Nita Sweeney (author of Depression Hates a Moving Target) gets real with us about her recent struggles in this newsletter.
I promised myself (and you) I would send this email newsletter twice a month. So far, I have kept that promise.
But my depression has returned with the familiar flood of second-guessing and despair that makes everything feel as if it has weights attached.
Some of it situational
I recently completed two big goals: meditation leader certification and an ultramarathon. As I wrote in Depression Hates a Moving Target, the weeks and months after I achieve something can bring despair. Usually, I sign up for another race or set another big goal. This provides structure and forward momentum. I thought I had a new goal, a new book. But the book I pitched, didn’t fly. I’d begun to draft a proposal for a different book then, “life” happened.
Last month, a woman ran a stop sign and hit Ed’s car, sending it spinning. He crashed backward into a light pole. Ed gratefully walked away, but isn’t “fine.” He had just begun the medical testing and physical therapy to shape a plan for his recovery from the accident when he underwent previously scheduled knee replacement surgery.
As is his style, he’s doing everything in his power to return to full health. He’s graduated from a walker to a cane, but has pain. While he requires much less of my care than he did during last year’s “heart attack-open heart bypass surgery-feeding tube-passing out-during a pandemic” adventure, I understandably find it tough to focus on anything else, especially that new book proposal!
Running helps. Meditation helps. Even writing this email helps. But it’s not enough.
My depression is chronic, not just situational.
It’s probably time for a med change.
Med changes scare me because I’ve lost months, even years while we found the right “cocktail.” Then, my body must acclimate to the new formula. The last time we added a new med, I hadn’t yet started running. It will be another grand experiment to find that magic mix.
What I’m experiencing looks like procrastination, but that doesn’t describe it. This “not doing” results from depression, not laziness. Read my essay about how hard I worked to get my first book published knows I’m not lazy. When I’m hypomanic or stable, I get sh*t done.
A few days ago, after once again opening this newsletter file and closing it without sending anything, I called my psychiatrist for an appointment.
It’s possible this depressive episode will pass. We’ll see what Doc Julie has to say. My attempts at playing psychiatrist over the years failed miserably. I’ll follow her orders.
In the meantime, I continue to show up as I’m able. See the events section below for where to find me including TODAY!!
And, I’m sending you this email. Even in the face of depression, I do my best to keep my promises.
MEDITATION LEADER TRAINING – Starts late August
The SAGE INSTITUTE 200-Hour Meditation Leader Training. I completed in June is open for registration. The program is based on the structure of 200-hour yoga teacher training, but focused on leading Buddhist meditation.
If you’ve considered intensive meditation training, whether you intend to lead groups or not, please consider Sage. Sensei Sean Murphy, the mentors and staff are phenomenal.
The next cohort begins August 23rd.
Have you had a chance to watch Jason Didner’s music video “Run with My Troubles?” If you missed it, be sure to check it out. That’s “the ravine” where I started running. Jason’s a fine musician so check out his other tunes too.
In the “this is NOT depressing” category, the New York Flyers chose Depression Hates a Moving Target for their July book club book.
The Thursday, July 22nd, 7pm, discussion is open to the public!
If you’re in a book group and would like me to join you for a virtual author visit to discuss any of my books, please contact me. I’d love to meet your group!
I created a kit to foster discussion: Book Club Kit!
On the Blog – Author, long-time meditator, and founder of Pause First Academy: Mindfulness for First Responders, Kim Colegrove was my latest (very willing) “victim.” Check out her answers to my nosy questions.
Mind, Mood, and Movement
I continue to post practices in our Mind, Mood, and Movement group. We would love you to join the fun. Expect occasional unicorns!
The Writer’s Mind
My writing practice group, The Writer’s Mind, is for people interested in using Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones) tools and methods to create work aimed at publication.
YOU MADE MY MONTH!
The response to my request for positive reviews of Depression Hates a Moving Target and You Should Be Writing thrilled me. Thank you so much!!
If you enjoyed either book and haven’t had a chance, please leave a review. Even a few words go a long way.
These direct links to Amazon make reviews easy:
YSBW – Paperback
YSBW – ebook
DHAMT – Paperback
DHAMT – ebook
DHAMT – Audiobook
Don’t have your copy yet? Purchase Nita’s books here!
Events & Classes
Events and classes are still online. No matter where you live, you can join:
TODAY!! July 9th at 3pm ET – How To Be Creative When You Have Depression or Anxiety with Nita Sweeney & Karen C.L. Anderson. Register here.
July 22nd at 7pm ET – DEBS’ book club to discuss Depression Hates a Moving Target. Open to anyone. RSVP here.
August 8th from 2pm to 5pm ET – Writing from the Inside Out
Want to chat about writing?
Whether you’re a new writer, already published, or somewhere in between, chances are I’ve faced what you’re up against. I’d love to help.
We’ll hop on zoom or that phone thingie. You’ll tell me your quandary, and I’ll share my expertise. I have a ton of resources, and decades of experience heading people in the right direction.
I wasn’t sure where to start. Your ideas provided a ‘heads-up here’s where you need to go’ path. The biggest challenges with new authors are the deep-dive editing surprise, the author platform, and the publishing world. It was helpful to know what to expect.—Susan
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this service.
Another Writing Resource
For 18+ years Write Now Columbus, a once-a-month email newsletter for central Ohio readers and writers, arrives in inboxes. Editor, Tami Kamin Meyer and I compile author events, workshops, writing conferences and other resources in central Ohio. If that interests you, sign up HERE.
If I can help in some other way, please ask. Email is always the best way to reach me.
Take care and be well.~ Nita
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About Nita: Nita Sweeney is the award-winning wellness author of the running and mental health memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink and co-creator of the writing journal, You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving. A long-time meditator, ultramarathoner, and former assistant to writing practice originator Natalie Goldberg, Nita founded the group Mind, Mood, and Movement to support mental well-being through meditation, exercise, and writing practice, and The Writer’s Mind , to share how to use writing practice to produce publishable work. Nita also publishes the writing resource newsletter, Write Now Columbus. She lives in central Ohio with her husband, Ed, and their yellow Labrador retriever, Scarlet. Follow her on your favorite social media channels!
How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink (Running Depression and Anxiety Therapy, Bipolar)
It’s never too late to chase your dreams. Before she discovered running, Nita Sweeney was 49-years-old, chronically depressed, occasionally manic, and unable to jog for more than 60 seconds at a time. Using exercise, Nita discovered an inner strength she didn’t know she possessed, and with the help of her canine companion, she found herself on the way to completing her first marathon. In her memoir, Sweeney shares how she overcame emotional and physical challenges to finish the race and come back from the brink.