(cw: depression/mental illness mention)
This week’s blog post is coming to you live from my “childhood” bedroom (or at least, the bedroom I lived in ages 10-18) as I am visiting my parents in the Actual Middle Of Nowhere, France (a real place, I promise).
Don’t get me wrong, I love my room, it has seen some good times. But it was also my Depression Pit™️ for a very long time. It’s always weird coming back now that I’m in recovery, and (thankfully) so far from feeling as bad as I did back then. It seems that mental illness can linger in physical spaces, as much as it can linger in the brain.
Being creative, and having a creative outlet, when I was really struggling was incredibly important for me. This bedroom is where I used to make up intricate stories for my Barbies (my favourite was a teen mum -single, obviously- eleven year old Xav knew how to keep things breezy!). It’s where I realised that “writer” was more than just a hobby, it was something I could potentially do for a living one day. It was where I would lock myself away for hours on the weekend pouring my emotions onto the page (or more aptly, the Word document). However bad I was feeling, I could (almost) always push that to the back of my mind as soon as I put pen to paper.
When we decided to start this venture together, Asta and I both wrote down the things we thought were the most important to us, the values this press would live and die by. As we are essentially the same person (no seriously, it’s kind of spooky), pretty much every item on our lists matched, but one of the main ones for both of us was the importance of being open and honest about mental illness. Both in itself but also in the way it affects (positively or negatively) our writing.
We will be sharing as much as we’re comfortable with, and we would love to hear about your experiences too! Comment below, tweet us, email us, send us a carrier pigeon, whichever you prefer!