I'm actually feeling a little nostalgic because this is probably going to be the last time I'm in this situation. Writing something up in the library before heading home after a therapy session. But this was my last therapy session, and it was a pretty good one.
It was mostly self reflection, acknowledging how far I've come and how I can avoid ending up like I was before. To put it simply, I've come quite a long way. When you go to a therapy session they have you fill out a little questionnaire to assess your stress and depression levels. When I first went there I was scoring 24/30 (IE, pretty bloody depressed) and this time I was scoring 12. In numerical values my stress and depression have literally halved. But we all know I'd had a damn fine week. I've written so much, and now instead of having trouble writing, I'm having trouble not writing. I'm still on quite a high at the thought of publishing a book next week (or the week after) and so, yeah, things are pretty spiffing for me right now.
We mostly worked on reflection, like I said, and how I can spot the triggers and what causes me to be depressed, and how I can go about preventing and what to do should it happen despite my efforts to prevent it. The main trigger I have, as far as depression goes, is when someone is critical. Be it about my work, or my apeparance, or what I do, I don't handle criticism very well. But I am doing better with it now. The first time Greg proof read my short stories the criticism sent me in to a depressive spiral I only broke out of recently. Now though, I've told myself, and him, and several other people, no matter what he says about my work I won't get depressed. I'll take care of what needs to be done, and then I shall publish it. I won't let anything stop me from escaping my own personal Hell.
A very effective way to deal with the stress and depression is to plan my days out in advance. When I'm in a good mood I'm insanely productive and I don't really need a plan. I tend to put something down and pick something back up. When I'm depressed I tend to just ruminate and think about what to do, without actually doing something. Planning in advance eliminates that because I know what it is I'm going to do. The only problem I have with that is I can't force myself to write. If I'm not in the mood for it, my writing sucks. But there are plenty of other things I can do to pick myself up.
I've also decided I really should be treating myself more. I tend to latch on to criticism, not compliments, and I rarely ever reward myself for good work. Although actually lately I''ve bought myself a few things and I do have plans for that first royalty check. Don't worry though, a lot of it is going in to the bank as I have planned to take six months to finish Immortal Space. So every time I get a royalty check I'm going to divide it by seven, which is six monthly allowances, and some for my savings account. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to decrease how much I divide it by each month, ie the second check only gets divided six times, as I'll have five months to go, and I may have to do that really.
Anyway, basically, the session went pretty well, and therapy itself has gone quite well. I've come quite a distance, and I can look back and realise that. I'm also better prepared to deal with the world, at least, in other people's eyes.
The main thing I can take away from this though is something I can tell to all of you. If there is something you're worried about doing, then just do it. The longer you put it off, the more the nightmare builds up in your head, and the harder it is to do it.
Things are rarely ever going to be as bad as you imagine.