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Explore the Dark and Find the Light

Statue with head in handsNB: Depression is a clinical condition and can be treated in many ways. If you think this might be affecting you, make an appointment with your doctor as a matter of urgency, then put the kettle on and find a pen.


We have been very lucky to work with authors who have had their fair share of difficult times…they shall remain nameless, except for Tracey West.

I say lucky, not in response to them having had a slice of darkness, but in respect of working with people who have come to realise that being depressed or deeply sad can evoke some incredibly powerful pieces of writing.

 


Poetry of Divorce and Diary of Divorce are two cases in point, both penned by Tracey West during and after her tumultuous divorce. Tracey hoped it would lift the spirits of readers who were struggling with their own divorce and also encourage them to tap into their darkness and write from the heart when they felt the clouds were closing in.

There are no prescriptive methods to exploring this line of advice. You don’t need to be a writer, a poet or a crafter of jaw-dropping prose, you just need to know how to hold a pen or find a keyboard.

Tracey advises you to get a cup of your favourite brew, find a reliable source of tissues and something nice to nibble if the need arises, then sit quietly (or immerse yourself in loud rock music if you prefer) then pour your heart out through your fingers.

When a spot of hindsight kicks in at some point in the future, you might look back on your piece of writing and be entirely shocked and surprised by what you produced. If your mental health and well being are back on an even keel, you might not even recognise the author!

Think of the piece as a snapshot of your life at that time, a readable photograph with a splash of creativity that you never thought you had in you.

The strange thing is it might sit in a dusty drawer for years, then it’ll suddenly surface and if you choose to share it, the words might be able to help a friend who is blighted by the same clouds that you were.

Sending love and light to all.

The Team

4 thoughts on “Explore the Dark and Find the Light

  1. I am clinically depressed and have been for over 15 years. I understand that people have periods of intense sadness around bad incidents in their lives. I saw this page highlighted elsewhere and came hoping to find advice. This is for those who have short term depression. It does not speak to those of us who are in unremitting pain. We cannot look forward to looking back when we are “better.” I note your advice at the bottom, but it would be more appropriate at the top. I would not have had my hopes dashed had it been so.

    1. Hi Barbie,

      Firstly and above all else, I am deeply sorry that you felt dashed after reading the piece. It was written with much optimism and knowledge from people who have suffered with short and long term depression in the understanding that writing can be incredibly helpful and we stand by that hope.

      I will happily move the NB to the beginning of the piece if you feel it is better placed there – the only purpose of the posting was of course to offer help and encourage good mental well being which can be so elusive at times. All suggestions to aid that are appreciated.

      Every thread that carries a new idea to combat the darkness is worth looking into and considering, but like any advice, there is no single fix unfortunately.

      Your comment has sparked much discussion in the office and we all wish you and any other readers who are struggling with depression the very best at finding improved mental health and we fully realise it can be a real uphill slog.

      With kindest regards,

      The Team

  2. I too have been clinically depressed for a number of years and personally I find writing immensely helpful in managing the symptoms of my depression. It acts as a safe vent and is also something, another world, that I can immerse myself in when I don’t want to be in my own head. There is no one solution that will work for everyone but writing is definitely worth trying if you are depressed. As are any other activities that allow you to escape into a creative and more peaceful space than the maelstrom of the depressed mind, if only for a few minutes. I wish all fellow sufferers peace and recovery.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and we hope your comments encourage other people to try writing out their own personal darkness. Tracey and Simon.

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