, you'll soon be feeling more yourself.

All the best with Murder Imperfect. I LOVE the title.

Liz X

Sarah Callejo said...

Oh dear, writing is such a lonely job, but we're here to hear you out, just come onto Twitter now and then and give us a shout, I'm sure lots of people are feeling the same way. The longer you keep it in, the bigger it gets.
You've probably got a lack of vitamin D from hiding away from the sun so long. I hope you finish your book soon, but remember to take care of yourself too.
Sarah xx

Lesley Cookman said...

Thank you all - I don't feel so bad about moaning, now! And Sarah - we haven't had any sun in my corner of East Kent. But today - it's shining and I've just been in the garden with my friend who's cutting swathes through it and it's hot. Hurrah.

Glynis said...

I do hope you can climb out of the dark pit. I am a survivor, 8th year of no anti D's.
Focus on a positive as best you can, breath and all will settle for a while.
Maybe try a sunbox, if your mood lifts when it shines. Cyprus has helped give me that boost.
Thinking of you, stay strong.

Cara Cooper said...

Hi Lesley - I have huge admiration for you in keeping going with the writing despite having the 'black beast' lurking in the corner. You will get through it for sure through sheer strength of will. On the cat front I think one of the reasons our pets are so important to us is that they never seem to suffer from depression - perhaps it's very much a human thing, maybe we think too much! Anyhow, stay brave, take care and keep writing!