I am currently going through a depressive cycle, which fluctuates through the months since the second half of 2016. This cycle has taken a toll on my creativity, particularly on my supposedly legendary writing skills.
At the lowest part of my depression cycle, I was unable to finish reading one paragraph of a book (or any reading materials), couldn’t go through 10 minutes of any movie, 3 minutes of music, let alone get through writing even five words of anything.
The closest thing I got to writing a long form story was a piece of fiction I made a few months ago about an Icelandic band whose members were bickering with each other and then they all died in a plane crash on the way to a festival. Even then, what started out as a coherent story slowly evolved into something nonsensical. There is no way that a guy would be strong enough to throw another guy across a fucking plane when the fucking plane is semi-nosediving at hundreds of miles an hour. There is no way that a physical band argument would take place, standing up, when the plane’s nose is at a diving angle. I’m not good with numbers, or science, at all. The good maths grade I finished with in high school only served the purpose of high school itself, with little usefulness in the International Relations major, or as a print journalist. Anyway, the story itself remains shelved, like a lot of my writings I attempted after the year 2016.
All the poetry I made throughout the years since middle school, I collected in hopes that it would be published into a book someday. The stacks of poetry-filled notebooks and loose papers sitting in a corner of my bookshelf serves as kind of a metaphor: that the era of my writing has neatly placed itself in a section of my life history, never to be opened again. Nothing personal I wrote after the year 2015, I was ever satisfied, and many of the pieces were long gone as a result.
I have worked as a print journalist for the past three years, but it was only in the past year or so that i begun to lose my will to churn out proses, poetry, or even pieces of fiction; a will that had been going strong since elementary school until now.
During the slow climbs towards contentment, the only media I consumed were mainly TV shows, films, music and old opinion articles that were made between 1999 and 2004. This was the most evident when I remarked to one of my friends on a playful WhatsApp group about a screenshot they took of my face on a news program (unintentionally). It wasn’t an episode of COPS, nor did i flash my dick in public. It was a simple press conference. Non-TV Journalists on the field tend to get caught in the line of fire of TV cameras of the TV journalists, yknow, cos we’re all in the same room together, getting the same information.
“Who the hell is this, bin Laden?” I asked as if bin Laden was still a relevant figure while also forgetting that the guy was killed like 6 years ago. The old standup videos of Dave Chappelle and Patton Oswalt, as well as the references to that era of terror peppered in cartoons like The Boondocks, placed me right back into that era’s climate, jokes and references and all.
Why this era, you ask? (or maybe not). I had a pretty good childhood, mainly raised by TV, between 1999 and 2004. The shows and films I watched in that period stuck to me like fly paper to a cat’s behind. But the move was also subconscious. I did not choose to fly back to this era, it just happened. Maybe this part of my history acts as a comfort zone that has proven very difficult to escape.
The George W. Bush era seemed so distant in 2017, for someone who grew up in it and found that the media climate was like any other. This might be how it feels for someone in 2005 who still clung on to the media and references of the Bill Clinton administration. Old grunge heads could never get over Nirvana, as much as old punks never got over The Clash. I guess I never got over classic Cartoon Network.
It was in this era that the ideas for my creativity flourished. The media i consumed acted as the seeds that birthed the pages of poetry and the desire to become a writer in the vein of Chuck Klosterman. But when a tree grows, its roots are placed firmly on the ground and its leaves grow far above the ground that nurtured it. The leaves fall back to the ground only when they are dead.
Anyway, I couldn’t count the times I wanted to stop writing this essay in the time I spent trying to write it, and every time I tried to ignore those desires to stop, continuing to write this essay feels harder and harder, and the pain starts to even become physical. I don’t know how to coherently finish what I’m writing now, and are likely to get distracted and veer off topic or write words that have no relevance or even meaning to what I just wrote above. Purple monkey dishwasher.
But that’s depression, you know? You’re never really happy with what you do or what you create, despite the praise you get for it.
Note: This piece came out 70 percent from how i envisioned it in my head. The incoherency of this whole thing is a direct example of this fluctuating depression.